Before you head out the door and lock up that classroom for a few weeks of well deserved rejuvenation, schedule a day to take inventory of your supplies and make a list of what you could use for next year. You may even have some eager students who would love to spend an afternoon helping you sort materials and create a wish list. This can be a fun opportunity for you to mentally and physically de-clutter while involving your students!
Take Inventory: In less than an hour you can quickly run through the materials in your class (or have a student do this) to make a list of the supplies you have in stock. Lab teachers – you may need a little more time to catalogue your lab equipment, but I promise the investment will be worthwhile! Once you have a list, have your student helper transfer the information onto an electronic document for use next year. Check out this template for quick and easy organization. See last weeks’ “Purge and Plan” for more detailed ideas!
“I Need”: Create your “I Need” list first. This list would include supplies necessary for your class to function next year. You may need more paper, scissors, pens or pencils, glue sticks, etc. Think of this as your bare essentials to allow students to complete tasks in your classroom.
“I Want”: Now it is time to capture down your fun wish list! What would you love to have, that would enhance your learning environment? The list can include small, consumable products such as magazines and craft supplies, AV resources such as DVD series, equipment or projectors, or maybe even large equipment such as desks, file cabinets, or bookshelves. Prioritize your “I Want” list and brainstorm possible ways to acquire these resources.
“I Could Part With”: Take inventory of what you have and quickly list any equipment, materials, or resources you do not use and could part with. This will help you use your space efficiently, and these items may become great bargaining pieces to trade for something on your want list!
Share: Share your list with your students, and email out to staff or post in the staff room at school. Who knows, maybe a teacher across campus has a bookshelf they would like to trade for that extra file cabinet you have. Or maybe a parent has the past 10 years worth of National Geographic magazines and would love to donate them to your class!