Lets face it. Teaching Kindergarten is expensive. I am hoping that I can give you some tips and advice to make it affordable to your pocket book and not break the bank.
This is a teachers gift from heaven! Books, manipulatives, outdoor learning materials for centers as well as classroom decor items can all be purchased here for a reasonable price. Are you okay with painting? Are you allowed to bring in shelves? If you are you can easily make a gorgeous room out of second hand resources!
The dollar store truly has become a teachers favorite place to shop. To be honest, it isn’t my pocket books favorite place. I’ve spent too much over the years here. Be very selective about what you bring in. Try to ensure you can use it throughout the year instead of purchasing single use items.
The Giving Tree
At the beginning of the year have parents sign up on a giving tree. They pick an item that you are needing and that they are willing to purchase off the tree and bring it back as soon as they can!
Send a note home for parents about materials you are looking for.
Even share photos of what you want with your friends and family on Facebook! You would be shocked how happy your family and friends will be at purging what they don’t need and that they are able to help you out!
I know it sounds silly to mention it, but looking through what you already own will often shock you about what resources you already have. Spend time in the summer sorting your materials and you’ll likely find some gems you forgot you owned!
Does your creation station need some new material? Keep safe recyclables to add to your learning materials and teach your students about how you can reuse items to help to save the earth!
Do you teach an inquiry based program?
Brainstorm ideas of what your learning about and collaborate with the kids about what you need in the classroom. Send a note home to the parents. Consider having a template and have students add their ideas in their own printing to increase student ownership in the inquiry!
P.S. keep a note about who brought in different items and send it home at the end of the inquiry! Keep your own life from becoming cluttered!
Holidays/End of Year
Do you have something that you “need” for your class? Would you enjoy a gift card to an educational store or even the dollar store? Consider sending a note home to parents and listing theses ideas as alternatives in leu of teacher gifts. Parents might appreciate knowing they are investing in their child’s learning environment!
Use your Budget
I know many teachers who do not use up their allocated classroom budget. Don’t be afraid or forget to use it! Many do. Do you have any other tips for teachers who are trying to stay on a budget?