Let’s face it, teachers do not make enough money to spend half of it on getting their classroom ready for back to school. I know I easily spent hundreds of dollars on my classroom at back to school time each year. (It’s probably a lot more than that, if I actually sat down and added it all up.) I love to have everything all pretty and organized. I am hoping to help you have a pretty and organized classroom this year, while saving enough money to buy yourself some back to school outfits! Here are some great solutions to spending too much money this year! Here are 10 ways I have found to save money on getting your classroom ready for back to school.
1. Wrap your supplies in fun tape! This can give a new personalized look to old supplies AND can help you find them when they get lost or borrowed!! Now that I have discovered fun tape, I may decorate everything with it!! So much fun 🙂 I found duck tape that comes in thin rolls of fun prints.
2. DIY Magnets. You can make magnets like these in two simple steps! Magnet + Clear Stone + Print a fun design from your computer + Modge Podge = Way too easy and inexpensive to not try it! Be creative! Use glitter and modge podge for glittery magnets! You can even glue small objects to the magnet if you want.
3. Free Classroom Binder Set to get you organized and ready to go!
4. Reusable Water Bottle. My super duper favorite is this one from Starbucks. It is probably the most expensive water bottle I have ever bought ($25), but it is awesome and has saved me more than that in buying bottled waters. And… I dropped my first one getting out of the car one morning before school, so I’ve actually bought two. I drink water all day, so refilling a bottle is the way to go.
5. Don’t decorate your classroom walls! I know its hard not to, but those walls are prime real estate for actual learning and review posters. I always use the anchor charts we make as a class with each unit to decorate the walls. By the end of the year, you have class-made learning posters all over the walls! They make great references if a student needs to look back at something learned earlier in the year. And, when their mind wanders at some point in the day they have something meaningful and educational to look at. I actually took down all the posters I bought when I first started teaching and replaced them with anchor charts made in class. If you don’t want blank walls to start the year off, make procedural anchor charts and inspirational posters for the walls. I also made a small bulletin board to post current news articles that pertained to what we were learning.
6. Shop Garage Sales! I have hit the jackpot more than once and found garage sales thrown by current or retiring teachers. You can find some amazing deals. I found these magnet boards and puzzle cards this summer at a garage sale of a homeshooler. Less than five dollars bought three magnet boards with letters and pictures and a puzzle card set. One summer I found a sale from a retiring teacher and filled my classroom library and bought organizational things. Boy, was I excited that day!
7. Recover old, ugly clipboards. It is so easy to cover those old, ugly brown clipboards and make them cutesy or more useful. Here I have a clipboard covered with scrapbook paper and modge podge. Its a super easy way to make it cuter. I also bought some white board paint and plan on covering the back of my classroom clipboards so they can double as student whiteboards!!
8. Dress up boxes. Crates can really add up when you need them all over your classroom. All you need is a cardboard box (Diaper boxes work perfect), hot glue gun, and fabric. I made this box in less than 5 minutes! It’s as easy as wrapping Christmas presents 🙂 This one is for my son’s room, so he chose Winnie the Pooh. Bright patterned fabrics would look awesome in a classroom!!
9. Chalkboard tags. All you need is chalkboard paint and old gift cards! This was way too easy and makes the cutest label tags for anything in your classroom! A hole punch and a sting make it a cure hanging tag.
10. Tape for divider tabs. I haven’t bought dividers or tabs since I was in high school. Print a cute divider page on cardstock (or blank cardstock) and use decorative or regular tape for the tab. Those dividers can really add up! This saves big and is prettier. The tape tabs work in notebooks to divide sections, too!