Friday, July 8, 2011

What should I spend my money on?

Every teacher at my school gets $150 to spend on their classroom for the year. As a first year teacher I get an additional $100 to spend. I can use the money on whatever I want (organization items, classroom supplies, games, posters, etc.). Since I am a first year teacher, I'm not sure how to best use the money and I am turning to my amazing blogging community for help.

Please comment or post (and leave a comment with your post) with ideas of things that I should spend money on or with the things that you bought with your budget money.

I would normally just go crazy with this amount of money but I dropped by my classroom today (I will post pics later) and I now realize that I have to keep certain things in mind:
  • I have all of the manipulatives needed for our math curriculum.
  • I have language games for every major skill and grammar. 
  • I have an amazing wheel-y easel with storage buckets underneath.
  • I have a healthy classroom library (due to library book sales, thrift stores, and the 5 boxes the former teacher left in the room).
  • I have a ton of large construction paper in multiple colors.
  • I have boxes of expo markers, paper clips, post-its, and other teacher supplies.
  • I have a file cabinet drawer full of glue sticks, markers, crayons, and other student supplies.
  • I have a class set of spiral notebooks AND composition notebooks (as with most of the other things on my list, this is also compliments of the former teacher, but I digress and will post more on that later tonight).
  • I have 7 tablets of medium-sized lined chart paper, 4 tablets of jumbo lined chart paper, and a jumbo tablet of graph paper.
  • I have 20+ colorful bins from Really Good Stuff to hold my classroom library.
  • I have 30+ colorful book bins from Really Good Stuff to hold individual student book picks.
  • I have some sets of guided reading books and there is another room in the school that houses sets of guided reading books to be checked out.
  • I have reading rods and other language manipulatives.
  • I have pocket charts in different sizes.
This list looks pretty full to me, but because I have not yet had my own classroom there might be something missing that you veteran teachers will catch. Please let me know what you think I should spend my $250 on. Thank you so much!



Kelli Beason said...

What language games do you have?

Madison said...

Wow, looks like somebody loves you. That is a lot of great stuff.
Do you have a calendar? Magnets?

Classroom Ringmaster said...

I have a similar cabinet in my room. I purchased the stackable plastic drawers (actually my husband used to use them as his dresser...seriously?) they fit perfectly into the "hanging" side of the cabinet. It really makes the storage more useful, and also being a newish teacher it was nice to have the boxes to pack in when I had to move schools...

Adrienne said...

I'm not exactly sure about the types of language games. I know I have some for reading skills/strategies like inferencing, sequencing, drawing conclusion, etc. I also have games for the different parts of speech and other things such as homophones, synonyms, antonyms, etc.

The teacher did leave me a lot of magnets and I got all the calendar things I needed from the Dollar Tree. It is not a pocket chart but we don't do calendar whole group in 3rd grade anyway.

Thanks for the input!!!

Kelli Beason said...

I would love to know what the games are when you have time to find out. I have never been able to find good games for language art skills.

Anonymous said...

It's been years since our school or PTA could afford to give us any allowances, but I have a tip from my teacher stipend glory days! :)

At our school, anything purchased with that money was considered school property. If you ever left the school, you had to leave those items behind. You might want to check on the stipulations at your school.

I always used my school money throughout the year on consumable items... ziploc bags, cookies or cupcakes or food for celebrations, special items for projects... that way, I didn't have to worry about leaving anything behind when I left the school.

When I found an item I really liked, I made sure to buy it with my own money so it belonged to me.

I enjoyed having that gift card in my wallet throughout the year when I needed something for class. I suggest you hang on to it and use it as needed! :)

✰ Mrs. Kincaid
Mrs. Kincaid’s First Grade

Adrienne said...

Thanks for the Great Advice!!

I will be sure to check on the language games next time I go in.

Just Julie said...

Wow! It sounds like you were lucky to get some good stuff. Will you teach all core subjects? If yes then I would make a list of what you think you would use for each subject and also a list of general teacher supplies (such as overhead markers, sharpies, velcro, etc.) Since it is your first classroom you will need to think about what you will put on the walls. Are you going to use a theme or decorate using general posters? Sometimes looking at a catalog or educational website will get you thinking. Good luck!

Adrienne said...

Julie, I will be teaching all subjects. Buying materials to teach specific content sounds like a great idea! I didn't even think of that. I don't have too much wall space because my classrooms is one of the smaller ones so bulletin boards, chalk boards, and white boards pretty much take up all of the space. O have already planned what i want to go on these boards. Thanks!!!

Melissa said...

I always have to make sure I save enough money in my school budget to replace my printer ink cartridges a few times a year (some schools may provide that but mine doesn't). And I also always need white and colored cardstock to print off all the awesome games and activities from everyone's blogs. Do you plan on using nameplates on the desks. Really Good Stuff has some great ones (that peel off easily at the end of the year) and they're about $30.00 a set.

Busy Bee said...

Do you have Dry Erase boards? I use them for response cards everyday!

Do you have a good electric pencil sharpener?

You are very lucky, every time I have had a new teaching position, I have been given an empty room and no extra money.

Mrs. Morris said...

You have great resources in your room. Wow and to get money like that, so cool! I would focus on things like paint, cleaning supplies, markers, etc. You will be using school money, so that means whatever you get belongs to the room and not to you. Make sure you are ok with parting with those things if you leave.

Simply 2nd Resources

Adrienne said...

Thank you all for the amazing tips!

Marge said...

WOW That is so weird to me to be given a sum of money per year. At my school we are provided with pretty much whatever we need as far as supplies go. Boy do i feel lucky. This is going to be my fourth year already but i still remember the first one. I would go through what you have and then i would wait a few months teach and then you will see what you are missing. I order stuff at the beginning of the year but by the end i wish i had ordered other things. Also on my supply list i create a section of supplies that the class can use but that are completely optional. Every year so far i pretty much have gotten great donations. I also like to look through the catalogs and see what i can make rather then buy.