School supply shopping

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Aces, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 3, 2018

    I have to agree here. We put out a very loose suggested list that they will probably use but generally advise to wait until your student actually interacts with their teachers before purchasing school supplies. Really for my classes all students need are a three ring binder (1.5-2" preferred), a spiral one subject notebook (with three holes punched in it) pencils, blue or black pens, and a ruler of some sort. And that's really it. I do have colored pencils for the rare occasions that students aim to color things. Sometimes they do require an extra spiral notebook it just depends on how they take notes. And everything gets used, too!

    Everything that is graded goes in the binder for future reference. The notebook is for shocker notes. I always call it your field notes. I realize that these are high school students so I try to set them up in a way that a scientist would. Ruler for measurin' things and drawing straight lines.

    (Here's the real kicker: their quizzes/tests are all take home, and for the final, they'll have access to their binder...)
     
  2. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I LOVE this so much!
     
  3. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Shoot you know how in the text book at the end of a section it'll have a few review questions? And how the answers are usually painfully obvious? Bam that's your quiz for the week.

    At the end of the chapter, there's the same review questions for the whole chapter. Ba-bam, there's your chapter test. The final is the same concept... Just the review questions that they already have the answers to. I grade and correct the quizzes and tests so they have the answers.

    Which means, with a little effort – not even a lot either just a wee – there should be no excuse not to pass the final plus all quizzes and tests with flying colors. Yup that's intentional and I hate quizzes and tests. My class is very lab based. I mean... This is a science classroom. Let's get our hands dirty, mix some chemicals to see what happens and most importantly launch pumpkins from a trebuchet.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Of course not everyone who lives in poverty is the same. Ruby Payne’s work speaks of those who have no idea how to break the cycle of poverty.
     
  5. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Aug 3, 2018

    As a retired educator, I hope to provide some insight and pass on what worked for me to new teachers and administrators. I always placed a high priority on helping my students to take personal responsibility for their education - as a consequence, I didn't have to deal with many of the issues discussed here. Long ago, I learned that teaching is neither an art nor a science as many believe, but an attitude. Being a natural contrarian, it's aways been easy for me to look at problems from a different perspective or to "think outside the box" in search of simple solutions.

    Put all your questions aside for a moment and consider viewing the supplies issue from a different perspective. In my classroom, I rarely passed out paper and pencils to students at the beginning of an activity or lesson. Instead, on Day 1 they looked around to see that a few people came to class with their own supplies. I let these role models set an example for everyone else by complimenting them for their preparedness. In the following days, more and more proud students came to class with their own special backpack filled with school supplies. Children (and adults) are capable of recognizing behaviors and practices that are beneficial to achieving important goals. By encouraging them to emulate such behaviors, teachers can have a profound effect on their students' acquisition of critical life skills.

    As far as I see it, what teachers decide to do directly affects how parents, students and your P will view the supplies situation. Like many others, if you decide to spend your hard-earned money to buy your "kiddos" everything they need to succeed in your class, they will gladly give you that responsibility. I'm sure they will have no problem if you go shopping for them every year for the rest of your teaching career.

    With all due respect, your focus on the backpack and your list of questions are what I would call distractors to this discussion. It's sometimes helpful to refrain from asking too many questions and to just sit back and think about an issue from a child's/parent's/principal's perspective. Of course, it doesn't hurt to ask the right question either!
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 3, 2018

    The state tells people that they are required to send their children to school to be educated or prove they are being educated properly outside of the state education system. It is to be a free public education. That means free. Requiring supplies means it is not free. If the expectation in the classroom is that pencils and paper will be used to demonstrate knowledge or create notes to study from and this is required by the teacher in order to educate the student then they should be supplied by the district. If the district does not, that should be an issue between the teacher and the district, not with the teacher and the student.

    I keep asking and never get an answer. Why is it appropriate for a free education to cost families money, however little or great is expected by the school?
     
    readingrules12 and Ms.Holyoke like this.
  7. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Aug 3, 2018

    In trying to research this further, seeing if there's been anything in the courts or news about the issue, I found a couple references to some past (granted, it's been a while...) actions/decisions:

    "the state Supreme Court in 1970 ruled that school districts may not collect fees for items that are necessary elements of school’s activities or an integral, fundamental part of elementary and secondary education."

    "a 1972 state Board of Education position paper indicating that school districts “may not make charges for any required or elective course, such as general or registration fees, course fees, and/or textbooks and school supplies. School districts may determine the reasonable quality and quantity of school supplies that will be provided.”

    (By the way, I have to give credit: a previous school district that I worked in has ensured just what's being said here: students don't need to bring in any basic supplies -- just a backpack. They've also worked to reduce and/or eliminate as many of the random fees in middle school / high school as they can while still working within the budget)
     
  8. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Whether it be through Ruby Payne or from the mouths of babes themselves, it's always helpful for teachers to know something about the background of their students. This was especially true for me as a special education teacher in one of the poorest regions of California (i.e. high SES pop.). My conversations with students and discussions at IEP meetings revealed that they had done things and gone places that may surprise you. Even though the majority had either no parents or at least one parent who was in prison, addicted to drugs or involved with gangs and 100% were on welfare, a few had some interesting experiences to share. For example, several had visited Las Vegas, one went on vacation to Hawaii (swam with dolphins), one went on vacation to Monterey and showed me photos of herself in full scuba gear (had 2 babies by age 16) and another even went on a cruise. The siblings in one family of 12 would take turns flying to Long Beach to visit a sister who was away at college - her full scholarship provided more than enough money to pay for the mini-vacations for her family members. I think even Ms. Payne might be surprised that there is much more to learn about those living in "poverty" than understanding their attitudes (i.e. mindset). Just sharing a few highlights for what it's worth.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Your highlights don’t surprise me. I’m well aware that it is not just a lack of money that it an issue. It is the decisions made with that money that people often question. And that is most definitely part of mindset.
     

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