Donations and Supplies

Happy Saturday!

I survived Back to School Night.  P.I.N., as we call it.  Parents, I'm Nervous, as I call it.

I survived.

I only had two no-shows.  

I had 26 families come to my first session.  My room was filled to capacity.  And the air conditioning kept going off.  And I talked very fast.  And probably a little too loud, as I have a tendency to do.  My husband often says, "Kristin, I'm right here."  My family often says, "Kristin, we're right here."  It gets worse when I'm excited or nervous so I imagine the parents went home with a headache after my presentation.

I may or may not have said that I do my best thinking in the shower.

What?  Why?  Why did I say that?  Like I need the parents to picture me thinking in the shower . . . 

Anywho . . . the parents had nice things to say to me (not to mention, I met the dad of the student that told me he calls me the "pixie teacher".  Yep.) and I had lots of parents sign up to volunteer in the classroom.  That's something.

And I'm looking forward to classroom donations.  We are not allowed to send out a Supply List like lots of you do . . . don't ask me why.  My sister just spent about $75 on supplies for her three kids because she was told to.  The end.  Your kid needs this and that and the other and so you have to provide it.  Not the case here.  Nope.  

We do get start up supplies from our school budget.  You know.  A box of crayons for each child.  Two dozen pencils for 30 kids (you do the math).  And some glue sticks and paper clips because those kids definitely need paper clips, otherwise how would they find them on the carpet and take them apart so that they become a weapon?  And we get one roll of scotch tape because kids need that.  Right?

We get a monthly supply budget which is anywhere from $1.00 to $1.50 per student.  It depends on the BUDGET.  And we can't carry over so I usually spend a large portion of the end of every month carrying the one and erasing a pencil cap eraser because I exceeded my budget by 2 cents.

I have a section on my weekly newsletter called "Can you help?" which translates to begging in most languages.

And then, at P.I.N., I always make a post-it garden in the hopes that parents will take a post-it and return the item I'm wishing for.

This year, all my post-its were taken by the end of the second session.  Which wasn't really a second session because only two parents came to that one.  So we sat at a table and talked about reality tv.  And the heat.

Not the cutest garden ever.  But I was in a hurry to go eat the dinner that
PTA provides for us every year before P.I.N. so that we don't have to
go out and get something.  We had Chinese food catered in.
I am a fan of egg rolls.

I've also made a giving tree with apple post-its.  And a teacher with speech bubble post-its.  That last one is the most fitting, but I had flower post-its this year.

I also printed out a wish list that parents could take home with them.  You can get a non-PDF version {HERE} if you'd like to adapt it.  

Do you do something similar?  Or cuter so that I can implement it next year?  Which I won't think about right now or I might start getting nervous about it too early . . . 


  1. Too cute..my latest blog features my "giving tree" :) I'm jealous that you had 26 families!!! I only had 3...it was sad.

    The Learning Tree

  2. Hey Kristin! I think it is a California legal thing that public schools can't ask for anything. We are always told that since it is a public school, we are not allowed to require parents to buy anything or to pay any money. I think in some states families are required to buy the textbooks. At my school we have started giving out student supply lists, but we call them "donation lists". We make it clear that NOBODY has to donate anything, but usually most do. Last year I had a giving tree with apple cutouts. Parents took ALL of my apples. I got so much stuff that it wasn't until about March that I had to ask/beg for more gluesticks.

    30 students? That makes my head spin. But I guess we will be there soon. We are just doing it slowly. After having 20 for years, we went to 21 and then 25 and now 26. I keep telling myself that it is just a few more. But then I think back to the good old days when I had 20 students (sometimes less). SIgh, sigh, and sigh.

    Hang in there! You are FANTASTIC!!!!

    An Open Door

  3. Just reading your post made me nervous and back to school night! Ugh! I'm sure they loved you. :)Thank you for the wish list ideas!

  4. I'm totally going to have to call it PIN night this year! I have the principal and reading specialists children in my class and I definitely don't want them to picture me in the shower! I've said some really stupid things at open house before because of nerves...let's hope this year isn't one of them!
    Sunny Days In Second Grade

  5. Great idea! Our Parent night is this week. I think I'll make a "the teacher's so broke I can't buy another thing garden" Can I put cash one one those little buds?

    First Grade @ Storybook Cafe

  6. I love that garden! It is so cute and your handwriting looks so pretty on the board!

    Also, your windchimes reminded me that once I was subbing and the room I was in had windchimes. They were SUPER low and I hit my head on them at least 5 times!! Bad news bears!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  7. I was just wondering how youre able to write the date that high? Hahaha can't wait to see your room IRL!!

