Requesting extra supplies for kids who won't have them...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ecteach, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Jul 22, 2013

    Someone who teaches 3rd grade told me that she always puts more supplies than she knows the kids will need on her supply list. She said she does this so that she can give some of the extra supplies to the kids who won't have any.

    Do any of you do this? I think I'd be rather upset knowing that my child's supplies were given to another kid.

    This brings me to my next question...
    How do you handle supplies in your classroom? Do you have the students turn in everything that they bring into you, and then divide them up, or do you have each student keep his/her items in his/her own desk?
     
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  3. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I wouldn't do that. I also can't choose my school supply list. My principal has ours down to bare bones and has for years due to the economy.
    The only thing I plan on collecting for community supplies is pencils.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I ask for more than I need with community supplies like Kleenex. Because I know some kids won't bring in any.

    I would never do it for individual supplies. But I don't take up individual supplies either.
     
  5. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

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    From a parent's perspective it really annoys me. When my son was younger he had some fine motor difficulty, so I bought the supplies I knew worked well. For example, Fiskar scissors, Crayola crayons, pencils that sharpened easily, and markers that could be left open a little longer. When I went into the classroom and saw they used communal supplies and the stuff I bought wasn't in his tables shared area, it really annoyed me. I was a full time student, and it was a bit of a stretch to upgrade his supplies. So the next year I labeled everything with a sharpie and his materials stayed with him.

    As a teacher I am probably going to share some of the student supplies, because it makes sense that if I have 12 kids with scissors, I shouldn't go out and buy another 8. I will try to be sure that the students have access to the supplies they brought in though....
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I think parents should expect that a lot of supplies will be shared in the younger grades. If they don't with their first kid in kindergarten, they soon learn!

    I personally would be MORE annoyed if I knew that the kindergarten teacher had to spend even 10% of her time handing out supplies to the right kids or playing detective for items that "went missing."
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I always put a note at the bottom that requested extras as donations for those students whose parents may not be able to afford them, and I did actually have a few parents who brought in extras at open house. I never upped the number of required supplies though. That seems a little sneaky.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I wouldn't mind bringing in extra supplies for students who didn't have them, but I wouldn't want to be tricked into doing so.
     
  9. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    I think it is to be expected that items like pencils are to be shared. I collect pencils for community use unless they are a "fancy" kind with designs, etc.

    I keep gallon bags in the cabinet labeled with the students' name for the rest of their extra supplies, and I pass the bags out every couple of weeks for the students to get refills of what they need. I also keep extras on hand for students who don't bring in the basics. The school provides me a budget for these.

    I don't ask for more supplies per child than they will actually use, except for tissues. (2 boxes per child) Some years that is more than enough, some years I have just about run out before the year is over. It just depends on how many of the students actually bring them.
     
  10. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    Jul 22, 2013

    I teach Kindergarten and we have community supplies. I let parents know that the supplies are used in that way upfront, and requested at Meet the Teacher for the larger things of glue sticks because we use them a lot. I had some really great parents who went above and beyond and we are pretty well stocked with crayons, pencils, and glue sticks for the rest of the year.
     
  11. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 23, 2013

    I do not do community supplies and would never assume that parents 'expect it'. I would never give one student's supplies to another. Each child brings in their own labelled supplies. Anything they don't need to store in their desk - mainly extra pencils, highlighters, erasers and glue sticks - are stored in large, individually labelled zip-loc bags. This way when a student needs a new eraser they are already on hand at school. At Christmas I send home notes about which supplies students need to replenish. I've never had a student bring nothing and I often supplement with the extra supplies we have in the office.
     
  12. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 23, 2013

    I don't have too much on my supply list, but the kids are asked to buy markers, crayons, colored pencils and glue sticks. I snag a bunch of extra when they are on sale and make a small community bin of each.

    Each student keeps his/her own supplies and if a child doesn't have them then I let them use some from my community buckets.

    In the summer you can typically get Crayola markers for .50, crayons for a quarters, etc. It's easier that way.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    If items will be shared then I think the parents need to know such as having a note on the bottom of the supply list. It is not another parent's problem to supply items for students who's parents can't/won't buy them.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 23, 2013

    Glue sticks, pencils and post its are the only things from my supply list that I collect....I find the kids waste these items the most and it's better for me to manage when kids run out.
     
  15. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 23, 2013

    I have two lists - what the kids need to bring every day, and my wish list. The wish list is communal things.

    For students that simply can't afford supplies, my school provides them with a backpack stuffed with basic items. I find a way to replenish them as the year goes on.
     
