ProTeacher Community - Reply to Topic

Home Join Now Search My Favorites

Post Your Reply!

kahluablast's Message:

My kids keep their own stuff more or less. They keep a couple pencils, eraser, dry erase marker, glue stick, scissors. Everything else goes into a large tub to use for resupply later. I always have someone who labels their own stuff. When I pass out new stuff I try to give those kids the ones with their names on them, but I don't worry about it. I have crossed out names on glue sticks or erasers. I don't have a plan for kids keeping extra at school and no storage for that.

I don't see a problem with kids keeping their own stuff. Especially pencils and crayons. I don't want to use one someone else has had in their mouth. Some kids are really good at taking care of their stuff. Some are not. I have never had a problem with kids sharing things with kids who don't have stuff, either. I encourage that when someone loses their crayons or glue stick, and I have a tub of lost and found ones, too.

Members have more posting options! Sign Up Free!
Random Teacher Question
Type a guest name (or sign up for a free account)
Descriptive Title (Please do type a title):

Additional Options
Not a member? See the great features you're missing
Did you know? ProTeacher is a FREE service

Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Munchkins 07-25-2017 03:04 AM

I've always done community supplies that the school provided, but went to individual last year, also provided by the school and donorschoose. I find having their own (grade one) makes them more responsible and cuts down on sharing germs. Pink eye was going around our grade and my kids didn't catch it. It ran rampant in the other section where they share everything. As long as I can give them all the same, I'll do individual. The only supplies I ask the parents for are tissues, wipes, (we have no sink) and plastic baggies to store materials. And these are all optional. We can't require, only suggest.

Lakeside 07-25-2017 02:30 AM

This is an interesting thread. I lean mostly toward personal supplies, for the following reasons:

1) the germ (and simply "yuck") factor - I would not want to use a pencil the next kid has been chewing on for the past five minutes!

2) the "buy-in" factor - I loved shopping for school supplies when I was a kid! Those new folders and crayons helped me look forward to school when other aspects of it made me nervous.

3) spreading out the cost - Kids don't need 48 pencils on the first day, for instance. If they only have to bring in a few supplies at first, and can replace them as they wear out, parents can avoid paying for everything at once - at the same time that they're also buying new school clothes, etc.

I'm perfectly fine with shared donations like tissues and wipes, a class set of scissors only passed out when needed, etc.

I never understood how it made any sense to have grade-level supply lists, though. What if one teacher uses special colored folders and another doesn't, one uses glue and another doesn't? If everyone has to buy everything, and then a bunch of things go to waste.

Sbkangas5 07-24-2017 09:47 PM

I've never once had a parent complain about community supplies. It just boggles my mind that anyone would make an issue of it, even if it's not their preference! Pick your battles, people, and try to pick the important ones.

I do a combination. Each kid has a pencil box with a pencil, eraser, crayons, glue stick, and scissors. However, if you lose one or your pencil needs sharpened we have a lost and found as well as some extra pencils and they just grab what they need. I don't think I've ever had a kid with the exact same scissors and crayons in their box all year long, and I wouldn't expect them to (I am in K). Markers, glue bottles, colored pencils, etc are all community supplies.

Lilbitkm 07-24-2017 06:35 PM

I personally don't and have never done community supplies. I got an idea from a colleague a few years ago: each student gets a 2.5 gallon ziploc bag to put all of their extra supplies in. I put the full bags in a cabinet and each student knows they just have to ask for their bag when they run out of something.
The only supply I take and we use as community supplies are pencils. They all go in a bin and we can sharpen as needed. Well, I take the tissues and hand sanitizer as well.

I buy supplies or have them for previous years for kids who don't have enough or have nothing. Our school it Title I and we get supplies donated, so any student who needs them can get them at the beginning of the year. I always have to buy more glue each year.

I have always loved school/office supplies. As a kid I loved picking out my supplies for the year and I know I would have been upset had I not been able to use them. I have never had a parent question how supplies are used though.

Twolists 07-24-2017 06:18 PM

We send home one list but with two sections. "Needs" & "Wish List" Individual supplies are in the needs category and the hand sanitizer, paper towels, baggies, tissues, etc are in the wish list. Those that want to give can and those who can't or refuse, aren't required or expected to. Many still buy everything. I personally, besides just sending tissues at the beginning of the year, i always send more if my personal kids have allergies or something that causes them to too use a bunch more.

SusanTeach 07-24-2017 03:33 PM

Like you said, I only do community supplies for some things. No child needs her own box of tissues, paper towels, etc... So those big things go into bins for community supplies.

