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$100 burning a hole in my pocket

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$100 burning a hole in my pocket
Old 06-08-2011, 04:19 AM
 
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I just found out on Monday that I will be teaching PreK after a few years of being in first grade. I have $100 left of my $250 budget and I need to spend it ASAP. What are the essentials for PreK or the one bigger item I will need? I have nothing, I mean nothing, right now! Thanks!


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when you say nothing...
Old 06-08-2011, 06:04 AM
 
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Jen,

when you say nothing, what do you mean?? hehe...I mean, what is in your PreK classroom for furniture? Do you have basics like a calendar set up or typical preschool materials like unit blocks or a house center?
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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By nothing, I mean, I have items you would use for first grade....trade books, calendar set, posters, bear manipulatives, etc. I do not have anything for centers like dress-up clothes, kitchen set, trucks/cars, dolls, NO toys, just "first grade" materials I have used for the past few years. I did just find out that my $250 budget is back, so I have a bit more to spend. HELP! :-)
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Here's where i'd start
Old 06-08-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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Jen,

Oh my! I'd start with unit blocks-a starter set at Toys R Us are about 50-60 bucks (online). Can you use your money at yard sales/Goodwills? Or are you forced to spend in catalogs? Because u can usually find dolls, doll acc, or kitchen items at those places pretty cheap. Otherwise, I'd go that route-buying dramatic play toys. You could honestly make a
kitchen set if u are handy or know someone who can nail and paint fairly well.

Think outside the box here-look around your own place. Old clothes and acc for dressup? Old safe dishes or kitchenware for play? Start hounding friends with kids for gently used toys? Be prepared to spend some of your own money on toys. Hit dollar stores for sand/water toys. Create a sensory table by anchoring a rubbermaid tub to a flat surface or just use a small child's wading pool. Walmart and Target sell puzzles for a fair price. Playdoh and playdoh acc like rollers, cutters, (cookie cutters are favorites in my classroom), you can also make your own playdoh and color the dough for different colors. Does your school supply u with basics like construction paper or paint? Try Teacher's Discount for good prices on paper/paper. I'd pick up some Hot Wheels cars/trucks at Walmart (good priced) and plastic animals at a toy store are usually much cheaper than teacher catalogs.

I hope these suggestions help you.
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:06 PM
 
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I just finished a school year where the other Pre-K teacher was new to Pre-K, but had 25 years of first grade experience. She had letter stamps, counting manipulatives, magnetic alphabet letters, books like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Brown Bear, Bear Bear, pocket charts, dry erase boards, etc. It all fit right in. I agree that you will need blocks and dramatic play stuff. I hope you are allowed to shop at dollar stores etc. You can get cookie sheets for magnetic letters, puppets, play kitchen toys, giant dice, there. I picked up my used Little Tykes kitchen at a garage sale for $40, but it took some searching on Craig's List. Don't underestimate the value of construction paper and glue (which I assume will be provided). They love to make things to bring home! It's not all about providing expensive stuff from the teacher's supply store. Here's my Pre-K website for more ideas. http://www.growinginprek.com. Be sure to check out the favorites page for lots of free printable sites.


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Old 06-09-2011, 05:02 AM
 
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Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. The school budget has to come from catalogs and such, but I was planning to clean out my own childrens' playroom and I have already started hitting up friends. The $250 has to be spent today so I will start with some craft materials (one of my weaker areas. I am not crafty.) I will definitely check out your website! Thanks again everyone for the advice. You will be seeing me again!!!
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:31 AM
 
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More thoughts (since you are shopping from teacher catalogs) Pattern blocks, Magnadoodles, Magnet wands, easel.
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Money to Spend
Old 06-15-2011, 06:24 AM
 
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Can you shop on Ebay?? You will save a ton. The classroom catalogs are outrageous. Also go to yard sales and flea market this summer. I get all my block, toys, dress up clothes, etc. from there. Way cheaper.

You need a lot of glue, markers, crayons and such in preschool. I ask my parents each year at orientation for bigger items. I put Stickees on the chalkboard for items such as: ink cartridges, wipes, new movies, gift cards, sand box toys, card stock, just about anything i want. And i usually get every item. I even got a new flat screen tv and dvd player this past year. Don't be afraid to ask, you never know what you will get. Tell your parents that you need preschool toys and such, they will donate old ones.
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