School Supply Shopping

If you watch the newspaper fliers you’ll find a ton of good deals on schools supplies in our local big boxes–but be careful. Avoid cheapo brands and generics. You’re better off sticking with quality labels such as Ticonderoga. The quality of your child’s tools makes a tremendous difference in class. It also keeps you from having to buy new supplies again in January.

You can also utilize used supplies. There’s nothing wrong with last year’s scissors, ruler, pencils, and many other items (assuming they weren’t the cheapo brands). Be sure, however, to get the official TI calculator (TI-30XIIS). Students will need it through 8th grade, we have many lessons designed for this specific calculator, and it is the only calculator allowed on the state math test.

If you need the official CPE school supply list, click here. If you’d like the Room 15 version identifying all the stuff you don’t need and preferences for the rest, click here. I highly recommend you give ownership of school supply shopping over to your child. Establish a reasonable budget and let them purchase their own supplies (though have them view the tips shown here).

Some spots to cut back: kids only need a dozen pencils–but it’s essential that they’re Ticonderoga. Cheap brands are simply a waste of money (they don’t sharpen and the erasers smudge) and mechanical pencils create problems in class. Besides Ticonderogas are one things still made in America.

Don’t overspend on the three ring binder. It needn’t be a zipper binder or have anything special about it.

Especially important items include the 70-pg theme books (usually available for around 10 cents this time of year), Ticonderogas, tissue, scissors, quality glue sticks (Ross, Elmer’s), a wooden or hard-plastic ruler showing inches and centimeters, and colored pencils.

Helpful extra items include a protractor, a personal manual pencil sharpener, and deodorant.

If you have any questions about supplies, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at

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