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August 16, 2017

Back-to-School Bargains to Outfit Your Classroom

By Nancy Jang
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    Welcome back to Top Teaching! This is my third time blogging for Scholastic, and I am excited to announce that change is in the air! In my district, we are adopting TWO new major programs: a new language arts program and a new math program. On top of that, I’m moving to first grade after teaching second grade for 18 years!

    Traditionally, my kiddos have their first day of school the day after Labor Day. That's September 5 this year. The staff starts with staff development and prep the week before. So, I have a little more summer vacation left and time to set up my room before my kiddos arrive. This is what my room looks like today, but stay tuned to see the fabulous transformation in the weeks to come.

    Just like all the other teachers across the country, I’m getting my classroom ready and doing some necessary (but fun!) back-to-school shopping. Last year, I shared with you some of my favorite classroom must-haves from IKEA, and this year I’d like to show you some of the treasures I found at Target! You may have your own favorite go-to store for supplies, and many of the items I'm mentioning here can be purchased at art supplies, dollar stores, or drug stores.

    I’m a huge fan of the Dollar Spot, also known as Bullseye’s Playground. This area is usually at the front of the store and filled with items that range from $1–$5. The stock in this area turns over quickly, so grab these goodies while they last!

    First, I grabbed a bunch of different items to decorate my bulletin boards. During the school year, I change the titles and content, but I don’t change the borders or backgrounds. These giant letters, calendar numbers, and banners will make setting up a breeze! The calendar pack that I bought comes with cards that have the days of the week, the numbers 1–31, and the months of the year. These are actually NOT going on my calendar, since I have special cards with my math program. Instead, I am going to use the numbered cards to label my cubbies with student numbers. It’s the exact color scheme I want and the best part is that it’s only $1! (Luckily, I don’t have more than 31 students.)

    Next, I bought these cute teacher planner stickers and jumbo paper clips from the Dollar Spot to go with the adorable Scholastic Planner I purchased at the end of last year, to give as little Welcome Back gifts for my teammates! Check out this post and video by Top Teaching blogger Lindsey Petlak on the features of this versatile planner.

    Most schools have a die-cut machine, but I’m not a huge fan because it’s time consuming and I feel like I waste tons of paper. I either print banners on paper using my printer (using way too much precious ink), draw my own letters on chalkboard banners, or use these awesome Elmer’s Letter and Numbers. These are NOT in the dollar section, but still affordable at under $5. You get 305 peel-and-stick repositionable letters and numbers in a package. They are two-and-a-half inches tall, and they come in black or assorted colors. They can be found in the area with poster board and art supplies.

    I love to buy these party banners, fans, and plates from the party section to use on my bulletin boards. Although they are not in the dollar area, everything pictured is priced under $5.

    The ice packs will be great to use for minor boo-boos, and the chalkboards are going to be great for center signs. The chalkboard blocks are going into my centers. I’m planning on writing sight words on each face and creating a board game for them. The dry erase clips are going to be used for calendar reminders. For my new math program, we have a calendar that is great for reviewing number concepts, but not great for reminding me that we have an assembly that day. Now with the dry erase clips, I can write the reminder directly on the clip with a dry erase marker and clip it to that day of the week!

    In the summer, when I am not napping, shopping, or spending time with my friends and family, I LOVE to travel! I caught the travel bug at a young age because my dad worked for China Airlines and we traveled every chance we had. I’m very lucky to have a great career that I love and that allows me to continue to have great adventures around the world. This summer I walked all over New York City; snorkeled in Kauai, Hawaii; and learned to surf in Oahu, Hawaii. Some of my other favorite places include Sedona, Arizona; New Orleans; and Costa Rica.

        

    When I am at home, I love to watch the Denver Broncos play, and I love to spend time with friends in my backyard barbecuing, or roasting marshmallows in my fire pit. My favorite time is having a cup of coffee sitting at the table in the morning before work.

        

    Thank you for checking out my blog post and I hope that you have an amazing class full of enthusiastic learners. I can’t wait to meet my little firsties and share my classroom and kiddos with all of you!

