Tricks of the Trade Thursdays: Student Supplies

Hello ladies and gentleman!
Welcome to another exciting edition of...
Tricks of the Trade Thursdays!
Today's topic is...
Here are some of my "tricks of the trade"
Supply Lists
At my old school, the teachers decided what they wanted on their class's supply list and the list went home twice: once one the last day of school and once about mid-August.
One of my most valuable organizational tips
can be summed up in one word:
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I label EVERYTHING!
In my classroom I give each students a number and ask them to label ALL of their supplies with either their initials or their number (or both!) This really helps the students keep track of lost items and return runaway markers to their rightful owners.
We also spend a great deal of time on the second day of school labeling our journals and our folders with our names and specific subjects they will be used for.
I usually have them label the box of markers, but I love how The Clutter-Free Classroom takes it one step further and labels the individual markers: Genius!
Clutter-Free Classroom: Organization Tip: Numbering Student Supplies

Duck tape!
Now the students start the year with all of these items, but it isn't long before slowly but surely they disappear.  I don't mind letting them use mine - as long as they get returned. To ensure that they're returned, I've come up with a quick and easy way to look out and see if a student is using one of my supply items - I've cut small strips of colorful duck tape and wound it around the item. Students don't normally mean to keep the items, but sometimes they get hurriedly stuffed into their desks or pencil pouches. Now they can easily check to see if they've kidnapped something that belongs to me :)

Whole-class supplies:
Crayola makes these HUGE kits of whole class crayons and markers and I LOVE them! I got my crayon box at a garage sale! It had never been opened. It is regularly $55, but he sold it to me for $5!!!
Students could come and borrow crayons if they needed a specific color (or if their pack had "walked away" during the night) but I didn't want them to just grab a handful and take it to their desk, so I bought these from the Dollar Tree:
They're actually banana split bowls :) but they are the perfect size for transporting crayons and markers across the room.

Group caddies:
I also found these small divided containers from the Dollar Spot at Target that I'll use when passing out special supplies, such as dry erase markers, crazy scissors, glue, glitter, etc. They can also be used for centers or to hold spare regular supplies for the table group.
Here's another great idea:
Put plastic cups filled with supplies
inside a muffin tin on each table:
student supplies caddy- using plastic cups put inside a muffin tin!
Supply Buckets
I also found this cute idea from KinderCraze:
super-cute pails for students supplies
 She bought plain buckets and then
jazzed them up with vinyl embellishments :)
Here's another cute bucket idea from "The Creative Chalkboard"
The Creative Chalkboard: Classroom Tour Pictures Galore!
McCumbee Talent Development has some really cute FREE supply labels for you:

Students who are
Missing Supplies
The school year starts and the students run to the classroom, their backpacks brimming with newly bought and freshly labeled school supplies! Then, slowly but surely, throughout the year, these precious school supplies disappear! They walk away! They get stolen. They go missing. So what do you do?
You send home this handy-dandy checklist for parents to see which essential supplies are needed ASAP. I have my students highlight the supplies they are missing on the checklist and I usually give them a date when I want all of the missing supplies in by. I send an e-mail to the parents, stressing the importance of being prepared, and how it keeps the classroom running smoothly when all students have their required supplies.

Now it's your turn!

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