Community supplies?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pencil Monkey, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I am toying with the idea of community paper and pencils. But i'm worried about what will happen if we run out.:eek: I just can't stand kids playing with thier pencil boxes and supplies!

    What are your experiences with community supplies?
     
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  3. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I just posted on a kindergarten thread about this.

    I have a pencil and crayon basket in the middle of each table. Glue bottles, glue sticks, and scissors are in large baskets on a shelf. If they need those they pick them up on the way to their seat.

    We've gotten pretty good over the years at requesting the amount we need on the beginning of the year supply list. I don't think I've ever run out of anything! Maybe tissues once. And I just asked parents to pick up a box at the store if they were willing/able.

    If you are just starting this year, I'd stock up on some things at the back-to-school sales if you can.
     
  4. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    I use community supplies and it's worked fine for me. Like everything else, it all comes back to PROCEDURES!!!! If you take the time at the beginning of the year to train the students how to use community supplies, you will thank yourself later! Of course, always do a refresher after a long vacation!
     
  5. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Ditto what Erin said - you have to model the procedures of how to care for/use the shared materials the first week of school. In my class, we share EVERYTHING, no personal supplies are allowed. I let parents know this ahead of time and then have kids take any 'special' items home for homework. I think this helps build community and sharing.
     
  6. Beezus

    Beezus Cohort

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I am planning to do community supplies this year also. I am concerned that some parents/children may freak a bit because they purchased the special pencils and want/expect to be the sole owner and user of them. How do you address this? I'm planning to mention it in my back to school info letter, but I'm not sure how I want to word it, either.
     
  7. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    Jul 13, 2008

    i teach 3rd grade and i did paper last year. the year before i did everything communal. it sucked! i ran out of pencils in december and had to by more on my own. last year was perfect. when a kid ran out of anything i wrote it in their assignment book and they had to bring it...i supplied NOTHING! we used all the paper and that actually worked nicely...will do that again. but i will never have communal pencils again.

    just sharing my experience...
    LC
     
  8. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Beezus, I send a letter home on Step Up Day that addresses supplies... also mid summer when I tell them about my open house, I remind them and then AGAIN when school starts. Most parents are pretty supportive, and the kids can just keep any 'special' items at home for homework.
     
  9. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Community supplies works wonderfully, just ask for enough supplies at the beginning of the year. If a child brings "special" pencils on the first day, I send them home w/him and a note that if he'd prefer to keep these pencils at home he can but parents need to send 36 plain sharpened pencils asap.

    If you run out of anything, simply put it in your weekly/monthly newsletter you need whatever and would anyone please donate it to the class.
     
  10. AbbyR

    AbbyR Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I had a similar experience :mad: and as a result, will not have community supplies again. Last year I had hundreds of pencils. I hit the Staples sales hard, and several friends gave me boxes of pencils from their companies, so I was probably well over 1,000 pencils at the start of the year. The kids were supposed to bring their own, too. I was almost out of pencils by test time, when I really needed to be sure I had extras. It seemed like every kid in the room couldn't remember to bring a pencil and expected me to do it.

    This year, I intend to be anal about it. Pencils are on the supply list. When they bring supplies, I'm going to check off on a premade check list who has brought supplies and which supplies they brought.I'm going to make sure that each kid has two sharpened every morning. (The walkers and car pick-ups will tend to that for me each afternoon.) The rest of the pencils will be kept in zipper bags with the child's name on it in two drawers I'll keep for that purpose. When they run out, Mom will get a note on the weekly behavior chart.

    Same with notebook paper. I had PILES of it last year for extra, but the kids depleted the supply before Christmas - what with drawing pictures and starting over and over and over on assignments, tossing their first (and second and third) tries. This year I'm going to have prong folders for each subject with paper in them, and wasted paper will be a behavior note to go home. I will keep their extra (with their name on it) in a cabinet, and if they run out, note goes home to Mom.

    I will keep a supply of extra crayons (25 cents at Wal Mart) because it I know some kids really can't afford them, and I'll be reasonable about other things, but I am just tired of financing the educations of 25-plus kids per year. I figure I'm giving enough by commuting 50 miles each way daily. :eek:

    Anyone have any other ideas? I'd love to hear them.
     
  11. fuzzybunnie

    fuzzybunnie Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Well, I'm going to try communal supplies this year--pencils, erasers, glue sticks and scissors. They will be in a box in the middle of each table. The school supplies the pencils because we use the fat ones, which last forever. I'm thinking that pencils and erasers won't get lost so easily if we have a good procedure at the end of the day (and at recess and lunch) for putting things away. I was already using communal glue an scissors but handing them out as needed. That got to be a drag, so I'm trying them in the box on the table and thinking that they won't get played with because they aren't in the desk. Maybe I'm being overly optomistic. We shall see . . .
     