I let kids keep their own scissors, crayons, folders, highlighters, pencil top erasers, and fancy pencils. If they have more than needed, they put the extras in their cubby for when they get lost or ruined.

At the end of the year, they take home anything extra that they didn't use. Some kids ran out the first term and I had to buy new ones since Mom apparently couldn't afford a 50 cent folder without cutting into her cigarette allowance. I'd send home a note, but it rarely helped and since it's not the child's fault I just buy extras while they're cheap.

I don't justify to parents anything. I just roll with whatever they say. It's not worth the battle to me. If it's that important to them, so be it. Behavior issues I'll battle over, but not supplies.

readerleader 07-24-2017 11:43 AM

one glue stick
one dry erase marker
one highlighter
one box of crayons

These items go in their personal supply pouch.

Everything else is collected. I only put markers out when we use them, glue bottles also. I don't tell parents anything about personal or community supplies.

No fancy folders or pencils. These get sent right back home. We specify exactly what colors to purchase. When everyone has exactly the same things, it becomes a non-issue.

PrivateEyes 07-24-2017 11:20 AM

I ask the students to turn in their pencils, highlighters, dry erase markers, glue sticks, and lined paper. They keep their own notebooks, pencil cases, crayons, erasers, scissors, rulers, and folders.

I give them a pencil case at the beginning of the year with 5 pencils, as well as a glue stick, eraser, highlighter, red pen, and dry erase marker. I resupply from their supplies on a weekly basis as necessary.

I put out a community supply of paper in a paper tray.

I've never had any complaints from parents. One year I had a child come in with all name-engraved pencils. I just put her pencils in my closet and resupplied her from her own pencils. It wasn't an issue with her, her parents, or any other student. IF I had a parent complaint, I would return the supplies to the child and expect him/her to keep track of her own supplies. If the child ran out of supplies, I would send home a note.
If no resupplies were forthcoming, I would still resupply him myself.

I have found that I rarely run out of supplies anymore. The kids have everything they need to do their classwork all year long, but not an overwhelming amount to ruin or lose. They are incentivized to keep track of their supplies by the weekly treat I give them for keeping their supplies together.

Century46 07-24-2017 11:17 AM

We have solved this issue at our school by simply not having parents get supplies all. Teachers have an allotment of money to spend on school supplies each they ALL belong to the school. My kids come to school with an empty if I want to use red folders for homework, blue for writing and green for math...I can.

Pencils, markers and art supplies are in bins that can be brought to the table when needed. So, ALL of my scissors or fiscars, ALL of my markers are washable and ALL of my glue sticks are the same. For parents that want to donate, they can send in Kleenex or Clorox wipes (we clean tables and chairs every afternoon). We talk about community, sharing, taking care of them, etc...but at the end of the day...they are MINE. I choose the books that will be in my classroom library and the pencil that will be used to write things down.

When I have a students bring in a folder with a puppy on it or a ridiculously giant binder or silly fun erasers, I tell them to turn around and put it back in their back pack to take back home for their homework desk. They can practice taking care of their things there...they cannot tell me what they will or will not use at school. I have had no complaints and I can organize the way I want to.

Reading this thread reminded me of how it USED to be. Parents being picky and acting like they had a say in my classroom (really!?!), kids stealing and throwing fits because they wanted a certain thing, and the general selfishness that I see when everyone brings in their own. If your kids wants a pink pair of scissors, great...they can use it at home, but in my classroom, they will get what they get and not throw a fit.

TeachandBowl 07-24-2017 10:43 AM

I can't believe something like community supplies is so complicated! From what I gather on this post alone, it probably just wouldn't be worth dying on that hill. It really does depend on your community though. I use community supplies and I love it. I got little snack containers from the dollar store and I empty the crayons into one, and the colored pencils/markers in to the other and the kids use them as needed. But like I said, I don't feel like it works SO well that it would be worth the stress.

And as far as germs...the tabletops/doorknobs/sinks make any germs on the community supplies irrelevant haha

choppie70 07-24-2017 10:43 AM

I have never had issues about community supplies until last year. I explain to parents that all supplies are to be shared and students will be asked to bring home any "special" supplies. I hate dealing with the pencil stealing, the crying when they lose something, etc.

We also buy all school supplies as part of our budgets each year, so there is not need to bring in supplies. We do suggest things if they want to donate to the classroom. I also suggest if their child wants the special foofy stuff, they can stay at home as special homework incentive materials.

