Using community supplies in the classroom is an easy way to use community supplies in Kindergarten. Let me walk you through how and why we use community supplies instead of individual supplies. Check out our table supply system and 5 reasons why community supplies in the classroom are the way to go.
Community Supplies In Kindergarten Set Up
Since my students sit at color-coded tables, it makes logical sense to have color-coded table supply bins. Those loud personal supply bins have no logical storage place with tables. Moreso, I like to add color-coded materials to these supply bins as well, like scissors. The blue bin gets blue scissors. Each caddie gets enough crayons, glue, scissors, and pencils for the students at that table.
Community Supplies vs. Individual Supplies
Whether a student has or doesn’t have school supplies is not a student problem. It may be a parent problem if the parent is expected to provide items. It may be the teacher’s problem if the school is expected to provide school items or if the parents are supposed to and do not. Regardless, it is to no fault of the child if they do or do not have school supplies. Providing community supplies is a great way to ensure every child has what they need in order to learn.
After working in education for a while, I do want to note that sometimes a particular student is extremely rough with their supplies and does not take care of their supplies. They most likely need to be shown how to use school supplies and you may have to remove some items from them until they can treat the supplies with respect.
Community Supplies In Kindergarten #1
The first reason to use Kindergarten community supplies is how fast and easy it is community supplies can be to pass out and return. Transitions can be a time that may waste valuable instruction time, so reducing transition time can and will result in more instruction time. I like to assign a student to be a supply helper. The supply helper hands out and collects supplies from each table.
Community Supplies In Kindergarten #2
Community supplies help students learn to work together. Students can easily work with each other to collect their supplies from their tables and return those items to the correct place. It is also easy to see who did and did not close their glue bottles with ease. Working with others is always a demanded skill to learn.
Community Supplies in the Classroom #3
Next, we keep a small supply of extra supplies that students can grab and use as needed. If a student has a supply need, a student can just go grab what they need from this area and come back to their seat to use it. They don’t need to raise their hand or ask. Once I teach them how to use it, it is pretty simple. This means a broken pencil doesn’t interrupt learning, the student simply grabs a new one and returns to work.
Using community supplies saves the teacher time and energy. It takes seconds to see whose glue bottles need to be replaced or who is missing scissors. And honestly, one of the main reasons for this is because the students usually take care of this responsibility themselves, I am just back up.
Community Supplies in the Classroom #4
As supplies dwindle, we can still use what we have. Every year, those red crayons start to dwindle and disappear. A student without a red crayon in their bin may struggle to have what they need to finish an activity. With community bins, sharing is promoted so chances are, there will always be a red crayon.
Don’t worry, during COVID, we did not use community supply bins. And when a student falls ill, we clean and sanitize the materials in the bins.
Community Supplies in the Classroom #5
Finally, these supply bins are easy to move back and forth to any location in the classroom. In Kindergarten, students don’t usually do all their work in their seats, at their tables. We work on the floor and all around the room. Bins like these are easy to take with us to whatever location we need, even outside the classroom. Have you ever tried to take individual supply bins to another location in the school quietly? It is impossible.