May 16, 2007
When my students clean out their lockers at the end of the year, I roll a cart up and down the halls behind them. I ask them in advance to donate any usable supplies. I collect half-used spirals, somewhat worn binders, boxes of crayons and markers, etc. The kids are pleased to help out with the recycling, and I use everything up the following year. I tear paper out of the spirals and have it in an emergency box in my classroom. I never have to buy crayons, markers, or colored pencils for hands-on projects. In addition, when the new school year begins, I always have some kids whose families are unable to fully supply them with the materials they need. I sort through the notebooks, folders, dividers, pens and pencils, etc. and put the best of them on a side shelf in my classroom. In order to save kids from embarrassment, I offer to let kids 'get what you need to use until your folks have time to get to the store.' After a few weeks, all the notebooks look alike, and nobody remembers who picked things up from my shelf.