Last year I had a very special snowflake. He brought in 4 mechanical pencils. He took one and gave three people at his table the other ones. There were 4 other students at his table. I addressed the issue from the angle of not bringing supplies that are not to be used by everyone. He yelled at me and told me that his mom said he could use them and give some away. I had the aide take them and put them in his locker. He flipped. Mom indeed said he could use his "special" pencils and thought I was being too rigid. She demanded to meet with the P and I about it. I brought a copy of my step up day letter and my back to school letter which both explicitly explain community supplies.

mommy9298 07-24-2017 10:08 AM

As a parent and educator, community supplies would not bother me. I have never done it in my classroom. My district had a situation similar to Tia's. About 10 years ago a parent spoke at a board of ed meeting stating she was not going to buy any supplies for her children. She pays taxes and her children attend public school, so the district should supply everything. After that, our lists were shortened drastically. Our list had to state "suggested supplies" and "for own use". We could not ask for hand sanitizer, paper towels, wipes, baggies, or specific items (i.e. Crayola crayons). It has died down a bit and we have slowly added to our lists, but they still have to be approved by administration. The school her children attended did supply her students with their school supplies.

tia 07-24-2017 09:37 AM

a neighboring school district had a lawsuit brought against it by a parent (ON THEIR SCHOOL BOARD!!!) i can't remember the exact reason...

that caused our school district, 2 years ago, to look at our supply lists and amend them. (we can no longer request a certain quality or quantity of item--for example, our list used to say scissors--fiskar-type--no longer. we used to ask for 24 pencils--now it just says pencils)

also, students are to use THEIR supplies.

just thought i'd share.

every teacher was asked to complete a survey of what they had their students use (and what they didn't want). then a team of 5-6 teachers in each grade used that data to create the entire district's lists for that grade. (used to be school-by-school.) i was on the 6th grade team but was out-voted, and no one wanted to have glue on the list. ???!!!!!

we are no longer allowed to ask for hand sanitizer or baggies...(cause the kid who brought in the baggies has to use all THOSE baggies). BUT we did/do get a $3 per kid allotment to buy those other things we needed. so i had to use the money to buy frickin' glue!

justdc5 07-24-2017 09:24 AM

I work in a district where many students come in with absolutely nothing. I don't expect other parents to supply for other kids.I do supply kids with the essentials. I do have community supplies that I provide for their use. I have containers all over with glue, glue sticks, scissors, and erasers. I also have two containers for pencils (sharpened, needs to be sharpened) This is why I look for penny deals. As a parent myself I may spend extra money on more durable items and would like them to use the items I purchased. I agree keeping their own supplies will help keep them more responsible. I have students who will go to the sharpened pencil bin each day. These are the students who come with nothing and expect everything. I also give each of my students a plastic bin to keep extra supplies. My bins are numbered and I reuse them each year. This has been helpful.

Cat woman 07-24-2017 09:21 AM

The only community supplies I collected were pencils, pencil top erasers, and glue sticks. Each group of 4 students ( they sat in pods of 4) had a caddy with 15 pencils, 4 glue sticks, 2 bottles of glue ( I rarely had them use this and I would supply those from BTS bargains). I sharpened pencils at the end if the day and each quarter I collected all the nubby pencils and gave them 15 new ones. Same for glue sticks. I kept the nubby ones to use in emergencies or if a group used or list all there before replenishing. They took care of monitoring their group so that they didn't put supplies in their desks. Worked well for us.

Zia 07-24-2017 09:18 AM

How can you learn to be responsible for your own supplies when they aren't yours?
All my students are responsible for all the supplies. They belong to everyone. That's the point: building community.
TexTeacher 07-24-2017 07:51 AM

Could you have them keep one or two and then you take the rest? For example, I have all my kids keep one expo and I put a label on it with their name. Then I take the other 3 in the package and put them in a bin. If a kid loses one, I give them an extra, but I keep track and email parents if their kid uses more than 4 during the year. You could do the same thing with glue sticks and pencils.

Loveslabs 07-24-2017 07:17 AM

As a teacher and a parent I don't agree with community supplies. I don't want my child or students touching supplies 20+ children have been touching. I worry about the germ factor. My child is the one that is constantly sick because of allergies and asthma,so maybe I'm a little overboard in that department.

Also, I think students need to learn to organize and keep track of their own belongings. How can you learn to be responsible for your own supplies when they aren't yours?

kahluablast 07-24-2017 06:36 AM

My kids keep their own stuff more or less. They keep a couple pencils, eraser, dry erase marker, glue stick, scissors. Everything else goes into a large tub to use for resupply later. I always have someone who labels their own stuff. When I pass out new stuff I try to give those kids the ones with their names on them, but I don't worry about it. I have crossed out names on glue sticks or erasers. I don't have a plan for kids keeping extra at school and no storage for that.

