". . .the word of God is not bound." II Tim. 2:9b

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tis the Season for New School Supplies

8 Encouraging eCards for Teachers, Summer and Fall Collection
It's the middle of July, and you know what that means--back-to-school sales! Some people gripe that "It gets earlier every year. . ." like stores putting out Christmas decorations right after Halloween, but school supplies at rock-bottom prices are never out of season to teachers.

My husband and I recently took our four-year-old to pick out supplies from the list his kindergarten teacher sent home with us on screening night. Pencils, paints, crayons, markers, glue sticks in the cart. One kid down, one to go.

Even though it's my little guy's first year in school, I think I was more excited about the new supplies than he was. After all, some of us teachers may have secretly chosen our careers because of the school supplies.

I'm blessed to work in a school district where the classroom supply budget is what I consider generous. Shopping for supplies can still be a nightmare, though, as we try to stretch the dollar. And aren't we all looking for that one vendor that has everything we're looking for in a cute design at the right price?

I've purchased my classroom supplies from many different sources over the years, and I'm not sure I've found the best way to get the job done yet. One year I fell in love with a company's free-shipping-to-home feature, only to be frustrated when my items arrived in many installments, each with a separate invoice. I never did get an accurate read on which items had arrived and whether my total matched what I'd thought I'd spent. Even their customer service couldn't provide a totaled invoice.

Scented markers from Mr. Sketch
Fortunately, there aren't a lot of imperative supply needs in high school English. Much of the class work requires only lined filler paper and a pen or trusty number two pencil. I always stock up on 3 x 5 cards and smooth-writing pens (my luxury item!) and of course, Expo markers. And it wouldn't be Mrs. Ballard's room without the smelly markers, a holdover from when I taught kindergarten. We use them on big chart paper to draw Venn diagrams, character maps, thought webs, vocab charts, and everything in between.

This year, I also splurged and purchased a few DVDs for classroom use, including Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, a must when studying British Romantic literature. And yes, even high school senior boys will watch it because the late Alan Rickman is a familiar face (and voice) from Die Hard and the Harry Potter movies.

What are your must-have school supplies to start the new year? Where do you buy them? Know of a steal we can all snatch up? Leave a comment to share.

Catch me Tuesday, July 12th in Twin Falls at the P20 Educator Conference: Reaching for New Heights. I'll be speaking on using Choose Your Own Adventure narrative techniques to teach creative writing. I'll also present Faith and the Public School Teacher. Hope to see you there!

Fun at Nursery School

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