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How to Make Labels for your Classroom
DIY, Teaching Resources

DIY: Quick and Easy Labels For Your Classroom!

Last week I was able to go into my classroom for the first time! It was so exciting, but so so so much work. I spent 3 whole days there last week, and it looks like I did nothing. This week I began new teacher orientation that lasts the rest of the week and is all day long. There isn’t much time to spend in my classroom this week because of it. So, I have been trying to make use of my time in the evenings by making things for my classroom. It’s so much work, but I know it will all get done eventually. The kids start September 3rd, so I still have some time.

How to Make Labels for your Classroom

What are my label options?

One of the things I knew I needed for my room is labels for things, lot and lots of labels. I searched online and in stores for some cheap labels, but everything was pretty pricey, so I decided to do some experimenting on my own in Microsoft Word. There are tons of programs out there to make labels, I’m sure PowerPoint would have worked well too. I just picked Word because I am the most comfortable with it right now, and I was trying to be the most efficient with my time. Whatever you decide to use, make sure you can insert an image into a shape.

How to make labels for your classroom

The first thing you need to do is decide if you want to insert an image or simply use colors. If you want to use an image, you need to first find the image you want to use. I searched though Pintrest for some free chevron patterns and downloaded those. Next, open a blank word document, then insert a shape. I chose to use ovals for these particular labels. Once the shape is the size you want, click on the “fill” drop down arrow and click “fill effects”. This should open a new window with lots of options. On the left side of the screen, the first option should be “fill”, click that and then click the top option of “Picture or Texture”. From there you will need to upload the picture you want to use. This will fill the shape with the pattern. Finally, insert another shape that’s smaller on top of the first shape and leave it white, this will be a space for the label name. From there you can either insert text, or print it out and hand write the label.

I haven’t decided yet if I am going to insert text onto my labels or hand write them. I plan to wait until I am closer to finishing my classroom to decide this. I am considering printing the labels, laminating them, and then writing the labels with Expo marker so I can change them year after year. I’ll be sure to update when I finish my classroom 🙂 Have you ever made labels before, how did you make them?

How to Stock your Classroom Library on a Budget
Teaching Resources

How to Stock your Classroom Library on a Budget

How to Stock your Classroom Library on a Budget

Ever since I can remember I have dreamed about having my own classroom someday. As I worked through my undergrad program, that dream seemed to be getting closer and closer. Just thinking about it would get me excited to finally do what I have wanted for my entire life. But then reality came crashing down, teachers have to pay for their own supplies and books?! WHAT?! The thought of stocking an entire classroom library like the ones I had seen in my placements, made me sick to my stomach. How was I going to be able to afford all of those books?? Now that I am less than a month away from starting my first year, I have become very creative in my ways of stocking my classroom library with books. Here are some ways that I have found books for my classroom, for cheap!

1. Tell People You’re a Teacher

Seriously, whenever I am buying anything for my classroom I tell people I’m a teacher. Usually, they can tell. I mean come on, who else buys that many school supplies in one trip, or that many books in one haul. No one. Except teachers. I can’t say it has always worked for me, but sometimes there is a discount that I didn’t know about. The best place to tell people you’re a teacher is at garage sales 🙂

2. Garage Sales

I can’t tell you how much free stuff I have been given from people hosting garage sales after sharing with them I’m a teacher. They’re trying to get rid of their stuff, and I will gladly take it off their hands 😉 I’ve picked up school supplies, storage bins, children’s books, and so much more at garage sales. It’s such a great way to get things for so much cheaper. But, I’ll warn you, go in with a plan, know what you’re looking for before you get there. Otherwise, you’re aimlessly looking at stuff and the next thing you know you have a bunch of stuff you don’t actually need sitting in your house.

3. Ask Family/Friends/Anybody That Will Listen

I’ve had a lot of luck asking people I know for things. Everyone knows I’m a teacher, so whenever they are getting rid of things, they call me. I don’t always need or take the things they are offering, but when I do it’s always nice. A lot of families I know will get rid of the books their kids no longer read, I gladly take those off their hands.

4. Book Sale Fundraisers

Classroom Library Books

This is my all time favorite. Last weekend there was a book sale fundraiser by my house. It was book heaven. I don’t think I can even accurately describe the scene that was this fundraiser. It was just that amazing. Imagine a middle school cafeteria with every table piled with books, and all the books being under a dollar. AND THE BOOKS WERE ORGANIZED BY GENRE AND SUBJECT. There was even an entire section for children and young adults, and within the section it was organized by grade level. It made my searching so much easier. I ended up leaving with 53 books for 53 dollars and it all went to providing kids with scholarships for college, I was so excited.

5. Store Sales, like Target

This isn’t my favorite one, but it did get me books for very little money. In the dollar area when you first walk in Target there are sometimes teacher stuff. One time I found some books in there that were a dollar each. I wouldn’t say it was great literature, but they were chapter books that my kids may enjoy reading. Additionally, I have a Target card, so I got an additional 5% off my entire purchase, which is nice 🙂

 

I’m still working on adding books to my classroom library, but this definitely helped me find way more books than I ever thought I would for the amount that I have paid so far. What are some ways that you stocked your classroom library on a budget? Share your tips in the comments 🙂