Monday, April 20, 2015

Classroom Resources for FREE

Are you looking for ways to grow the resources in your classroom? Every year each new group of students require so many different types of resources to help create lifelong learners. I wish everyone saw how much teachers give out of their own pocket to support students. Whether it was buying snacks for my students who came to school hungry, buying supplies for a hands-on science experiment, or buying new and engaging titles for our classroom library, I spent my own money. While these were all GREAT causes and I never thought twice about spending what I earned on the students I loved, I began searching for ways to find other contributors. Here is what I have found so far. I haven't always gotten lucky, but every now and then one will come through! If you have more suggestions, comment below to share! 

Donors Choose 

This site allows YOU, a teacher, to post the needs of your classroom. You create a project and people can go on to donate to your cause. Right now, I am experimenting with this site. I have heard so many teachers get lucky with anonymous donors fulfilling their whole request, but unfortunately my first request fell through. From scouring other's posts about creating an appealing donors choose project, here's what I've learned: 

1. Have a catchy title.
2. Keep the cost under $400. 
3. Describe your students and your needs.
4. Share your project via Facebook, Twitter, Newsletters, Email Signature...
5. Donate to your own cause because it shows you believe in your project.

I just started a new project to try and get an iPad to use with my students in intervention. You can find more about it here: iPads for Reading.

Similar sites to Donors Choose

Scholastic Book Rewards

I have had so much luck with this program. I send home the order forms with my students and then I get to use the bonus points to order books for our classroom. This works better if you have your own classroom full of students. I can't really take advantage of this anymore now that I see kids in an intervention setting. Don't forget to explain the idea behind this to parents. They are more willing to purchase books when you explain that the whole class reaps the reward! 


Whether it's from a retired teacher or a teacher willing to part with materials, RECYCLING can be your friend. 

Freecycle is a website that lists people willing to give away (recycle) various items.

Do Something

Get your students invovled by having them post your classroom needs on your behalf. 

Do you have a success story from one of these sites? Share your story below!

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