  16. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Exactly. Be up front with me and I'd be happy to purchase a few more pairs of scissors or half a dozen rulers.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I think it is awful to take advantage of those that do buy supplies. Not everyone supplying the entire list really has the extra money in the budget to purchase supplies for others. Many are cutting out other items in their family budget to afford the list of supplies given for all of their children.

    Even letting families know that extra of certain supplies would be nice, you might end up getting hundreds of extra pencils but no extra markers or glue sticks.

    I don't think there is any easy way to handle the situation where some kids don't have supplies except to get an organization to support the school and have their volunteer services provide for the kids that brought none.

    Practices such as that make parents lose trust in the school. Lies by omission are just as bad as out and out lies.
     
  18. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Jul 23, 2013

    As a parent, I would have been upset to know that the teacher 'padded' the supply list to provide for students who didn't bring any. I don't mind making a donation, but I like to know that is what I am doing.

    On the subject of communal supplies, both of my children had teachers who subscribed to this philosophy, and they hated it! They would bring Crayola products, etc. to school to use, and then when the time to use them came, they would end up with cheap stuff. I do understand sharing glue sticks and some basics, but I don't think everything should be communal. Just my two cents...
     
  19. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 23, 2013

    That seems sneaky and dishonest.
     
  20. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Jul 23, 2013

    This discussion seems to come back each year with feelings always being very divided. I understand the ease of logistics for the younger grades using communal supplies. It seems like the replies from parents here are opposed to that procedure. I had one "reluctant" learner of my 2 boys and it really helped his enthusiasm about school to pick out his supplies. I was a SAHM and we really scraped together money for sneakers for growing feet as well as the school supplies. If I found out my kids weren't using the supplies I purchased, I wouldn't be happy.
    Maybe others could share their strategies for making individual supplies work. The ziploc idea sounds good! I also think it's a great idea to ask for donations - as long as parents know they are donating for class use.
     
  21. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 23, 2013

    I know some kiddos are rough on their crayons where others use them very cautiously and protective of their crayons/markers/pencils. I think the community thing is tough. I taught 1st and we didn't have community things. Looking back...glad we didn't because we had a big break out of pink eye towards the end of the year. I'm glad each child had their own supplies to deal with...one less thing to wipe down.
    If you like someone said use a wish list... if you get extras hey at least you'll have them for the rest of the year...
     
  22. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I would never ask for extra supplies.
    I may ask for donations for students who do not have supplies, but I teach at a school with a huge income gap. Students are either very poor or upper-middle income. Often the upper-middle income parents ask how they can help.
     
  23. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    We don't get ANY supplies from students - the school supplies them all. I supplement, because I don't like the glue bottles they use and they won't provide glue sticks. If we did have a supply list, I wouldn't ask for extra to cover the kids who don't bring any. That seems dishonest. I would probably mention that we could always use extras. Knowing me, I would supplement the supplies myself. I do it now anyway.

    I am going to use community supplies this year. That's not a big change from last year, actually. The kids had their own pencil boxes but we had community pencils and everyone shared things anyway. I have no problem doing that since the supplies come from the school and from me anyway.
     
  24. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Next year we are switching from individually purchased supplies to a system where parents pay a flat fee and we are going to bulk order supplies for the class. Then I will do community supplies because everything will be the same and I'm not labelling all those supplies on my own!
     
  25. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    What type of budget are you given for your classroom?
     
  26. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    We also do not collect any supplies from students. Some students bring their own crayons, folders, fancy pencils etc, but they do not have to bring anything. We order in November for the next school year which is a bit of a pain. We do not have a spending limit, but we all try to stay as low as we can. We only order what we really need and will use. We are given an excel document of approved supplies ( I'm sure the best prices the district could find). If we order something that is already in the building our secretary will take it off the order and give it to us. We do have a very strict $100 spending limit a year for specialty items like posters, birthday certificates, desk name tags, educational games etc. from a separate catalogue. I definitely prefer all of the supplies to be the same even though it's more work for me.
     
  27. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    We have community supplies available for usage most of the time, but they're funded through my allotted funding for my classroom, or donations from parents. (Our parents have donated a lot of things to us!)
     
  28. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Jul 23, 2013

    We just received our yearly email from the P reminding us that we are not to send out supply lists, post wish lists, or anything else as it is against state/county policy. In the same email we were told we can spend $223 out of pocket and it will be reimbursed by late September via Faculty Senate and PTO funds. We also receive some other funds throughout the year that must be spent via purchase orders (I think about $200 more). But we have to supply everything except copy paper and printer cartridges. (The custodians will give us tissues and hand sanitizer very sparingly.)

