Back 2 School With 4th Grade Teacher Donna

Back 2 School With 4th Grade Teacher Donna

Hi there!

My name is Donna and I teach 4th grade in sunny Southern California. This is currently my 5th year teaching and as a fairly new teacher, I don’t have as many resources to school materials and supplies as some of my colleagues do. Most people find it surprising that the majority of the classroom items, except furniture (i.e. bookshelves, desks, chairs, etc.), actually come out of the teacher’s personal bank account. Most schools will send out a shopping list of needed school supplies to families but it’s not always a guarantee that every student in my class will come to school with all the materials on the list. Therefore, I usually go out and buy tons of school supplies on my own before school starts just in case any of my students weren’t able to get the supplies.

Usually a month before school starts, I’ll start my shopping at Amazon or Target for supplies, but I have found over the years, back- to- school shopping has become a huge stressor for me. Amazon is great. I think everyone can agree to that. And although the free two-day shipping is convenient, sometimes I can find Amazon a little bit too overwhelming with the amount of items and never know where to start. As for Target, I love that I can just drive around the corner of my house and get whatever supplies I need. The dollar section is particularly my favorite. They even have classroom supplies featured during the month of July. The problem with that is once I find out supplies are on sale (usually via other teachers’ Instagram accounts), the dollar section has already been raided and most of the items are gone. Even if there were items still available, I have close to 30 students each year and there definitely aren’t 30 of any one particular item still left for the picking.

Going back to school is already a huge enough stressor for teachers and the shopping aspect definitely shouldn’t add on to that. This year, I decided to browse through just to see what I could potentially use in my classroom. The website made it super easy for me with the ‘Back to School‘ section. To my surprise, they had a variety of different items from generic school supplies to fun classroom decor. For the past year, I’ve slowly been dabbing into the world of flexible seating into my classroom. I want my students to have an opportunity to work elsewhere in the classroom besides their traditional school desk and chair. I’ve purchased exercise/yoga balls in the past for students who tend to learn better when physically active. 

This year, I had the custodian lower a large table that’s great for group work as low as it can go and instead of using chairs, I wanted to use cushions instead. Hollar had these great Emoji themed cushions that were the perfect size for that table. The fact that they were Emojis was an added bonus too! I also ended up bringing in a rug from home that wasn’t in use anymore to put it towards the front of my classroom. I bought some inexpensive clipboards from Hollar so that students (especially the ones seated in the back) have an option to sit on the rug with the clipboard to hold their papers while I teach a lesson. Once I placed my order, my package came within a week and everything was packaged nicely. What surprised me the most was how many school supplies were sold on the website and how inexpensive everything was! And again, as a somewhat new teacher, every penny counts for me. I will definitely come back to Hollar with my future classroom needs and will be shopping there again next year when my son starts school. 

– Donna

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