Back to School/New Student


Make back to school night quick and easy by following these tips to bring your supplies ready to go.  I’ve also included some optional items that your child may bring to school.


Shopping Tips

How to Get it Ready At Home

School supplies box


Get one that is standard size – about 6” x 9” x 3”. If it is too big, it takes up too much space. If it is too small, things don’t fit.

Prepack it with the things that it needs to hold. Label it with your name.

24+ pencils

Some brands just break and break and break when they are sharpened meaning we need to buy a lot more pencils. We recommend Ticonderoga brand as they work reliably, so you don’t have to buy as many. They are more expensive pencils, but better value.

These are shared as a class. If you want to be a superstar family, either buy pre-sharpened pencils or sharpen them at home.

Put two SHARP pencils in your supplies box. Put the rest in the labeled bin at school. You will trade sharp pencils for dull ones as needed during work times, and your team will sharpen pencils at the end of each day.

4+ dry erase markers

Some brands don’t erase well or dry out easily. Expo is a good brand. Black or another dark color is easy to read. If your child is not good at taking care of their supplies they may need more than four; remind them to make sure the cap clicks and they always get put away. (I remind them too, but I can’t be responsible for each student’s supplies and also do a good job teaching.) If they are excellent they may only need two. Many students prefer the thinner markers to the thicker ones.

You may want to mark these with your child’s name to avoid having to replace them if misplaced. I recommend using tape either to label them or help a label stick on.

Put two dry erase markers in your supplies box. The other two will go in a hanging extra supplies pocket for you to restock your supplies if needed throughout the year. (The pocket will have your number on it and will be just for you. If you don’t have any more markers in your pocket you will need to get more from home. Extras will be sent home at the end of the year.) You’ll be able to get into these extra supplies about once a week during desk cleaning.

1 pencil sharpener

I recommend a small simple one, so it fits in your child’s supplies box and isn’t a distraction. It should have a place to hold shavings. We use these for sharpening colored pencils during art projects and red correcting pencils at the end of the day.

Label with your name, and put in your supplies box.

4+ glue sticks

Any kind is fine. The bigger ones seem to work better for students than the smaller ones. Again, if your child isn’t good at putting things away or clicking caps, they need more.

I would recommend labeling these. Put two in the supplies box. Keep two out to go in your extra supplies pocket.

1 box colored pencils

Your basic small or medium size box is best. We use these for many of our art projects in third grade and for some academics.

It’s a pain, but these end up on the floor a lot and don’t get back to the owner. If it is important that you keep your own, I highly recommend labeling every pencil with a Sharpie so I know who to return it to. (Students rarely claim them from the classroom lost and found.) You may wait until Back to School night, as you can use your class number which is faster to write than names. If you don’t mind losing a certain color (I do have some students can borrow) or worst case replacing them, save the time.

These will go in your child’s art bag. (I’ll have one ready for you at Back To School night, but it’s just a gallon size Ziploc bag with their name on it.) You can leave them in the box or take them out.

1 box markers

 Same as colored pencils. Many kids this age prefer the thinner markers. I’d prefer that they get a smaller box, not a giant one due to desk space.

 See directions for colored pencils.

2 composition journals

These are the black and white kind. We use these for writing and reading. Be sure to get wide ruled. If your child is a prolific writer and they fill up a notebook, I will provide them a new one.

I will give your child a sticker with their name to label this, and help them divide it into sections. They just got straight in your child’s desk! That being said, if your child wants to decorate the outside, go for it! J Just let them know that they will need to cover part of it with a sticker.

1 folder

Just the basic kind with two pockets. If your child is rougher on supplies, you may want to get a plastic one instead of a paper one.

Again, these go in your child’s desk and I will provide a label. If you get one that has lots of glitter or is plastic, the label won’t stick as well, so I would recommend also writing your child’s name in Sharpie.

Lined paper

Please bring one package of wide-ruled paper. More is welcome!

This is shared, and will go on a shelf in the classroom.


Look for one that seems to have a good zipper, and ideally will last a couple of years. Two straps (better for the back,) bigger backpacks (holds more on special days and easier to pack,) and no wheels (they usually carry it so it just makes it heavy) seem to be best for most kids.

Label it just in case. It may be a good idea to put your contact information on the inside along with your child’s name, in case it was lost away from school.


Please make sure your child has weather appropriate clothes as they will be playing outside most days including in rain.

Label it. Again including your phone number might be smart.


Unless they buy lunch or you send a disposable bag daily. I would recommend something that closes securely and fits easily in their backpack. You want the lunch bag or box to be able to hold a regular lunch, a healthy snack, and a small water bottle or drink.



1 box crayons

If your child wants they may have a small box of crayons. I supply crayons for teams to share when needed, but some kids like their own.

