In this excerpt, Carolyn McGown write about supplies that you'll need at the beginning of the year.
Printer Paper: The plain white paper is for drawings and art projects,
as well as graphs and other un-lined assignments. Start the year with
one full ream.
Buy regular, non-skid one inch and 11/2-2 inch paper clips. Fancy colors
and fancy shapes don't work better (they often work less well) and they
Pencils are a horror. No-one outside of teaching understands this. Pencils
disappear. Pencils break. Pencils are jabbed into unsuspecting little
arms. Pencils are fought over. Pencils are thrown – out windows, at
substitute teachers, at non-substitute teachers, and across the cafeteria.
Without systematic vigilance, teachers can go through a dozen pencils an
hour. Kids also eat pencils, or so it seems. They will "borrow" pencils from
the teacher, and from other students, and they will never return them.
You must buy a good supply of pencils, and you must set up an effective
pencil-routine (see Pencils).
I would never start a school year with fewer than 5 dozen pencils. Do not
buy the cheap ones - the eraser part falls off, the wood crumbles in the
sharpener, the lead (graphite) breaks, the erasers leave pink smudges,
etc. Stick to the known pencil companies – Ticonderoga TM, Dixon TM,
etc. Buy only yellow #2 pencils. Do not buy colored or decorated pencils;
you want to avoid the "No, I had the red one" fights that are such a joy to
referee. In addition, you should always have the #2's on hand for
standardized testing and practice testing. The better pencil brands,
however, can be surprisingly expensive, especially with the cheap ones so
apparently and tantalizingly similar. Suck it up, and keep an eye out for
Many classrooms will have pencil sharpeners. If this is the case, you will
not have to purchase one. If your classroom does not have a pencil
sharpener, purchase a high-quality electric one. You will need to monitor
its use, because you want it to last (at least) one year. It is amazing the
items intelligent children will stick into a pencil sharpener.
You will do more writing that you would have ever thought possible as a
teacher. Buy pens that you really like; it's worth the splurge. In addition
Chapter 2: Physical Classroom
Classroom Survival page 25 Carolyn McGown