Every year I think that I am going to be the best at managing the supplies in my classroom over the course of 7 class periods (or even one class when I taught Elementary) and one thing leads to another and life happens. It could be that we get too busy to keep up with things or I’m out for a day and chaos occurs but it always happens.
My students only had an assigned table to sit at and could therefore have a new job each and every day. The jobs that I used were: Table Manager, Scribe, Materials Manager and Clean Up Crew. I simply labeled each of my desks to show these jobs and went over the purpose of these jobs during the year and had some posters to hang in my classroom (grab them FREE).
The Table Manager was my right hand. They were the one that was in charge of making sure their group stayed on task and in check. If the class got loud I could simply say “Managers” and they knew to check their group.
The Scribe (the least appealing job in my classes) was simply the one that was in charge of taking down notes for the group when doing any group work. This did not mean that they had a job every day as we didn’t always have group work to do.
The Materials Manager will be the one to rely on heavily when you are making sure your supplies are in order each day. This job entailed making sure our table tubs had all of the necessary supplies each day at the beginning and the end of the class period. They were the only one who could replace supplies as needed and therefore I didn’t have 24 kiddos getting up throughout the class period to replace things. They will be your saving grace and hold them accountable. They will need reminders of what supplies are in the table tubs and if that means taking a picture or placing a label inside then do it! They also gathered manipulatives/papers as needed for me because 6 bodies moving is so much easier!
And last, but certainly not least is my Clean Up Crew. This person took care of the Tidy Trash Tub at their table at the end of the class period.Again, only 6 bodies getting up to take care of trash at one time rather then all period having students get up and go waste time at the trash can.
- Glue sticks (1 per student)
- Glue bottle (1-2 per group)
- Scissors (1 per student)
- Colored Pencils
- Thin line markers
- Hand Held Pencil Sharpener
- Washi tape
- Post it notes
Where do you keep them? I was thankful to have a second bookshelf in my classroom (yes, a whopping 2) and I kept it full of the shoe box size plastic tubs. I loved these tubs and still have them today over the past 10 years because they are so sturdy. As students brought in supplies, or they were saved from the prior year or sales I found, I put these supplies in their individual tubs. Since they were labeled clearly (there are so many labels available on Teachers Pay Teachers) the Materials Managers could easily go and grab the supplies they needed to replace quickly.
I did also keep a smaller tub that contained lead for mechanical pencils in it in multiple sizes. This was the only tub that I let any student get into because I wanted them to get it for their own pencil. This saved the student from having to beg and borrow from a neighbor or just not have a pencil for class. I also always had pencils for purchase for quarter in my class. The money simply went back into replenishing supplies as needed.