Bright Ideas: Student Supply Bags

On the first day of school, I like to have all of the students' supplies (ie: pencils, pens, erasers, etc...) ready for them so that I know they have the tools they need to function on the first day of school.  So, since I was getting things prepped for the first day of school anyway, I thought I would share this very simple Bright Idea with you!
Such a simple way to distribute school supplies to the students AND to make sure they stay organized.
Starting day one, each student entering my room is assigned a number (based on alphabetical order of last names.)  This helps with organizing everything from where they stand in line to knowing which papers have been turned in.  Another thing it helps with is knowing which supplies belong to which student. 

Now I don't know about you, but due to budgets, I know that many of my students won't come to school on the first day (or any day after that) with the supplies they need to be an active and productive student in my room.  So I go out and purchase those supplies myself.  I want to make sure that they get to the student in the most effective manner possible, so here is what I do.  Before the first day of school, I make sure that I label all of the pencils, pens, rulers, sharpeners, etc...that I give the students with their classroom number.

I use little labels, write the number on them, then stick the label onto the school supply.  All of the supplies then go into a gallon sized ziploc and they are ready to go for day one!  Then, once students enter the room, I can hand them the bag that corresponds to their student number and they have everything they need to have a productive year as a student in my classroom.  At least supply-wise!

Doing this serves two purposes.  First, it helps to cut back on the time it takes to pass out supplies to the students.  They all get a bag and it is over.  Secondly, it starts the students on the path of using their number on everything.  I mean, they see the number 8 times as it is on all of the things I gave them!  :) 

 So there you have it.  A VERY simple and easy way to get the year started off right, fast, and organized.  How do you handle first day supplies?

8 comments

  1. I love this idea! I usually put their supplies in their desks before the first day. I live the idea of giving your students a number. I did it last year but hit a snag when I had a new student come. I re numbered the kids, which ended up being a bit confusing. Do you have an easy solution for this? My new school has a bit more of a transient population so I need to figure out a numbering system that's going to work.

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    1. I would just plug the kids into the end when they moved in. If another child moved out, I would put new kids into the vacant numbers (it seemed to work out that they would be *sort of* near that space alphabetically sometimes!) But I wouldn't renumber everyone.

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    2. That would work. Another idea I had but haven't tried yet is to label new arrivals with a letter that I'd place between two numbers. I was thinking that way the alpha order can stay intact.

      Mme Aiello @ Teaching FSL

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    3. I did something similar to the special letter method. I had two new students come in at the beginning of 3rd quarter last year, and also lost one. So, #3 stayed vacant, and the two new students took the next two numbers at the end (I number alphabetically by last name). My #19 and #20 students (the new ones) wrote those numbers on their papers, and received those text books and mailboxes. But, in MY head, they were numbers 6.5 and 11.5 respectively, and I knew to place their papers behind number 6 and 11 to be in the correct spot alphabetically when I was recording grades. Can't believe it took me so many years to figure out a solution to that pesky problem! :)

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  2. Oh I love this!!! I use community supplies but I'm thinking I should number them with their table numbers to keep track of everything. If I didn't have this system already I would use yours in a heartbeat because it makes so much sense!!! Thank you, as always! :) :)

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  3. Just to answer anonymous' question: I never renumber when I get new kiddos. I just tack them onto the end. I'm able to sort my electronic gradebook so I can pop a "M" kid to the end of the roster easily. On occasion I'll have a move-out and a move-in that is close enough, so I just reassign that number. It's really not that hard and I'm in a very transient school, too.

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    1. Thanks for answering ColleenandKendra. (I have been away from an actual computer all weekend!) I did the same thing when I was in a school that had a high transient rate.

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