Four Methods For Making Classroom Resources Last Longer

contributed by Jennifer Smith

As a teacher, you probably go through a wide range of resources in your classroom.

While you may expect this to happen in classrooms with younger children, the problem doesn’t disappear in middle and high school. You want your students to have access to the right supplies, but don’t want to spend huge sums of money time and time.

Below are four methods you can try to make your resources last longer, and save yourself some money in the long run.

1. Use Protective Cases on Devices

Most classes nowadays utilize technological devices that provide interesting apps that keep kids engaged. With these devices changing hands daily, they are bound to break, have their screens cracked, or just stop working due to misuse. Placing a protective case on each device will help ensure it lasts for as long as possible. Many companies offer a number of cases and screen protectors that you can utilize for the devices in your classroom. You can search by device to find a case that is the right shape and size. Screen protectors are a nice addition because they will lessen the chance of the screen breaking from a drop, which is likely to happen with a number of kids using the device regularly. Tempered glass options should be used, as they offer advanced protection.

2. Create Book Covers

Books are another valuable resource for your students to use. In order to keep them intact, you can create your own book covers that will prevent the front and back pages from getting torn.

The paper bag method is a common option. You can have your students each bring in their own paper bags, and then help them cut it down to the right measurements for their books. This is an inexpensive method but can be time-consuming.

3. Purchase Higher Quality Items the First Time

You should never start out with cheap supplies hoping they’ll last. During your initial classroom purchases, think quality rather than savings (unless you’re able to do both). Pencil sharpeners, for example, are one item that should be purchased at a higher price. An electric pencil sharpener worth more money will last longer in the classroom after daily use than a $5 sharpener. You can visit an office supply store and discover which items have a warranty, which is an even better option.

Staplers, keyboards, dry erase markers, 3-ring binders, and more fall into this category.

Teach Kids How to Treat Technology and Other Items

Simply sticking a cover on a book or device is not going to be enough to keep it protected. You can also stress the importance of proper care and treatment of technology and other items to your students. Helping them understand what happens when things are treated poorly will help make them realize that they need to be careful when handling your classroom resources, and theirs at home as well. Students can benefit from smartphones in school, but only if they can use them in a sustainable way.

Allowing them to use their own devices from home can also help them see how valuable they are to learning, and make them want to keep these devices working as well if they’re accountable for their repair or replacement.

Classroom resources are not easy to come by. It takes a great deal of money and effort to keep supplies stocked and ready for long-term use. By utilizing these four methods, you can have a better chance to make your resources last longer.

image attribution flickr user superkimbo