“These days, you’ve gotta milk a dollar out of every dime.”
– Gayle Forman, Where She Went
Though students will be heading back to school in a little over a month, teachers will head back sooner to prep and plan for an yet another awesome school year. This involves stocking classroom supplies, decorating said classroom, and designing lessons, all to engage our new legions of learners. More often than not, teachers will not receive classroom funds until later in the fall (if any), and it takes the mixture of teachers’ creativity, resourcefulness, and ingenuity to turn the new-school-year visions into reality.
Below you will find links to my favorite sites in locating variety of helpful resources for teacher supplies, resources, and tools to make the new academic year awesome despite a limited budget.
NAEIR – This is the site for the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources. The organization offers school teachers a FREE membership through its Teacher’s Program. Here you will find a variety of useful and inexpensive school supplies from donors such as 3M, Expo, Post-It, Crayola, Scotch, Sharpie, Avery, Papermate, Bic, and more. Essentially, corporations donate overstock to NAEIR, and NAEIR offers it to members for a nominal handling fee.
Personally, I have ordered repeatedly, and, honestly, it has truly become a supply life-saver. Most recently (last night), I splurged on some must-have goodies. A few examples of savings from my past orders include:
6 Post-It BIG pads for $12 ( HUGE savings)
15 Sharpie pens for $3.50
600 College Sports-Themed Index cards for $4.50
1 12×12 Command Dry-Erase wall Tile for $3
2 Expo Dry Erase sets (cleaner and markers) for $8.25
1 Student Expo Student Whiteboard set (2-sided board, 4 markers, and eraser) for $5
48 Post-it Designer notepads for $3
6 Post-It Weekly To-Do Calendars for $1
1200 Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches $12
Note, the above prices are the handling fees. The products themselves are FREE. Still not sure? Check out the Teaching Supplies Next-to-Nothing Facebook Group to see pictures of fabulous teacher orders. Seeing is believing, my friends. To join, be sure to register as soon as possible since membership takes a few days to process.
Participate Learning – The continuous learning section of Participate Learning’s site offers educators a place to find new teaching resources and tools (traditional and technology based), to curate them into easy-to-access collections, and to share them with other educators. Users may also use the Chats feature to track and participate in Twitter chats easily, whether live or reading transcripts of past chats. This is a MUST-SEE if you have ever wondered about Twitter chats for learning. Go ahead, search for something you will teach this year by subject, grade, standard, or tags.
Teachers Give Teachers – This is the homebase for the HyperDoc Girls, who created the HyperDoc Handbook. This site allows teachers to share HyperDocs (interactive Google Docs for learning) on a variety of subject as well as free templates to create your very own for the new school year. Remember, a hyperdoc is more than just links within a document, it allows for student engagement and collaboration for learning.
As you prepare for the upcoming school year, feel free to share your finds (from these sites or your personal favorites) with me in the comments below.