Monday, July 16, 2012

Back to School Supplies!

Ok, teachers!  Please validate me here!  I LOVE office supplies!  That's not weird is it?  I've always loved pens, pencils, stationary . . . you name it since I was a little girl, so now that I'm a teacher this has become a dangerous obsession!  But wait . . . it gets worse.  When I find really nice or really cool office supplies, I don't want to use them because then they'd be all used up so I hoard them!  I'm working on this.  I don't want to end up on the tv show (although I've seen some pretty scary classrooms out there that comfort me in that I know I wouldn't be the 1st one they'd choose if there was ever a "Hoarders: Teacher Edition").

Anyways, the reason I bring up office supplies is that it's back to school time and the sales are starting!  While it's always fun to elbow your way down the crowded Back to School aisles at Walmart, Target, Office Depot, Staples, or , I always have to revisit a teacher's best shopping friend: Oriental Trading!

Here are a few of my favorite Back to School teacher products from Oriental Trading.

These usually last my 1st graders the 1st few weeks of school when they're still a little shy and the Specials teachers and Cafeteria staff are still getting to know their names.  (Well . . . they help me too for the first few days.  I usually learn their names quickly, but it helps to see their names too!)

 I think these are pretty cool.  I usually just use sheet protectors (and lots of them), but I'm trying these out this year.

 You know how it is during preplanning.  You're constantly gluing things onto magnets, clothespins, sticks, tables, walls, etc.  Maybe this will help me keep some sanity!  There are lots of different options available here  as to size, quantity, and other factors regarding these glue dots.

Plastic envelopes.  A must have for reading groups!  I've used these for years now to keep their books, dry, clean, secure, and easy to find.  Reading logs, homework, reading books, etc get slipped into these babies and they're safe and secure . . . for the most part!  I usually get these a lot cheaper at Big Lots, but the years I can't find them there, I get them from Oriental Trading.  Trust me, I've searched high and low for a cheaper option.  This is the best I've found when I can't get them at Big Lots.

 Name Plates!  I try to avoid going to the teacher stores at all costs at the beginning of the school year.  1-The crowds are crazy!  2-It's dangerous to my wallet.  I'd be too tempted to get more stuff!  Oriental Trading carries lots of different styles of name plates.  I do warn you, though.  They're not all the same size, but the price (and dimensions listed) are a good indicator as to which ones you should purchase.  I bought the cheaper ones thinking they were just a much better deal, but they turned out to be half the length . . . but I think I like that better!

I use as many magnetic surfaces as possible in my room!  It's how I organize centers and small groups, and it's also how my students keep track of their behavior and where they are in the writing process.  It was also how I kept track of who was ordering what breakfast for several years.  So I guess what I'm saying is:  I use lots of magnets.  Self-adhesive means less hot glue for me!  Yippie!

Oh, and just in case you're wondering . . . no, I am not being compensated by Oriental Trading in any way (although I wouldn't mind that at all!).  I'm just like any other teacher - a huge fan!


  1. hello can you see me? I placed my OT order Friday night, with the magnets, glue dots, and umm some billion other things. Did I add that I made a trip to Lakeshore for the first time, Staples and Target, and my sister said, who gets so excited about school supply sales other than teachers. My reply was not ready to go back, but sure love the deals. When I get the energy I will share my shopping on my is sooo HOT in IL .....Glad to know when the OT catalog comes there are others who shop right away too!

  2. omg lol i feel like not many people know about oriental trading i love love love it !!!! im glad i found you =) we can share our obsessions of stationary together...drop by my page

    Just Wild About Teaching

  3. Great minds think alike! I'm not quite ready to go back yet either and send my little one back to daycare, but I find myself going in to school already just so I can feel ready when the time really comes! Lame, I know.

    Mel @ Plug-n-Plan


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