Put this in art bag. See colored pencil instructions for instructions.


Sticky notes (purple, blue, or green preferred)

We use sticky notes (any color) for weekly reflections on students work. We also use blue, green, yellow, pink, and purple sticky notes for a class activity, so these colors (especially green and blue) are used more.  We are currently almost out of purple!

These would go in the donation bin.


Any kind!

There is a shelf these donations go on in the classroom.


Wet wipes

We use the kind for surfaces not hands. Students will get them out themselves and use them to clean desks and such. 

There is a shelf these donations go on in the classroom.


Ziploc bags (quart or snack size preferred)

Kids do well with the kind of bags that has the sliding zipper, but I assume they are more expensive. We use a mix of quart, gallon, and an occasional sandwich size bag for various things.  Right now I have plenty of gallon size, but am almost out of quart size.

These go in the donation bin.


1+ Eraser

Big pink erasers (regular size not giant ones) seem to work best. Kids really like the pencil top ones, but often play with them or lose them.

Label if wanted…your child will need to relabel if they use that part. Put one big eraser and/or three pencil top erasers in your child’s supply box. Extras for your child can go in their extra supplies pocket or can be donated in the box for another child who needs one.



I will supply rulers that are easier for learners to measure with, but your child may want a ruler to draw straight lines with. Look for one with inches and centimeters that is easy to read so they can use it later.

Label and it will go directly in your child’s desk.


Sock eraser

We use socks for whiteboard erasers. Kids can store their whiteboard makers in them and can put their hands in them for quick erasing. I will supply one that is clean, but doesn’t look very nice. If your child wants to bring a new or used sock from home that is fine.

This can go in your child’s supply box. They may want to put their whiteboard markers in their sock to keep everything neat.


Reusable shopping bag

I supply a reusable shopping bag with your child’s number (they are used multiple years) to hold books. They are welcome to bring a special one from home instead. It should be standard size: big enough to hold 3-5 books including larger picture books, but small enough that they can tie it to their desk or put it inside their desk. It should have handles to put over their shoulder or tie to the outside of their desk.

Make sure this is marked with your child’s name. At back to school night return the bag at their desk to me, and replace it with this one.


Water bottle

This may help keep your child hydrated at school. Although usually they have access to the drinking fountain, they may have to wait awhile for example after P.E. when many kids want to go at once or when I’m talking (makes it hard for other kids to hear). They can drink from a water bottle at their desk just about any time. The sports-type lids that snap open are nicer for this because when (not if) they spill, less water spills out. They should refill these each morning if needed before 9:25 and take them home weekly to wash.

Label. It will go on top of your child’s desk.


Snack to leave at school

If your child has allergies or food preferences, you may want to leave a snack at school for them to have for special events like birthday cupcakes. If we have food your child isn’t allowed to have, I will get down their snack for them to have instead so they aren’t left out. Send one small box or bag, and I’ll let you know if we need to restock midyear.

Label with your child’s first and last name, and give to me to put up in a cupboard. Include information about this in your back to school paperwork (I may not remember – too many new faces in one night!) and make sure your child knows how much they get each time.


Cheap headphones

Our classroom headphones have seen better days. If they bother your child, they are welcome to bring their own pair from home to use instead. The school and I will not be responsible for these if they are lost or stolen, so it is at your own risk. They need to know how to plug them in and put them away properly.

Label clearly. They should either stay in your child’s backpack or go in their supply box depending on size.

Supplies for home:
Although your child is given all supplies needed for homework in their home folder, it's nice to have a set on hand at home.

Set up a quiet place for your child to do homework with a hard writing surface.  Ideally the place would include pencils, a pencil sharpener, extra erasers, lined paper, colored pencils, a ruler, scissors, glue stick, and sticky notes.

The most important feature of the space is distraction and clutter free.  If electronics are used for homework, you'll want to make sure you can easily see they are doing homework not other things.  Good lighting and quiet music can be a plus.

If you you would like to bring extra supplies to donate to kids that need them, that is appreciated.  Thank you!

Pencils, dry erase markers, Kleenex, wet wipes, sticky notes, erasers, glue sticks, quart ziploc bags, and markers are what is most needed.  If we are short on any supplies during the year, I'll send out a notice.

Put in box marked donation without labeling or in the appropriate box for shared supplies.  These will not be saved as extras for your individual child.

Please do not send other items. If you can’t provide one of these things, I will make sure your child gets what he or she needs.



Save money! Students having the same supplies lets me teach them valuable lessons about how to organize. Sending a binder instead of a folder for example, means I will give your child a folder and your child will have a binder that they don’t use and that doesn’t fit well in their desk. Thank you!

We don’t have a spot for these and don’t use them, so it is very helpful if you leave them at home.