July 11, 2015

Back to School Essentials {A Linky Party}

Is it too early in the summer to start talking about back to school shopping? Because... I've already started the shopping.

Like many all teachers,  I stock up on back to school goodies for my classroom during the summer. Luckily, over the years I have become more disciplined with what and how much I buy.

I remember my first few years, I purchased every composition notebook I laid eyes on from June through August. No... seriously... EVERY SINGLE ONE! I had no will power! I just knew I had to have enough and apparently I never had enough. After storing ALL my leftover notebooks, notebook paper, and unused packages of pens (because I seriously bought that much!) I finally learned what was essential and what was fun! (Basically... wants verses needs)

Now I have gotten pretty good at buying what I like to call my essentials. These are the things I purchase each summer to replenish the diminished stock or replace the old.  It's just part of the summer time routine... every year... without fail!

These have become my Back to School Essentials!

 #1 IKEA Book Boxes
I love these things! They last all year and the kids enjoy taking them home at the end of the year. It's quick and easy. I have nothing to store over the summer or clean out. Simple. I like that. And, if you don't live near an IKEA like me, then you can just order from Amazon! 

#2 Really Good Stuff Calendar
Best. Calendar. Ever. 
I will never go back to anything else. It's double sided, so you can choose which one you like the best - the colorful primary or the more sophisticated intermediate (shown above).

#3 Multicultural Construction Paper
This paper is great for all those back to school portraits at the beginning of the year. 
I usually purchase 2-3 packages at the beginning of the year.
**Update** You can order this construction paper from Amazon or from Classroom Direct.

#4 Eraser Tops
My students just love having an excuse to cross things out on their papers, but not when I have a stock pile of these bad boys on hand! The best erasers I've found are from Classroom Direct. They come in a box of 144 erasers for under $5 and they are really high quality. They actually erase. I hand them out like candy.

#5 Mr. Sketch Markers

Oh, the childhood memories! 
I buy a new box every year even if my old ones are still in working condition. 
I just love 'em.

#6 Post-it Notes
Because...honestly... can you ever have enough?

#7 Ticonderoga Pencils & Pilot V5 Pens

It's the only pencil I will use. I really am a total pencil snob. 
Also, a bit of a pen snob. What can I say? I like what I like. :)

#8 Books!!

This is probably my biggest expense, but I spread it out over the summer to make it more palatable.  Every summer I read and blog about the upcoming Bluebonnet Books and Battle Books through Fiction Friday.  I always purchase the books so that 1) my kids will have access to a classroom copy all year and 2) if I LOVE the book then I have a copy myself. Hehe. It's what I like to call a win-win!

And... That's it! Those are my essentials. Those are my no questions asked HAVE to be purchased items. Of course, there is still plenty of impulse purchasing throughout the summer. I still can't go through the school supply section without getting something. And who can resist perusing the school supply ads on Sunday to hunt down the best deals?  Not me. :)

What is in your list of essentials?  What do you purchase EVERY single summer without fail for the upcoming year? Share your must-haves below or link up with your own blog post.

I can't wait to hear from everyone. I have a feeling that I may be adding to my list, but that works for me. I'm also a little worried I left something obvious off the list, lol. Let me know!

If you link up, please make sure to include the Linky Party button and link back to my blog.  Thanks so much! 

Happy (early) Back to School shopping!


  1. Where do you get the multicultural paper? I should get that!
    The Disneyfied Teacher

    1. You can order it from Amazon or Classroom Direct. I use Amazon because I'm a Prime member and I get free shipping. :)

  2. This is a great idea Amanda! I love reading what other people have bought and what ideas they have. Thanks for the linky.
    Stars and Wishes

    1. Me too! I think it's fun to see what everyone buys for back to school. I always get such great ideas from other people. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Have you posted about your back to school portraits? I would love to hear more!


Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts!