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Thinking about Supplies and a Planning Book Giveaway

Well, it isn't even August yet, and already the stores are filling their shelves with back-to-school goodies!  It gives me goose pimples thinking about a shiny new school year, filled with brand new sharp pencils, never-been-used erasers, and piles upon piles of rainbow colored post-its!

I have been thinking about how to handle classroom supplies this year.  This is funny to me because you'd think after 21 years of teaching, I wouldn't even have to think about it!  When I taught first grade, I had supplies down to a science.  Everything was considered "community" supplies.  First graders have enough trouble with their wee attention spans without dealing with a pencil box filled with colorful temptations!  Parents still happily donated supplies....with the understanding that they would be shared with the whole class.

When I moved up to third grade (three years ago), I reconsidered this strict perspective and thought that 8 year olds should be able to manage a small box of their own supplies.  Right?  I kept the faith for almost three years, and then I  "lost it" somewhere around February of last year.  That is when I had all of my students take home their personal boxes of pencils (i.e. hockey sticks), erasers (i.e., hockey pucks), post-its (i.e. mini-paper airplanes), and markers (which caused an underground trading market, complete with a mob boss).  When they came in the next day, each desk had 1 small plastic container filled with pencils, erasers, scissors and gluesticks; and another container filled with crayons.  Just like with my former first graders, I could now remove those supplies at a moment's notice when they became too much of a distraction, nobody could claim that they did not have a pencil (since I replenished the supplies as needed), and since there was no "my supplies/your supplies" peace reigned over the classroom and the monopoly on markers and pencils ended!

I wonder I removing a learning opportunity by doing this?  How will students learn how to be responsible for their belongings if I do not allow them to have any belongings?  I didn't mention that a few of my students were pretty resentful about having to take home their school box.  I felt pretty bad about that....especially because some students were doing fine managing.

 So, I soon will be writing a letter to parents, and will have to give them instructions on what their child needs to bring.  I would love to know how other teachers manage their classroom supplies.

On another note....

I haven't actually started planning anything yet.  But I am excited about the new Teacher Plan Book that I created for TpT.  Here's a preview:

I would love to give you one!!  Any follower who comments to this post, will be entered into a random drawing.....and the winner will receive the editable version of The Ultimate Teacher Plan Book!!

Don't forget to check out Mrs. Leeby's amazing giveaway!!


Enjoy your week,
Love and peace,


  1. I teach fifth grade and hate the squabble over supplies. I went to tables and more of a community supply last year. Kids still had some of their own things, but pencils and markers were table property. I am thinking of going all table supplies this year. I think I can control more of the chaos and still have supplies readily available for switching classes. Less clean up then when those bursting pencil boxes spill!
    Your planner looks great!

  2. What a great planner! I teach kindergarten, so we do community supplies.

  3. We also do community supplies!

  4. We split our list in two. There were some items listed that were to be labeled with student names, and then there were other items that we used as community supplies.

    I love your plan book! Your things are always fantastic!

    Suntans and Lesson Plans

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