    Happy Teaching,

    Nancy

     

    Welcome back to Top Teaching! This is my third time blogging for Scholastic, and I am excited to announce that change is in the air! In my district, we are adopting TWO new major programs: a new language arts program and a new math program. On top of that, I’m moving to first grade after teaching second grade for 18 years!

    Traditionally, my kiddos have their first day of school the day after Labor Day. That's September 5 this year. The staff starts with staff development and prep the week before. So, I have a little more summer vacation left and time to set up my room before my kiddos arrive. This is what my room looks like today, but stay tuned to see the fabulous transformation in the weeks to come.

    Just like all the other teachers across the country, I’m getting my classroom ready and doing some necessary (but fun!) back-to-school shopping. Last year, I shared with you some of my favorite classroom must-haves from IKEA, and this year I’d like to show you some of the treasures I found at Target! You may have your own favorite go-to store for supplies, and many of the items I'm mentioning here can be purchased at art supplies, dollar stores, or drug stores.

    I’m a huge fan of the Dollar Spot, also known as Bullseye’s Playground. This area is usually at the front of the store and filled with items that range from $1–$5. The stock in this area turns over quickly, so grab these goodies while they last!

    First, I grabbed a bunch of different items to decorate my bulletin boards. During the school year, I change the titles and content, but I don’t change the borders or backgrounds. These giant letters, calendar numbers, and banners will make setting up a breeze! The calendar pack that I bought comes with cards that have the days of the week, the numbers 1–31, and the months of the year. These are actually NOT going on my calendar, since I have special cards with my math program. Instead, I am going to use the numbered cards to label my cubbies with student numbers. It’s the exact color scheme I want and the best part is that it’s only $1! (Luckily, I don’t have more than 31 students.)

    Next, I bought these cute teacher planner stickers and jumbo paper clips from the Dollar Spot to go with the adorable Scholastic Planner I purchased at the end of last year, to give as little Welcome Back gifts for my teammates! Check out this post and video by Top Teaching blogger Lindsey Petlak on the features of this versatile planner.

    Most schools have a die-cut machine, but I’m not a huge fan because it’s time consuming and I feel like I waste tons of paper. I either print banners on paper using my printer (using way too much precious ink), draw my own letters on chalkboard banners, or use these awesome Elmer’s Letter and Numbers. These are NOT in the dollar section, but still affordable at under $5. You get 305 peel-and-stick repositionable letters and numbers in a package. They are two-and-a-half inches tall, and they come in black or assorted colors. They can be found in the area with poster board and art supplies.

    I love to buy these party banners, fans, and plates from the party section to use on my bulletin boards. Although they are not in the dollar area, everything pictured is priced under $5.

    The ice packs will be great to use for minor boo-boos, and the chalkboards are going to be great for center signs. The chalkboard blocks are going into my centers. I’m planning on writing sight words on each face and creating a board game for them. The dry erase clips are going to be used for calendar reminders. For my new math program, we have a calendar that is great for reviewing number concepts, but not great for reminding me that we have an assembly that day. Now with the dry erase clips, I can write the reminder directly on the clip with a dry erase marker and clip it to that day of the week!

    In the summer, when I am not napping, shopping, or spending time with my friends and family, I LOVE to travel! I caught the travel bug at a young age because my dad worked for China Airlines and we traveled every chance we had. I’m very lucky to have a great career that I love and that allows me to continue to have great adventures around the world. This summer I walked all over New York City; snorkeled in Kauai, Hawaii; and learned to surf in Oahu, Hawaii. Some of my other favorite places include Sedona, Arizona; New Orleans; and Costa Rica.

        

    When I am at home, I love to watch the Denver Broncos play, and I love to spend time with friends in my backyard barbecuing, or roasting marshmallows in my fire pit. My favorite time is having a cup of coffee sitting at the table in the morning before work.

        

    Thank you for checking out my blog post and I hope that you have an amazing class full of enthusiastic learners. I can’t wait to meet my little firsties and share my classroom and kiddos with all of you!

    Happy Teaching,

    Nancy

     

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Susan Cheyney

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