Organizing Supplies On The First Day

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by iteachbx, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Sep 7, 2013

    Any tips for organizing supplies on the first day of school? Most of my supplies are community supplies, so I can just collect them and not worry about names on everything. But how do you keep track of who brought in what? Usually my supplies trickle in the first couple of days, sometimes even longer, so I want to be organized in case I have to send home reminders for certain things.
     
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  3. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Sep 8, 2013

    This year I got paper bags from a local grocery store. I wrote each kids name on a bag. When they came in the First day I had them unload all of the supplies into their bag. Then we set them in the back of the room to be sorted later. Later I was able to take out things I wanted to be community and label things with names. It worked pretty well this year.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 8, 2013

    I have students hold up one thing at a time. I make note of who doesn't have and send reminder note home. I collect some items (no one needs 4 glue sticks at one time) and put the rest away to replenish as needed.
     
  5. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    My situation is probably different than yours in that we ARE NOT ALLOWED to send home lists or even suggest items to be brought in. We must supply everything.

    That said, many of my students bring things in. So, I buy enough of everything for each student, then I go over the list of items (one at a time) that they will need and tell them that I'll be passing them out, but if they have the item(s) and want to use their own they can. I write their numbers on each item and provide an art box for the supplies.

    Pencils are community property, so I tell them if they have a special pencil they don't want to share they should take it home and use it for homework.

    Also, I only allow them to have certain things at their desks (no pencil sharpeners!)...things they don't "need" go back home in their backpacks =)
     
  6. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 10, 2014

    This is exactly what I do, too. With first graders it can take up to an hour :dizzy:. I'm moving to second in the fall so hopefully it will be a quicker process!
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 10, 2014

    This was a nightmare when I taught in a private school with very generous parents. They sent in enough stuff for three classrooms. I just stuck everything in bags behind my desk until I could sort through it. The kids didn't care - they were busy organizing more of their 'stuff' that was for their own personal use. It was nuts.
     
  8. reneeinms

    reneeinms Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2014

    My kids send school supply money and the PTA sends someone to buy all of the supplies. It is good because everything becomes community property, so I just put it all in a big tub and worry about it later. Then, at their desk I have two shallow baskets inside of the desk one for each class. They keep basic supplies in it. Then at each group the materials handler is the only one that can get up to get supplies if needed for an assignment.
     
  9. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    Jul 10, 2014

    Organizing

    Usually K parents label everything. So I have students put backpack and everything on the carpet. Throughout the day I sort it out pulling out pencils and glue for community. Then I make individual bags for each student with the rest. I also use a checklist to keep up with who brought what.
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 10, 2014

    This is what I do, too. My students bring their supplies to open house, though, so I have a whole week to sort through them before the first day of school.
     
  11. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Jul 10, 2014

    I take a page in the back of my grade book and list all the supplies and check them off as kids bring them in. After a week or so I send a reminder home with the original supply list and highlight the supplies still needed by the students who didn't bring all supplies in.

    The first day I carve out time to have each student place supplies at their desk and check off the items and then store them where they need to go. Usually the first day is the heaviest day of checking supplies. As the week goes by I do it first thing in the morning and check off.
     
  12. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 11, 2014

    All of our supplies are "suggested" so I have everything they need. I don't really keep track. The only thing I send reminders about are art smocks.
     
  13. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Jul 12, 2014

    Most parents drop off the first day, so I put labeled bins outside for community supplies (glue, copy paper, Clorox wipes, etc) and have the parents sort things out. I also post a sign saying which supplies go in desks. The kids go to an assembly after an hour, so then I have 30 min to check desks and put the tubs away to deal with after school.
     
  14. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Jul 13, 2014

    I personally handed it over to my teacher assistant to organize. I'm in kindergarten so it worked for me. I initially started off letting them help me and check off etc, but they got to antsy and the process took a lot longer than I anticipated.

    I do like the paper bag idea... that will at least give me an idea of who has what. But I think I'm going to assume that is all they can afford to purchase.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 13, 2014

    Wow, I'm amazed that so many of you can ask kids to bring supplies. We furnish everything. As a teacher, I'd provide a pencil box for each student (I called it their "tool box"). Inside their tool box: pencils (2), box of crayons and colored pencils, big pink eraser, glue stick, and scissors.

    The only things I asked for throughout the year were hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and Kleenex.

    The one thing I asked every parent to provide was a backpack. However, most sites within my district receive backpack donations from local businesses for students who can't afford one.
     
  16. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Jul 13, 2014

    Do schools usually have policies for how this stuff is handled (whether supplies are individual or community-used) or do teachers usually get to decide that?

    I'd love to just have all community supplies, but am worried that some kids will bring in special pencils, fancy markers, etc. As a new teacher, what should I expect?