  8. I totally could feel your pain! I also talk very loud for some reason and it gets worse when I am nervous. I get so tired of people telling me to "ssshhh." =)


  9. We can require basic school supplies, but we cannot require things like tissue, hand sanitizer, baggies, baby wipes, etc. That's interesting that you can't require anything! Also, this is random, but I love your handwriting!!

  10. I can't believe you don't have supply lists!! That's crazy!! I do a "Giving Tree" and mine is a palm tree and I use my Cricut to cut coconuts and put labels on it with what I want extra because I'm too OCD to just handwrite it :)

  11. I am still laughing at what Hadar said! =)

    We can ask for supplies but I would much rather buy them on my own and have my parents give me a working number...and the new number when it changes (which seems to be at least 3 times during the year)!

    I am still baffled by parents who don't seem to think that is a big deal that no one at school has anyway to get in contact with them through ANY number they have given the school.

    Heather's Heart

  12. You make me laugh!!! I have a very loud voice as well. Funny thing... My energy and enthusiasm are what attracted my husband in the first place!!! Now all I ever here is ..."Christa ssshhhh... I'm right here!". I have. 33 kids and Back to School Night on Tuesday! I am sure I will talk super loud and super fast. It drives me nuts when they all just stare at you!! So glad when it is all over.

  13. The whole shower thing cracks me up! I always say stuff like that too and then ask myself: what? why? This year I was the parent taking my kid to meet the teacher night and STILL saying stuff that I don't even know WHY it came out of my mouth!!!
    At least it is over and now you can concentrate on the really important stuff, right?

  14. LOL! My husband is ALWAYS telling me to shhhhhh! Especially in restaurants when I'm telling embarrassing stories or using choice words. I'm like, WHAT, THEY CAN'T HEAR ME...or at least that's how I imagine he hears me.

    I love your garden. I usually just slap some regular square post-its on my chart paper stand and write "Classroom Needs." Thanks for the cute ideas! :)

    Teach On.

  15. I am a fast loud talker too. Shocking, I know! :-P When I stop talking and realize how quiet it is... I'm so embarrassed about how loud I just was.

    We are not allowed to give out supply lists either... so I call the list a donation list. And it is all over EVERYTHING... the website, the welcome to first grade letter, the newsletter, the calendar AND I cover it at BTS...(which I am changing to PIN - thank you very much). Parents are always shocked to know that if they don't purchase the supplies then I have to. I start with, "I've purchased your child's first set of supplies, but we will need to refill them throughout the year." Most are pretty good about sending in supplies. In the past I would fill a little clay pot with rice, attach little cut-out flowers to craft sticks and "plant" them in the rice, then ask parents take a flower when they come to "Meet Your Teacher" and to please try to donate whatever item is listed on the "flower". That works pretty well, too. But the actual paper donation list on everything I can possibly put it on has been the most effective.

    @ Hadar... I think she stands on a chair... It's so neatly done! :D (I have to stand on a chair and I think i'm a couple inches taller.)

  16. I love the way you ask for supplies!!

  17. Haven't been able to read blogs in what feels like weeks (going on the 3rd week back with kids) and didn't realize how much I missed it until I did the big LOL when I read what you said about thinking in the shower to your parents!!! You're such a hoot!! I can't believe you said that either...too funny!!! Loved your supply garden. We are allowed to send home a list....it helps but there are still several that don't/can't afford supplies. I also have a wish list on my classroom blog. I was pleasantly surprised the first week of school when one of my older volunteers showed up with her husband with a huge box of supplies for my kids! So sweet and thoughtful! Hope you have a great year!!! Thanks for the giggles:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  18. I love your garden!! I think it's a great idea :)

    Fun In First

  19. Pixie Teacher!!! That could be a new blog name for you!! :)

    I love the garden idea--I would do that in a heartbeat.

  20. Always with the glue sticks. I start begging for more glue sticks on the 3rd day of school and our supply list asks for 8. Parents send 8. Do these kids eat their glue sticks? I don't get it.

    Orientations and Open Houses make me nervous too. I talk too fast and put up a Begging Tree. This year it had "Old magazines (keep it clean people)." No one took that apple. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who gets super nervous!

    The Curious Catfish

  21. Hello Sweet Kristin:
    Glad you survived PIN! One year I had about 50 PowerPoint slides, and I talked soooo fast that I finished the whole presentation in just over 10 minutes! I asked for questions, but they just sat there, blinking, trying to process all that had just happened. And then they started asking questions including the things I just said. And, always, someone asks, "How will you teach my child--he's so far ahead of all of the other students..." Sigh.

    I think your post-it garden looks adorable! And, I think you should get a font of your own printing...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  22. We are not allowed to ask for supplies in my district either and I'm in Mass. We are allowed to ask for certain donations but crayons, glue, etc. has to be ordered through are classroom budget in June.
    I look forward to reading your posts. I save them for last. They mske me laugh.
    Thank you!


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