Crayons Teacher Tips

My favorite time of year is Back to School when the stores bring out all their discounted school supplies.  I always stock up on extra folders, crayons, glue, and other supplies.  It doesn't matter how many things are on your school's supply list, it is never enough.  My least favorite time is tax season when I have to give my husband (who prepares our taxes) the receipts for all my purchases for my classroom.  I have a tendency to just shop and not keep track of how much I've spent.  It's always a little shocking to see how much personal money I've spent in a year.  

I did find that how I organized my students' school supplies affected how much money I spent on supplies.  I found I spent less money when I used the community supplies method instead of students keeping their own supplies.  You will want to check with your administrator to see if this is allowed at your school before you try this.  Occasionally, I had a parent who objected to this.  I let those students use their own supplies and then I asked the parent to send in supplies throughout the year when needed.  Some parents sent in supplies and others eventually said to change their child to the community supplies method.

Do you have a student that has trouble either beginning an assignment or completing an assignment?  There can be a variety of reasons for this.  

Other times, perfectionism could be the cause.  Is this a student that wants to use every color in the crayon box on his or her assignments?  Does he or she spend a considerable amount of time picking out the perfect color?  


Maybe organization is the issue.  Do you often see broken crayons on the floor near this student's work area?  Is the student's desk and supply box a mess?  If so, this student is spending extra work time trying to find needed supplies to complete his or her work.

There can be a variety of reasons why students aren't starting and/or completing their work.  I have found something that helps with the two cases above.  We've all been in workshops that showed us how to differentiate assignments.  There are times when you also need to differentiate school supplies.  "All the Colors of the Rainbow" child and a "Charlie Brown's friend" child need FEWER crayons, preferably only the 8 basic colors.  It is better to put them in a container like a soap box or small ziploc.  It needs a lid that stay closed, is flat, and larger enough that they can see all the colors at one time when they glance in the box.

Looking for more tips?  Check out my Classroom Organization  Pinterest board.  Click on the picture below.

Fern has a few tips to share with you, too.  Be sure to hop over to her blog!

Fern and I are adding something new this summer.  Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading.  I love to read teacher blogs and the latest teacher idea books.  Stop by Fern's blog and my blog each week for Tuesday Teacher Tips.  We hope you will share your ideas, too.  

Each week we will choose one person who shared a tip on our blog who will get a $10 shopping trip.  We will announce the winner in the following Tuesday's post.  The winner for this post will be announced on July 8th's post.

Anna Lynn was the winner of last week's post.  Click HERE if you'd like to read her great tips about substitutes.

Do you have a crayon / school supplies tip to share?  Be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you're the winner of the $10 shopping trip.

Looking for more ideas?  Check out these!


Kelly said...

I like your idea of reducing their color choices. If the little box of 8 crayons was as cheap as the box of 24, I think it would be on the supply list instead. :) Several years ago, I got online and ordered several boxes of just red crayons. that seems to be the color that goes the fastest in my room. I also ordered several boxes of silver and golg crayons. Talk about excitement when I would bring those out! I didn't leave them with the other crayons, I would bring them out for special events. ;D

Unknown said...

I've used community supplies for years. My parents have never complained. I do have the crayon problem though. Their crayons are not community crayons. I am going to stop replacing "lost" crayons this year. They are going to have to take ownership this year. When they are gone, they just won't have that color. I agree with Kelly red does go the fastest!

Unknown said...

My email is

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas said...

I loved tripping down memory lane with Pigpen, there seems to be one in my class every year!
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!
Fern Smith's Pinterest Boards!

MissKim1126 said...

In the last four years I have taught fifth, fourth, and first grades. I will be going back up to fourth this coming year (from first). It doesn't matter what grade I'm teaching; there are always lost/missing crayons and a lot of whining about said crayon. So, I created a Lost Crayon Basket. If any crayons were found on the floor, they would be placed in the basket. When the time came to use the crayons and a student didn't have a needed color, they could go to the basket and "borrow" a color. When they were done with the borrowed crayon, they would put it back in the basket for the next person.

Unknown said...

I have an emergency pencil container. Students are given pencils, but many of my third graders do not take care of them, and they wind up on the floor. If I find pencils on the floor that have not been picked up during our clean-up times, I put them in the emergency pencil container for anyone to take. Often, these may not be the best pencils, so the students are encouraged to take care of their supplies. I use community supplies for most things, but my students do have their own pencil boxes (supplied by the school) and can have their own pencils and markers if they choose.

tynetots said...

I also have a community supplies. I use the soap boxes. Extra "good" crayons are in one bin in case they need to find one. I just use the 12 colors that I like in the 24 pack and give the rest to the art teacher. I don't like indigo. The paper is blue but the color is purple. Stresses me out.