    YoungTeacherGuy, where I live, schools also send out supply lists. If you go into the local stores, many of them have a binder of supply lists from schools all over. I've never heard of anywhere not doing that, except on this forum. It must be a regional thing.
     
  17. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 14, 2014

    I made printables that I put with the paper bags along with matching checklists to track the supplies. You can download them for free here.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. LittleHouse7

    LittleHouse7 Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2014

    1st day tips

    I used cloth bags that that kids brought in . They could also bring an old pillow case with a draw string so that each child's thing can be kept inside.:dizzy:
     
  19. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2014

    I just make it clear which supplies will be community supplies on my supply list. Anything "special" that comes in is sent home for homework.

    I've never heard of not asking for supplies either.
     
  20. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2014

    Could someone post a copy of their supply list? Especially for first grade?
    Sheilah
     
  21. Flanny108

    Flanny108 Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2014

    I do something a little different, that has been very successful in my room. On the first day of school I give each child a gallon sized ziploc bag with their name on it. We go through all of their things item by item. They put 2 pencils in their box, and the extras go in their baggy, 1 glue stick in the pencil box, and the rest in the baggy. We do this for all of their items. Then I collect their baggies and put them in the file cabinet. When they need a pencil or are running low I get it out of the cabinet. The rule is that I will only get things out before announcements in the morning and after announcements in the afternoon.

    It seems like it would be a pain to do this, but it works very well. The kids generally have enough pencils, glue sticks, erasers, etc... to get through the entire year. When I allow them to keep all of their pencils and glues sticks they have disappeared very quickly.

    I do not do community supplies. Nor do I send home notes if the kids do not bring in their items. I will look through the bags and add some pencils that I have purchased to the bags that are empty. I teach in a low income area, and am sure that some families just cannot afford the items.
     
  22. time out

    time out Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2014

    I used to do the grocery paper bags for individual student supplies but last year I did something different and I LOVED it.

    We have parent orientation before the first day of school and I highly encourage parents to bring in school supplies in my welcome to first grade letter mail out.

    At the orientation, I have copy boxes labeled with names of my community supplies such as glue sticks, pencils, etc. Then on each student's desk, I have a checklist of the supplies that need to go in their desks such as scissors, pencil boxes, etc.

    With this method, everything is already sorted and I don't have to spend hours organizing their supplies.
     
  23. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 19, 2014

    I will be lucky if half of my students bring ANY supplies. Couple that with the fact that the district office neglected to update our (10 year old) school's supply lists on their Master List (which they send to all retailers, etc., and which parents access online), and I end up purchasing enough supplies so that all of my students have everything they need. Pencils, highlighters, glue (of any kind), looseleaf paper, construction paper, sticky notes, copy paper, etc., are all community property and stored accordingly. All "desk items" (composition books, work folders, binders, etc.) are labeled with the child's name and number and stored in their desks. In my experience, kids played with glue and scissors when those items were kept in their desks, so now I keep them, and we pass them out when needed. Each student has a pencil pouch (I supply), a box of 24 crayons (I also supply), and on their desks will be a "welcome to 3rd grade" and a regular pencil, both sharpened, along with a large red eraser. Students turn in pencils for sharpening at the end of each day, and each morning, they get 2 sharp pencils to begin with, swapping them as needed during the day. NO students have pencil sharpeners. Color pencils are community property (I usually supply those, as well as any markers).

    I like the idea of the brown paper bags! Usually, I have boxes set up, and have the kiddos bring me their supplies one at a time. At that time, I send spiral notebooks and ink pens home for practice, sort the supplies into the appropriate boxes, and check off the supplies on a spreadsheet I have in Excel. I can send reminders home, but they are not often effective.

    Wow, I wrote a book! Sorry for the novel!
     
  24. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Jul 19, 2014

    Does anyone have a sample letter that they'd be willing to share for reminding families to send in supplies?
     
  25. missalli

    missalli Companion

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    Jul 19, 2014

    I'll be teaching a self-contained classroom for the first time in 6 years and this is the sort of stuff that makes me think "Yikes!" I won't be finding out who my students are until a couple days before school starts, which makes it hard to communicate with parents beforehand. I also work in a high-poverty/Title I school so I'm not expecting much. I do know that I will be buying each student a pencil pouch and maintaining a bucket for each group with community supplies - art stuff, highlighters, scissors, glue, etc. Any crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc that students bring will be labeled with their number and go in the appropriate bucket. I don't think we're allowed to 'require' students to bring in specific items, but I don't think there's anything against requesting or asking for donations. I'll definitely be asking for donations of Kleenex, Clorox wipes and the like.
     

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