Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Disclaimer: This post is school-related. I teach, it's bound to happen from time to time. But, I promise it's delightful! Scroll to the bottom for pics.

In case you didn't notice from yesterday's post, I'm not one for splurging on things that aren't a necessity. Shoes are necessities, right?!?! Anyway, my point is that I know how to stretch a dollar or two. I can be one frugal lady.
I've been buying things for my classroom for years. Yes, way before I had a classroom. Heck, way before I had even graduated college with a degree that allowed me to teach. It started out innocent enough with trips to Target's dollar section, a random excursion to Building 19 3/456, after holiday sales for decorations, craigslist perusing while watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, on breaks at my retail job, used bookstores, clearance tables at bookstores, and then one day the teacher store at the mall was closing. This was the day it all really started. The day I realized that even though I had been getting sweet deals on teaching trinkets, there were much bigger eggs I should be adding to my basket. Construction paper, stickers, die-cut letters, manipulatives, math games, file folder games, decorative file folders, shelving systems... oh my! My world has been full of teaching stores & websites ever since.

Now let me interrupt this by saying that one of my very best friends in life is a hair dresser & I've been with her to beauty supply stores. The deals there are extraordinary. That Paul Mitchell dye they put in your hair? They buy it at half price. That OPI nail polish you can buy at Target? Yeah, they pay $4. Don't even get me started on flat irons! I'm positive that other professions get great deals on things, right? I would hope they do. Not teachers. Teaching stores don't offer any 50% off deals. If that book cost $24.99 from the manufacturer, you'd better believe that's what your teacher butt is going to pay. Maybe more if you aren't careful where you shop. Is that a complaint? Maybe. But it's definitely an observation.

Okay, back to the excitement-

Last year, I took over a 4th grade classroom after a beloved teacher had passed away. I came into the classroom with the supplies I had already purchased and found that {believe it or not} I still needed more. I'm not a worksheet teacher and I needed manipulatives, games, things to really open students' eyes that learning could actually be fun and something that you want to do forever. I knew that my wallet alone couldn't fund turning a classroom into a place where the possibilities were endless. So, I decided to go on a bender searching for various fundraising options. I found several, wrote out plans, wrote out profiles and waited. Then it happened & our classroom was adopted by a company in Massachusetts. I had $250 to spend on supplies from a list of companies. Knowing what I already knew, I had quite the job ahead of me to find the best deals & the best shipping prices possible.

This year, I revamped my profile because I had a new agenda {science, science, science} and a new group of kiddos to share a room with for 180 days {okay, less because I was hired at the end of September, but you know what I mean}. It happened again! Within one month of editing our class profile, we were adopted & given $250 to spend. I spent many hours coming up with what we needed, scouring each site for the least expensive items & shipping costs and finally sent my order in. I'm so excited to show you what I found. Are you ready for this jelly? I think maybe you are ready for this jelly. Without further ado, I bring to you:

tornado tubes for our weather unit
pipettes for each student because we always need these for various experiments
recycled science 101.
Less worksheets, more hands-on activities in all academic areas
these books are full of great printable activities for each of my kiddos
This will really help when we're filling out our charts for all the ways we use math in our daily lives.
Including reading directions, which is even difficult for me sometimes
A few comprehension cubes for my small group work. No more dollar store inflatable beach balls for us... maybe.
2 hanging bag racks to store our math activities. One for basic principles & one for more difficult concepts
Storage for our graphic organizers
Storage for Reading File Folder Games

Storage for Science & Social Studies File Folder Games
2 paper bookshelves so the kids will notice all of the books available in our classroom library & so the librarians can add more popular books & new books to the collection.

Super cute stationery which I will laminate & use as locker tags.

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