  12. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I do community supplies with my 2nd graders and it works out just fine every year. I make sure that on my school supply list I have the kids bring in enough that should hold us for the year. But theres always a chance that we can run out before the end. Usually our supply gets skimpy around the end of May. Which is not that bad. Other than that, I love doing community supplies because it does eliminate students arguing about someone touching their "special" pencils and it encourages teamwork. Each table knows that they are responsible for their crate in the middle of the table and when they are done using a pencil, crayon, or glue, they know to put it back in the crate. (That is a big reason why I got rid of my desks and asked for tables!) The most important thing I've implemented regarding the community supplies is having a classroom job of the Pencil Keeper. That student comes in every morning and sharpens 10-12 pencils for each table and places them in the table's crate. The pencil sharpener is put away for the day and that's that! The room seems much cleaner, there is less fumbling through stuff and the students are ready faster! I love doing it like this!
     
  13. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I use community supplies for pencils, and it works well. I just make sure and let parents know. I don't allow fancy pencils -- too much arguing, and the coating on many of them (especially glitter and metallic ones) messes up my pencil sharpener!

    I put 40 sharpened pencils in the sharp pencil cup each day. At the end of the day, nobody leaves until there are 40 pencils back in the pencil cup. I tell parents right up front that noone is allowed to take our pencils home -- that parents must have their own supply at home or make sure their child has their own pencil in their bookbag if they go to aftercare.

    Once they get the hang of it (as with any procedure) it is a piece of cake. We all have pencils to last all year.

    http://www.quia.com/files/quia/users/rainstormrainbow/Recommended-Supply-List2-.pdf
     
  14. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 13, 2008

    how much paper and pencils would you ask for to last the year?

    I am thinking 4 packs of paper and 48 pencils. Does this seem like the right amount?
     
  15. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    Jul 13, 2008

    i was thinking. i have communal supplies of crayons, markers, colored pencils, glue and scissors also. but this is for the students who don't have them. by the end of the year, most of the kids are using them. which is fine. this is because most of their supplies end up there from being picked up off the floor etc. then, the last few days of school when we are cleaning i ask for "donations" and i get ample supply for the next year of the aforementioned supplies. they get new stuff each year usually anyway. i tell them that they don't have to donate, but since they've been using my stuff all year, it would be really nice. or something to that effect.

    anywho...just thought i'd throw that in with my earlier post. :)

    LC
     
  16. teachme

    teachme Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2008

    I tried communal supplies this year (year-round school, we've been back for 2 weeks now) and it's working WONDERFULLY. It's all about the procedures and teaching them the correct way to put things away and take things out (no fighting/grabbing! This is NOT a race.) I have pencils, dry-erase markers, glues, red pens, scissors organized in little cups inside those Lakeshore caddies.
     
  17. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2008

    I absolutely hated everything individually labeled last year. Kids lost their scissors or thought someone else stole something from them. Passing things out by name took forever (like water colors). I am doing communal this year.
     
  18. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    I did communal supplies with my first graders, and it worked well! Although almost NO ONE sent pencils in sharpened... :( I didn't have a problem with the "special pencil" issue - I just told them to take them home and leave them there. Last year I put crayons in a basket, then pencils, erasers, glue (stick and bottle) and scissors in the 3 section plastic containers from Target (dollar spot). This year I'll probably put just pencils, erasers, and crayons on the desk, and keep glue and scissors in other containers NOT on the desks (too many gluesticks dried up, glue left open, etc).

    Does anyone put a box of tissues on tables? I saw this done in another class and seemed like a good idea - just use the tissue there, not getting up to get one!
     
  19. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 14, 2008

    It is one of those things that sounds good in theory.....

    When I did this, all day long, somebody needed a tissue. We went through a 6 month supply in about a week. If they are right there in front of them, they ALL need one.. and one more..and one more...and oh, she took one, so I must need one more!

    and they still need to get up.. to throw each and everyone of them away.. right now!

    Never again!
     
  20. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Jul 14, 2008

    Ahh, good to know! :) It's just like going to the bathroom.... once one person goes, they ALL have to go! :)

    Maybe a couple of strategically placed boxes around the room would be better! :) Thanks for the word of warning. :)
     
  21. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2008

    Just a thought....
    if you want to put little boxes of tissues at every table, what about buying some of those small garbage pails from the Dollar Tree that has the push top?? I think they are in primary colors and they are small which could possibly fit on the table next to the tissue or on the floor. This would also be good for those students who always have to go up to the garbage to throw something away, pencils shavings etc.
    I don't know if I would do it myself because I would be scared of what they would put in those garbage pails.:eek:But it could be done by putting small grocery bags in each pail and having a classroom job of the "Garbage Keeper" who dumps the garbages at the end of the day into the big garbage. Hmmmm????:dunno: Just a thought.:)
     
  22. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 14, 2008

    I've used community pencils before, and it worked until I didn't keep up with the sharpening. But that will be a classroom job this year so I'm not worried about it anymore!

    I asked for pencils at the beginning of the year, and I had enough for the whole year. When we are running out of something, like clorox wipes or tissues, the kids write it down in their homework planner and I put it in my newsletter.:)
     
  23. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Jul 14, 2008

    So, this is going to sound a little stupid...HOWEVER, I just don't get it. How do you stop kids from bitting the pencils, pulling the erasers off, etc. I spend time talking about how we treat pencils, etc. and it still hasn't helped. What am I not getting?
     

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