Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I wouldn't say I have a problem. Oh, okay fine--I have a problem.

Around mid-July, Target (my favorite store in the whole wide world) begins to pare down their summer section and starts laying out their Back to School section.  If you ever stop and watch the employees staging this section, you may catch a glimpse of a woman standing nearby, rubbing her hands together Mr. Burns-style.

That woman?  That's me.

While just about every teacher has mixed feelings about returning to work after a nice summer vacation, I think the majority of us can't help but become giddy about fresh new school supplies.  

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."

(Name that movie!)

There are certain things I love to stock up on every year:

1. Markers

I remember falling in love with my first grade teacher's set of Mr. Sketch markers.  The 80's were about scratch and sniff EVERYTHING, so I was instantly smitten.  PURPLE THAT SMELLS LIKE GRAPE?  Yes, please.
I mostly use these for my own sniffing projects, and keep plenty of these babies on hand for my second graders:

2. Spiral Notebooks

I've used these in several different ways over the years, for everything from science journals to writers' notebooks.  I've since found a better fit for my writers' notebooks (see #3), but my partner and I are trying something new this year.  We were intrigued by this post on Amy Lemons' blog.  I've always wanted a student-created reference that students could access throughout the year to review concepts, with space in which they could reflect and write about what they've learned. I'm hoping this will fit the bill!

3. Composition Books 

Writing is a HUGE part of my classroom, and I'm a big believer in Writers' Notebooks. If you haven't read this book, get thee to Amazon and get it NOW!  It's that good.

For my second-graders, I get the wide-ruled composition books from Target. They're a perfect fit.  I'll be posting soon about how I use Writers' Notebooks in my classroom DAILY.

Because they're subjected to a school year's worth of wear and tear, I like to reinforce the binding with duct tape, now often branded as Duck Tape.

I used this pattern last year to add some whimsy to my classroom (because I'm whimsical), but I'm finding that DUCK TAPE is far superior at sticking long-term than the Scotch brand duct tape.  

4. Comfy pencils
(aka Dixon Tri-Conderoga Pencils)

Small hands and still-developing fine motor skills can make for weary second-graders.  An amazing teacher friend of mine used these in a writing class that she taught over the summer.  My daughters happened to be in that class and RAVED about these pencils!  They're on the pricey side, but I only buy a set to start the year off.  The first weeks in a new classroom are stressful enough without having crampy fingers, am I right? They were a hit, and I'm going to buy them again.

I never stop there, but for now--I'm going to stop there.  What are YOUR must-have school supplies?

1 comment:

  1. We are supply loving twins - those are all my favorites, too. I'll have to check out those pencils, though. Yay supply shopping!