OMG! It’s almost here!? Yup, the commercials have started and the memes are streaming. Time to get ready for the new school year. Teachers, its time to shake the sand out of your swimsuits. Back to School sales have started. Students aren’t the only one getting ready.
Many may not know, but I’m a preschool teacher. (Yes, I have patience for the little tikes ;-). Every year, I reinvent ways to simplify my classroom and throw in some fun, new decor ideas. I want my classroom to echo themes and color schemes (Teachers rhyme all day, everyday, LOL!).
Last year I didn’t take time to organize the environment. Although, I finish the year strong and students met their educational goals. This year I want to enrich the environment with more modern, colorful decor and organizational systems.
My fellow teachers, I want to give you some helpful tips. Plus, share some recent purchases I’ve made to start the year off, right!
- Budget, Budget, Budget
Always have a set budget for school supplies. Please set a realistic budget and be honest about what you can spend. Although we receive money from the school for supplies, its never enough. You can create the environment you need with a reasonable budget. Look from a lens of “what do I need”, versus “what I want”. Reuse items from previous years (if they are in good condition). Most of the materials were DIY projects I found on Pinterest. (Sidenote: Preschoolers love to do art projects). Also, work with colleagues to borrow materials. Teamwork makes the dreamwork!!
2. Sales Gals
For many teachers, the major educational stores are Lakeshore and Beckers, (well at least where I live). The price can range from high to low. Depending on the time of year and the items you choose. Both stores offer really good warranty on major items (furniture). I’d say purchase major furniture using the school budget and any small items try purchasing on your own dime. It’s really your own preference.
Recently, I learn the biggest sales are at the end of July, to the beginning of August. September is where the huge savings come in handy, major discounts. Be prepare for the crowds. Make sure to sign up for a membership card. Discounts apply only to certain items, make sure to check the terms & conditions. I’m not a fan of credit cards, but if you prefer to get one for even more savings, setup a spending budget to keep from going into debt.
Amazon is my favorite place to shop, compare for the best prices. Another great outlet, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar (or any dollar store for that matter). Teachers favorite store for small items. Remember those dollars add up, without hesitation, you can walk away with empty pockets. Be extremely conscious of your purchases. Its better to make a shopping list and stick to it.
2. Necessity is the Key
Never go into any store without a plan. Write a list of what is essential, especially just to jumpstart the school year. The environment decor can set the tone for the families, children, and you. In preschool setting, September is about introductory to students and families. I like to create an inviting classroom, were students (old and new) feel at peace.
3. Easy Decor
Color schemes are the key. Not too many bright colors and not too much dark colors. Meet somewhere in the neutral zone. Typical school colors: red, blue, and yellow, but these colors come in different levels of intensity. I find out that even setting up classroom displays sets the tone of the classroom. Label a collection of artwork in specific sections of the classroom. As well has resource posters, important signs, and shorten signs.
Make labels and signs simple to read. Make the environment stand out as an advertisement for easy access.
Below I want to share some of my purchases (Not sponsored):
One major investment I made last year, was a laminator. Useful to preserve posters, sentence strips, name-tags, etc. I can reuse throughout the years. I purchase mines from staples, between $30-$45.
Purchases from Beckers:
– (5pk) Fadeless, Glossy bulletin board paper $9.29ea.
-36 pieces Classic Accent: Bright Backpack (label the cubbies with student name & picture) $6.29
-Footprints 42 piece Accent (icons to represent where students should line-up) $5.49
-Stars 36 pieces $6.79
– (2pk) Bordette Vintage Lace Design $3.49ea.
-(2pk) Bordette Bandana Design $3.49ea.
-Star/Rainbow Calendar Cover-ups, 31 cards $3.29
-Cupcakes Jumbo Designer Cut-outs, 12 pieces $6.99 (label students birthday)
-Chalkboard Labels, 36 labels $4.99 (label containers in the closet & teacher desk)
Purchases from Dollar Tree:
-Jot File Folder
– (2pk) Jot File Folders 3 folders
– (4 pk) Jot Poster Letters
-Recycle activity kit
-(7pk) Word Strips (Sentence Strips)
-(2pk) Classroom decor kit
Many of these items are helpful to recreate an organizational environment, bonus of fun decor styles. A classroom should feel comfortable, peaceful, safe, and inviting. I hope these tips help you discover ways to advance the classroom this year.
I’d love to hear from you about some awesome ideas. Sharing is caring!