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Eri 09-25-2011 02:47 AM

Classroom Supplies
I'm student teaching and I'm surfing through here a lot and I just haven't found a post about supplies. The district I'm aiming to teach in is one of those "furniture and copy paper" schools but I'm at a loss for what I need for a classroom. I'm going to teach either math or science so I know I probably need:
- Scissors
- Rulers
- Pencils (and lots of them)
- A decent pencil sharpener
But what else? Do schools provide calculators or do you as a teacher have to buy them? Do I need a classroom library if I'm not a English/Language Arts teacher? Can any of you tell me what you bought for your room this first year?

CmonkE 09-28-2011 01:03 PM

Hi There..I'm not sure what you mean by 'furniture and copy paper' but I hope I can try and help.

The supplies you need depend a lot on the grade you are planning on teaching. For elementary level students you will need lots of manipulatives if you are teaching math. The students need as many hands on experiences as possible. It doesn't always have to be the ones from the education stores either, as those get very pricy. You could use things such as popsicle sticks, buttons, different types of erasers, coins, etc.

I rarely let my students use calculators but I do have a set on hand. You will definitely need an amazing pencil sharpener. Spend the money on it because you won't regret it later. The cheaper ones are always breaking...

I also bought lots of posters,a calendar, and math review games whenI first started teaching. Hope this helps :)

Eri 09-30-2011 10:47 AM

Thanks! That helps a lot. By "copy paper and furniture" I mean that all I will get in the room will be desks/chairs/etc. and copy paper to use, I have to supply basically everything else. So I'm trying to put a list together of what I would need for the room. :)

CmonkE 09-30-2011 07:42 PM

If you will be using your own money to decorate your room I would suggest frequenting teacher blogs and check out teachers pay

The posters from the education stores can be quite expensive. There are many really amazing teachers out there who are wonderful with the computers and crazily creative. They create tons of signs and posters and share their files. You could also always find things on teacherspayteachers for a fraction of the price you'd pay at the ed. stores.

Use sites like You could create lots of things through this site. Sign up and wait for some of their special offers and deals. They often send out 'free items', free shipping, 80% off certain items. Really really good deals! I recently got about $90 worth of things for only 18$ (which included my shipping that was 12). If you know you will have certain things on your whiteboard or a filing cabinet use the car magnets. They are really good! You can also create things on banners. Explore the site and you could also check out the group 'vista print addicts' for ideas.

Forgot to mention that you'd also want things like a really good stapler, a good pair of scissors, lots of paper clips, 2 and 3 whole punch, baskets (i use these for everything). If you are going to go the basket route to organize things buy them through discount stores (dollar tree, price busters, etc) because the baskets from the ed. stores are a rip off.

Lots of teachers like to use book boxes for students to store their books/supplies. You could use ice cube tray holders for a fraction of the cost and decorate them to your liking.

binkbonk 10-01-2011 05:14 AM

I am are student teaching and are being given your own classroom? I have never heard of such a thing.

Tessa_Rue 10-12-2011 03:26 PM

Binkbonk, I am pretty sure she's talking about when she is finished with school and gets a job.

CmonkE, when I first started teaching I even went out and bought a few chairs because not only did I not have enough, many of the ones I did have were broken and would pinch my kiddos. I also used duct tape and pattern blocks to make my tables even! And we weren't supplied with copy paper - we would ask our parents to provide it, and once you were out, unless you bought your own, too bad! Hopefully your situation will be better! I would definitely wait to see what you really need once you get on the classroom and then go.from there. Except the pencil sharpener! I agree, invest in an awesome one! And once you know what you need, check out sales, garage sales, goodwill, salvation army, Craigslist, donorschoose, friends, etc. Spend as little money as possible!!

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