I don't see a problem with kids keeping their own stuff. Especially pencils and crayons. I don't want to use one someone else has had in their mouth. Some kids are really good at taking care of their stuff. Some are not. I have never had a problem with kids sharing things with kids who don't have stuff, either. I encourage that when someone loses their crayons or glue stick, and I have a tub of lost and found ones, too.

Zia 07-24-2017 06:32 AM

I teach K and keep community supplies for several reasons. This is from a BTS newsletter I send home:

I expect students to work together in small and large groups to achieve many learning objectives throughout the year, so we start off right away on the first day of school. During the first month of school, we spend a lot of time building our classroom community. We play games together, take a field trip or two, and much more. Because our room is set up as a community, we have tables, not desks. This promotes social interaction and discussion. They also share materials and supplies. Items in our classroom belong to all of us. I know that sharing supplies is something not every parent is comfortable with. I ask that you trust what I am trying to accomplish.

I have had parents express concerns about this: I'm not funding other kids! or My daughter wants the Little Mermaid notebook or whatever. I find it diminishes class differences and puts all kids on equal footing. Plus the sharing situation.

So far as the "inferior" supplies worry, we have very specific supply lists, i.e., no Rose Art crayons, etc.

I've rarely had parents push too hard. The only time I permit single supplies is when a kid has legit issues.

My advice: stick to your guns.
readandweep 07-24-2017 06:30 AM

I teach special ed kids with significant behaviors, so other people's experiences may very.

I have had issues with parents over community supplies, but it was more a lack of administrative support than a parent one.

One time, per parent's request, I gathered up that child's supplies and sent them home as the kid whined that he did not get to use "his" stuff.

Another parent had an issue when she withdrew her child from school and I could not immediately gather up her kids stuff on demand. She was an outlier nut case though.

In a situation like the pp's sister, I would just keep that child's supplies in a bag in a cabinet and offer to send them home if it becomes an issue. But I'm sure there child would never manipulate the situation.

I find I got through fewer supplies as I have more control over the supplies. No one is sitting at their desks shaving pencils with their scissors like a former grade-school classmate of mine.

Caps are put back on markers before being put away. No one just sits there with access to supplies they are not using. The teacher or aide gets the pencil back as soon as the task is done and the adults sharpen the pencils as needed, not the kids. Any paper given to students must be used and accounted for.

I teach students with behavior issues and breaking items for attention and/or fun is common. I would teach the students supply handling skills by putting items in the break area (crayons and paper for coloring and books to read). If they could not take care of the items or they ran out quickly, I was never in a rush to replenish the items in the break area. That seemed to sink in faster than showing the student show to use and store the items.

There were never any tears over someone breaking someone else's pencil, eraser, notebook, etc. If someone brought something from home, they were allowed to show it to us and use it on break, but it went in their backpack and/or bin when they were not on break.

abcteacher 07-24-2017 06:28 AM

I should clarify that not everything will be community. Kids are keeping their own scissors, crayons, and glue bottles.

Pencils, erasers, glue sticks, and whiteboard markers will be community. These are the things that were constantly being lost or kids were running out of.

redmonkey 07-24-2017 06:21 AM

So I get both sides of this and in the end I support what the teacher wants to do. However, my daughter's list also specficed not to label supplies and it doesn't really sit well with me. My thinking is I bought name brand crayons knowing they are better made than some of the off brand. Well, what if my daughter gets the off brand and they break all the time? Also, she picked out pink scissors because she wants to use pink scissors, so can't she just have her own pair? In the grand scheme of things this is not a big deal at all and if her crayons are the cheap ones that break she can let the teacher know. Also, headphones are on the list and I do not want her sharing headphones, so I am hoping they all keep what they bring in.

At the end of the day I won't fight community supplies and I am donating extras since I know not all students will be able to bring them in.

To answer your question, I would let that child keep his or her own items because it isn't worth the battle in the beginning of the year. Maybe you can do so discreetly so the other students are not aware.

GreyhoundGirl 07-24-2017 06:10 AM

I tried community supplies one year and it was a nightmare. I ran out early, things got lost, broken, etc.

I won't do it. But I know other people have had more success with it.

As for parents, how you choose to run your room is your business.

abcteacher 07-24-2017 06:08 AM

Every year I have students keep their individual supplies. This year I decided it would be easier to do community supplies.

Well, my sister had someone she knows tell her that she doesn't plan on buying everything on the list and what she does bring she will label with her daughter's name because she will not be providing for others. The teacher can just let the parent know when she runs out.

So, how do you deal with a parent who has a problem with this? Do I need to justify to parents? I know other teachers who do this. Do you let that parent's child keep their own things? Then won't the other kids want to as well?

Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:53 AM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.