Sunday, October 26, 2014

Supplies, supplies, supplies

A recent tweet from @RPhillipsMath made me start thinking about the necessary supplies for a math classroom.  Last year I taught 7th grade, the years before that 8th or even one year it was 7th and 8th.  This year I'm teaching high school (Pre-Calc & Geometry) and I switched schools and even districts.  There were a lot of luxuries that I had at my previous school that I didn't realize were luxuries until... I didn't have them.

At the beginning of my 1st year at my old school they gave every teacher a "New Teacher Supply Box".  This box contained things like:

  • Stapler
  • Tape dispenser 
  • Extra rolls of tape 
  • 3-hole punch 
  • Markers 
  • Colored pencils 
  • Lined paper 
  • Elmer's glue 
Our district had a contract with Office Depot so the supplies came from there. 

We also had $250 (per year) that we could spend on whatever we wanted.  Over the 5 years I used a lot of things, purchased more things, collected some very useful items from eNasco Math like: 

We did have some supplies that we shared, like a class-set of graphing calculators.  

I even wanted to get some of these things: 
Now I'm at a school where I'm starting with a clean slate.  I inherited a classroom from another math teacher who left so I had some supplies (not very many) in the room when I came in.  There were broken compasses, small metal protractors, no markers, no colored pencils, no construction paper.  A lot of the supplies I was used to using weren't around anymore so... what's a girl to do?  

Write a DonorsChoose grant of course!  So now I have 2 DonorsChoose projects with some supplies that I have considered essential for instruction. 
Supplies will always be something teachers have to contend with, but hopefully with clear communication everyone can get what they need to make the classroom feel alive.  

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