Saturday, January 14, 2017

How to EASILY Save $100s on Classroom Supplies

Raise your hand if you like to save money!! Seriously, I am always looking for ways to stretch a buck!  Being a teacher, that's not always easy!

Have you ever heard of

It's an organization that gives schools and non-profit companies access to tons and tons of quality products at low and discounted prices! We're talking markers, tape, address labels, pens, sticky notes, stickers, reading materials, etc. etc. etc.! I know some teachers even got personal laminators for $9!!! Their inventory is changing quite regularly, but they have A LOT of things that, as teachers, we are buying on our own already. Why not save some money?!?!

Browsing the website isn't for the weary.  It's like shopping at Ross, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls.  You don't always know what you're looking for until you find it for a great deal  I always think of my Ross shopping trips as "treasure hunts." I'd say it's like that to browse the website.

Membership: You can sign up for a teacher membership and once approved, you can start browsing the many products offered on the website.

Prices: The only "cost" you pay is for Shipping and Handling! You'll need to have a minimum order of $25 - which is considered the S&H cost. Easy peasy!

I just received my first order and am SO excited I wanted to share with you!  I only spent $30.50!!!

Here's what I got:

1. Adhesive Tape Runners (I posted about them in my 4 of the BEST School Supplies).
These are SERIOUSLY my FAVORITE.  The website said that there were "4 rollers per carton" for $1.25.  Which means that each roller comes out to $0.31! I bought 6! So for $7.50 I have 24 tape rollers.  I use these for EVERYTHING - it's a quick way to adhere pictures, game pieces, construction paper, etc! I typically buy these at the 99c store for a dollar each - so I would have paid $24 for all of these.

2. Mr. Sketch Markers - I bought two different sets of Mr. Sketch Markers.  I bought one "kit" that had 6 colors (red, warm pink, hot pink, yellow, black, and light blue) with 10 markers each for $11.  The next set of Mr. Sketch Markers had 4 colors (hot pink, dark blue, orange, and green) with 12 markers each for a total of $3.  That's 108 Mr. Sketch Markers, wonderful smelling markers, for $14! I checked on Amazon for a set of 12 - it's $5.08.  To get 108 markers, it would have cost $45.72!

3. Binder Spines - I have been meaning to make some spines for my binders to organize all my school binders - my assessment binders for ELA and math, my student info binder, my planning materials, and my sub plans. As much as I have wanted to make these spines, I have not gotten around to it! Even just to write on these with sharpies and put them in my binders will save me loads of time!! I paid $1.25 for a package of 50. On Amazon, they are $7.73 for a package of 25, so I'd be paying over $15 for 50.

4. Post-it pads - I saw these and knew I needed them for my assessment binder! For 18 pads (with 25 post its each), I paid $2.50.   That comes out to $0.14 per note pad.  I can't find a comparable product online. I found the exact ones on Amazon, but for 2 pads it was $45.  Sooooo.. for an off brand, to get 4 pads it would cost $11.75 which is $2.94 a pad or about $52.88 for 18.  I already started using these in my assessment binder and THEY ARE AMAZING! I went through and wrote out all of the things I need to assess before the semester ends in a few weeks.

5. Clear Address Labels - Address labels have always been super useful in my classroom - I label the children's folders, consumable books, crayons, etc.  I most recently started putting math word problems on address labels to easily put on to pages of our math notebooks.  For 5 packages of 300 labels (1,500 labels altogether) I paid $4.00. That's $.80/package.  On amazon for the same amount of clear address labels from the same company, it would cost $34.98. That works out to be $6.99 per package!

To pay full price for all of these items, I would have paid $173.04!! Uhm... I don't have that kind of extra money laying around to spend on my classroom all at once!! Isn't it like $250 you can write off for taxes each year? We already know teachers spend WAY more than that, but being able to save $142.54 here and there, YES PLEASE!!

So.. Ready to check out  It can't hurt!

I have found myself browsing the website a few times already since I placed my first order.  Right now, I'm set with what I've got, but I know if I find something that is too good to pass up, I'll be placing my second order!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

What is a Common Core Gradebook?

Is your gradebook a mess? Does it make it difficult to get organized for report cards? Mine was that same way! Grading and report cards are already tedious tasks.  I set out to create a gradebook that would be efficient in all the right ways!! The motto "work smarter, not harder" was my driving force! 
I LOVED my Common Core Gradebook so much that I made it for grades Kinder through 6th to help other teachers too!  There is an ELA version and a Math version of each one, and a bundled option to save money on them as well!

I made a few short videos to show you more about how the gradebook works!

I am constantly finding new ways I like to use my gradebooks.  There are so many things you can do with them!

There are two versions in each gradebook - a "condensed" and an "extended" version.  I use each of the versions for different things.

The condensed version is my go to when organizing data for report cards especially.  I also like to use this version to collect standard based test scores.  In this short video I talk about how I color code my condensed version!

The extended version is probably the main reason I created these gradebooks - it makes it SUPER easy to organize and collect standards based data in an easy to see way so that I'm not searching through my gradebook to find things all connected to one particular standard.  It's all laid out with the extended version!

 Here are some more odds and ends I wanted to point out!

Click below to check out Common Core Gradebooks on my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!