Take Advantage of Back-to-School Sales!

Or, don’t get cheap before school starts.  Back to School sales often occur in mid-summer.

If you can afford it, shop the Back-to-School sales for school supplies.  You will not find these prices for the rest of the year, guaranteed.  Last summer, my sister talked me into loosening my purse strings at the back-to-school sales.  My whole school year went more smoothly.

My recommended back-to-school shopping list for teachers:

> PENCILS!  You can never have too many.  Ticonderoga is the best brand.  Some of the other brands of pencils shred in the pencil sharpener.
> Mechanical pencils—if they’re cheap.  We use them for state testing week.  It saved our pencil sharpener and our sanity.
> Notebook paper packages for 1¢
> Folders for 1¢ (the kind with prongs, and the kind without.  I buy 35 each of several colors for classroom organization.
> Crayons for 20¢ or less.  I buy crayons for the class, but I don’t let kids keep them in their desk.  Keep these crayon boxes for special projects only.  Number the crayon boxes for accountability.
> Markers for $1 a box or less.  Great for art projects!
> Reams of copy paper at great sale prices.
> Expo markers for dry-erase boards.  After sale time, markers are often a dollar each.  During a sale, you might find 4 for a dollar.
> Expo board cleaner.  I went through ten bottles last year.
> Spiral notebooks at 5 or 10¢ apiece.  Don’t buy more if you already have a class set left over from last year.  After a few years of buying notebooks, you don’t need to buy them each year.

You probably don’t need:
> Individual pencil sharpeners.  I thought buying a few for each table would help classroom management, but we were cleaning pencil shavings all the time.  We took them away after about a week and no one complained.
> Colored pencils: many teachers like them, but I find they create pencil-sharpening logistics problems.  Crayons or markers are much easier to manage.
> Whiteboard erasers: you only need a few, and the district often supplies them.  Wash erasers with non-moisturizing dish soap a few times a year and let them air dry.  For some reason, spraying erasers with Windex after washing but before drying seems to help.

My favorite back-to-school store is Staples.  Why?
> I subscribe to the Staples weekly e-newsletter so I can go in on the first day of the sale.
> Many stores let teachers purchase in excess of the advertised limit for each sale.
> Perks from your teacher rewards card really add up.
> Staples matches competitor coupons.
> Easy rebates translate to free products in many cases.
> All of this might also be true for OfficeMax or other office supply stores.  I just have really good luck at Staples.

Best tip of all:
Copy your teacher rewards card code and ask parents to use it when they shop at Staples.

This is one in a series of posts for First Year Teachers.

Comments Off on Take Advantage of Back-to-School Sales!
Posted in Back to School,Classroom Management,Classroom setup,First Year Teachers by Corey Green @ Jul 9, 2010


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