Making Use of School Resources
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
Before you go out and buy anything, look around your school building. You may find some things you need that could save you time and hard-earned money.
In our workroom, which is also our teacher's lounge (a double plus, since I can do little jobs at lunchtime), we have a whole row of copy machines. If I need to make multiple copies, I can use several machines at once (as long as no one else is using them, of course) and cut my time making copies by half, thirds, or even more.
We are also lucky enough to have a die cut machine and a large collection of die cuts in various shapes and sizes. I use die cuts for things like decorating my bulletin boards, designing awards, making pieces for center games and letter practice, and creating art projects.
With the bookbinding machine, I make class books, sight word and vocabulary books, center books, and memory books.
Our workroom also has rolls of butcher paper, an oversize paper cutter, a laminating machine, an electric three-hole punch, an electric pencil sharpener, and office supplies such as a stapler, scissors, paper clips, tape, etc.
Sometimes I bring a bin with my own supplies so I can carry them around the workroom with me. Other teachers have pencil cases filled with supplies, which they keep in their mailboxes. But the bin is also handy for taking materials back to the classroom without dropping them, which I would otherwise do.
Don't forget about the school office for everyday items you might need. If I run out of sticky notes, tape, index cards, highlighters, pencils, binder clips — even batteries — I ask for them at the office, and they're usually there. If not, I'll ask the office manager if she can order them. I've even used the school credit card occasionally for buying stamps at the post office or ordering my own supplies online.
In the media room, we have a Gestetner machine that makes 75 copies a minute, which is useful when making copies for a grade level or the entire school. The Duplo machine makes 45 copies a minute and can print on construction paper and colored tag board.
Our librarian and school coaches have color printers, and when I ask nicely, they let me print center games and other things that look better in color than in black and white.
When I need an extra table, desk, garbage can, or bookshelf, I ask the custodians.
Finally, there is a storage room where seasonal materials and donations are kept, and where teachers drop off things they no longer need. This is the place to look when I need something unusual, like math manipulatives or carnival games.
Your school may be a resource you didn't even know about. If you don't ask, you'll never know!