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Old 08-29-2017, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
1,998 posts, read 696,654 times
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First off, I think communal supplies are an awful idea. I wouldn't allow it if I ran the school system. I can maybe see some merit in the idea in kindergarten, and even then, by year-end, kids would transition to their own supplies they're responsible for. Which will prepare them for first grade, which is less play, more academics.

But teachers are embracing communal supplies left and right, so OK, fine, let's adapt to what we got. The practice is here to stay, and it isn't going anywhere, at least for the time being. Even so, communal supplies do seem to phase out at older grades, and disappear completely by high school.

But when is a "good" time to stop the practice? Should it be done when kids start switching classrooms for different subjects, which was 5th grade at my school? Should it be done as soon as kids get a hang of the school environment, like in 2nd grade? Or to go the opposite direction, allow it through elementary school, and switch to individual supplies in middle school, when kids get access to lockers?

Discuss!
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:11 AM
 
Location: NoVA
13,146 posts, read 8,398,645 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
First off, I think communal supplies are an awful idea. I wouldn't allow it if I ran the school system. I can maybe see some merit in the idea in kindergarten, and even then, by year-end, kids would transition to their own supplies they're responsible for. Which will prepare them for first grade, which is less play, more academics.

But teachers are embracing communal supplies left and right, so OK, fine, let's adapt to what we got. The practice is here to stay, and it isn't going anywhere, at least for the time being. Even so, communal supplies do seem to phase out at older grades, and disappear completely by high school.

But when is a "good" time to stop the practice? Should it be done when kids start switching classrooms for different subjects, which was 5th grade at my school? Should it be done as soon as kids get a hang of the school environment, like in 2nd grade? Or to go the opposite direction, allow it through elementary school, and switch to individual supplies in middle school, when kids get access to lockers?

Discuss!
Middle school. But, even then I kept supplies other than paper and pencils in my room. Some parents stink at making sure their kids have what they need, they just assume everyone else will pick up the slack - and we do.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:26 PM
 
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We had our own supplies as far back as I can recall in elementary. Most of us had a canvas 3 ring binder and a cigar or shoe box to hold out pencils, crayons, rulers, etc. if you needed a supply then you asked nicely to a classmate "may I borrow a whatever?" And you returned it when done.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:40 PM
 
Location: East Coast
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My experience with a couple of school districts hasn't been that everything was a communal supply (except in Kindergarten, where they did take all the crayons and glue sticks and made them all communal.)

What I've seen more often is that there are communal supplies for things like kleenex, clorox cleaner or windex type cleaners, etc. I'd be okay with sending in, say, an extra box of pencils for community use - otherwise the teachers end up buying a box to have on hand in case a child does not have one.

I do think that in an ideal world, the school would be providing all of these things, much like an office would. BUT, in so many areas, we have so many people who don't even want to pay a dime of taxes for the schools. And they vote. As a result, the school budgets are skimmed to the bone, and if the parents don't supply things like kleenex, then they either won't be supplied or the teachers themselves will be shelling out the funds.

In general, it seems like community supplies stop at middle school, since the kids have many classrooms then. In elementary, they have one main classroom, for the most part. And if I have to pitch in because the larger community refuses to do so, I don't really have any other choice.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
1,998 posts, read 696,654 times
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Just to clarify, when I said "communal supplies", I was referring to things like pencils, pens, writing paper, etc. I believe those should be individual, plain and simple. Communal supplies enable carelessness and increase waste, because kids adopt the mindset than they can always get more from the "limitless classroom stash". Nearly-full pencils get thrown on the floor just because the tip broke, rather than being resharpened. This behavior may help Ticonderoga raise profits, but it doesn't help schools reduce costs. (Of course, with parents providing the supplies, there is no cost associated with them.)

Stuff like paper towels and sanitizer, I'm fine with being communal even in high school.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:15 PM
 
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Back in the 1970s, I recall having paper and pencils supplied in the early elementary grades. K and 1 had horrible rough "recycled" paper and fat pencils with no erasers. It was really nice to switch to regular yellow #2 pencils and better-quality white lined paper in grade 2. But if I recall correctly, by the time we were in 4th grade or so, we were expected to bring our own pencils and paper in a binder.

I would think by grade 4 or at the latest 5, students could be responsible for bringing their own basic supplies. Of course the teacher can have some extras on hand, but not be expected to supply everything for the whole class.
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Old 08-29-2017, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
1,998 posts, read 696,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
Back in the 1970s, I recall having paper and pencils supplied in the early elementary grades. K and 1 had horrible rough "recycled" paper and fat pencils with no erasers. It was really nice to switch to regular yellow #2 pencils and better-quality white lined paper in grade 2. But if I recall correctly, by the time we were in 4th grade or so, we were expected to bring our own pencils and paper in a binder.
I started kindergarten in 1989. I vaguely remember colorful workbooks with simple word and math games, alongside weird notebook sheets with extra-wide lines, for drawing shapes and practicing writing. In 1st grade, we still had the workbooks, but weird notebook paper was phased out mid-year and replaced with the normal kind. By 2nd grade, it was all normal notebook paper, alongside newly introduced subject notebooks. Textbooks and workbooks became less childish in 3rd grade.

I don't remember how supplies were handled. I think everyone brought their own, except maybe in kindergarten.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Plano, TX
737 posts, read 1,739,115 times
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Where my kids go to school they seem to be reducing the number of supplies that are communal. However, it's still a problem until middle school as kids sometimes go to different rooms for different classes and supplies get stolen without lockers. I don't know what supplies my sixth-grade daughter was asked to put into a community box, but I'm thinking it was only the kleenex box, and whiteboard pens, whilst everything else is in her locker. (I went to school yesterday to help my daughter put in her multi-level locker shelf so I got a gander of what was inside.)
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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I teach in an elementary school. I've taught primary and upper elementary grades and most teachers I know don't have communal supplies.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:48 PM
 
6,418 posts, read 5,464,809 times
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I teach elementary school. I prefer using communal supplies and just buy whatever the kids need. The PTO provides a baseline of supplies, some kids bring in extras, and I buy the rest. You better believe the kids take care of the supplies I buy. I teach the students to take care of our community. I've never had an issue with parents or the students.
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