    What I do is purchase art boxes, crayons, folders, erasers, dry erase markers, pencils, markers, scissors, and glue sticks for 24 students. When the students bring in their backpacks on the first day, I have them take everything out of their backpacks and then I tell them what they'll need for class this year. For example, I say, "You will need crayons this year. I will bring around crayons and if you have some of your own you'd rather use, just let me know." Then I write their numbers on the crayon boxes so they can be responsible for "their" box regardless of whether they brought them in or I provided them. Also, if they brought in something they won't need (like a huge 3-ring binder or 5000 mini erasers) I tell them they can take them back home or keep them in their backpacks.

    The only "community" supplies we use are pencils and extra supplies in case someone loses theirs.
     
  29. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    At my last school in the USA we didn't get any supplies for the kids at all. I bought pencils, paper, notebooks, etc so I could give them out to kids who didn't have them. This is basically how I started every class "If you need paper or pencil, please come get one!" Most of the time I would go to the copy room and get the paper people tossed, that way the kids could use the other side.
     
  30. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    When my daughter was in elementary school, I purchased what was on her list, plus extras, because I knew there would be kids whose parents could not afford them.

    Since my grandson has been in school, we have purchased his school supplies (and uniforms) every year, and we always provide more than his list requests, for the same reason.

    As a teacher in an extremely low-income urban school, about half of my students will bring in supplies. The rest are on me. I do have some parents who will occasionally supply tissues or bottled water mid-year, but that's about it. I did not have input into this year's supply list, so there are things I do NOT want on it (spiral notebooks, for instance, which I will send home for the kids to "practice" in), and other things that I DO want are not listed. In addition, on next year's list, I plan to include the statement that ALL supplies will be communal, so nothing should have student names on it except backpacks.
     
  31. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    We provide extra supplies for our students.
     
  32. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    We share glue, pencils, and construction paper. Each child keeps their own folders, crayons, and notebooks. I put extras up until needed. I provide pencil boxes and scissors. The scissors because I have collected enough over the years and the boxes because I am picky. I also collect play-doh, but we get it pack a container at a time. We also share hand sanitizer, tissues, and wet wipes.
     
  33. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    None. The school provides all basic supplies; I purchase the extras.
     
  34. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Another parent who hates community supplies, unless provided by teacher/school and everything is the same. I always buy Crayola, Elmer's and Fiskars. They just are better. I really hate cheap crayons and do not want the quality stuff I buy being given to others. If I'm aware that I'm making a donation, no problem. I'm very generous. Don't deceive me though. There is also the whole germ issue someone mentioned. I don't make a supply list as a SpEd teacher. I order extras with my supply budget, or pay out of pocket. I stock up at sales. Tissues are horrible. I buy 20+ boxes each year personally.
     
  35. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Karebear, I always share my supplies with our special Ed teachers. I send tissues, wet wipes, and germ-x to them and any left over I send to librarian, music teacher, and PE teacher at the end of the year. I also send the student's supplies with the special Ed teacher. I can't believe others don't.
     
  36. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I have scissors and glue in my room already. The only things I pick up from kids are things like loose leaf paper, index cards, and pencils. I don't stand my ground often on our grade level supply list, but I did for a pencil pouch. I spent a small fortune providing colors and color pencils last year to use because the other two picked their kids' colors and color pencils. I personally choose not to pick up things like that. Teaching science and social studies, I was the one they used them with the most. I purchase 3 or 4 extras of the main items on our list so children who don't bring them will have them. Children who are considered homeless are provided supplies by the school. Otherwise, it's on me. I have had parents in the past bring extra supplies in. We are a pretty small school. They've been with the same kids since kindergarten. Some of the parents know the kids who will struggle to bring in supplies and will hand me a bag on the sly and tell me who it's for.
     
  37. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I've even purchased shoes & backpacks for some of my kids.
     
  38. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I was always happy to bring in extra supplies for children whose families couldn't afford them, and I think a little note requesting help in this area would be productive, but I am of the belief that owning their very own things builds organizational skills and that pride of possession makes people take good care of those possessions. I expected my own children's supplies to stay with my own children at all times - yes, even the pencils, because ewww, some of those kids chewed them up and just thinking of the shared germs makes me cringe even now. Why can't the school take those extra supplies and make a supply package for those kids, which would then be his/her very own and he/she would be expected to take good care of them just like the other kids are. I'm all for making sure each child has the proper supplies, but let those supplies stay in the child's desk, cubby, whatever, and not end up in a bin to be used by everybody. As for tissues, etc. . . . I bought my own at the Dollar Tree. I NEVER expected families to furnish my classroom for me. But oh well.
     

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