Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Must Have Monday and Tried It Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!  Sabra at Teaching with a Touch of Twang is hosting a new linky party called “Must Have Monday”!! (Yes, I am a day late.) I love linky parties because I am able to find wonderful new (to me) blogs to follow.  I, also, love all the new ideas, tips, and resources I am learning about from fellow bloggers.  I am also linking up for the first time with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday.  I faithfully look at her blog each Tuesday to read all the great ideas that others blog about, so I thought today was my day to link up, too.
I can name a long list of must have items for my classroom, but I am going to limit myself to three this week.  All three items fit well together and have helped me tremendously!  Now that I have them, I don’t know how I would function without them.
My first item is my Brother MFC J430w Printer.  I love this printer because it saves me money and produces great color copies.  I make a lot of literacy and math center materials for my classroom and I like to print them in color.  This printer has made that possible.  Brother printers allow for you to change separate colors instead of an entire ink cartridge.  When my blue ink is low I can change just blue and not worry about losing other valuable ink due to one color.  The prices of the cartridges are a great buy, too!  I purchased mine from Staples when it was being sold for $68.00.  (That was a $30.00 savings.)

Next up is the famous Scotch Laminator.  This laminator and I have been best friends for the last three years.  I laminate anything that crosses my path!  It has truly helped my center activities and task cards to last through the years.  I purchased it for $25 at Walmart and I have never regretted it!  (I do believe they are now $30.)  I purchase the laminating sheets from Sam’s Club.  They are $20.00 for 200 sheets.  I am on box number 4 for this school year!  I think I am in need of a support group!

Last but not least I need something to print on and laminate.  That is where cardstock comes into the picture.  I purchase both white and colored cardstock.  I try and stock up on it when Michael’s or AC Moore Craft Stores have it on sale.  Both stores offer weekly coupons and if I am driving by the store I will run in to grab a pack of cardstock.  Both stores offer teachers 15% off with their work ID.  Michael’s is definitely easier to use your discount.  The sales cashier can just scan a code to get the discount, but at AC Moore you have to wait for a manager to verify the discount.  I do appreciate both stores for recognizing teachers.
What are your classroom “must haves”? 
Don’t forget to link up or stop by Teaching with a Touch of Twang to see what other teachers “must have”.  I am sure you will find something new to add to your “summer must purchase list”.
Now it is time for Tried It Tuesday.
Each year I am trying to find a better way to help my students stay organized and help the supplies last all year.  This year I think I have a solution that I finally like. 
Each child in my classroom has a pencil pouch where they keep three pencils, a green pin for grading, a blue erasable pen, a pink eraser, and a box of crayons.  Nothing else is allowed to be placed in the pouch. 
On the top of each group of desks we have these...

I just call them their “group supply crates”. In each crate you will find, enough pairs of scissors for everyone in the group, a bottle of Elmer’s Glue All, individual boxes of colored pencils, two pencil sharpeners (for the color pencils, only), and sticky notes.
 These are the pencil boxes that hold each student’s color pencils. The color pencil boxes are numbered, so that the same child gets this box all year.
I have found that not having so many “fun” things to play with in their desk have helped my students to stay focused while working independently.  I have less complaining about “Someone took my supplies!” or “I left it at home.” I have had to replace very few things this year. 
Each morning students may exchange up to three dull/broken pencils for sharpened ones.  We also do a pencil exchange right after recess/lunch. One of the class jobs in my room is to sharpen pencils at the end of each day.  (My students keep their jobs for a full month.) This has helped my students be responsible for keeping up with their pencils and also my pencil sharpener has lasted all year for the first time EVER!
Don’t forget to link up or stop by Teaching with a Touch of Twang to see what other teachers “must have” and Fourth Grade Flipper to see what is working in other classrooms.  I am sure you will find something new to add to your “summer must purchase list” and wonderful tips, ideas, or resources for your classroom.
As always, thank you for stopping by and I love responding to comments!


  1. I think I have that same laminator and I think I got it for $25 at Target! I also got my laminating sheets at SAMS! It makes me happy (there's probably something wrong with that!). I love how it's the hard laminating!

    I love how organized your supplies are! I love those boxes for the colored pencils! The boxes them come in tear up so quick!

    Have a great week!
    Collaboration Cuties

  2. So many great ideas! I can't wait to get my laminator after everyone is praising them left and right. I love how you organize your supplies too! I'll definitely be trying out that color pencils box, my kiddos are constantly forgetting theirs at home, lol. Thanks for linking up and sharing!

    Teaching with a Touch of Twang

  3. I also blogged about the laminator (BFF)! I have one at home and one at school! Once you start, you can't stop right? I, too, have an obsession with cardstock! (I'm posting about it next week!). We have the same sets! :O) Your supplies look so organized!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  4. Laminator! LOVE!! I am also on my 4th box of sheets this year. I can be a member of your support group! haha! I love your baskets for organizing supplies too. We have student desks and even if I had them share supplies with desks together, the desks of some students would still wind up a mess! It drives me bonkers! Thanks for linking up:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  5. Ahhh all of these blogs are making me NEED my own laminator too!! I also love card stock :)

    Literacy Spark