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Top Tips to Get Free Items for Your Classroom
Today I’m sharing my top tips to help you receive thousands of dollars worth of classroom supplies for free! You’ll find Donor’s Choose ideas, thank you notes, and the best ways to ensure your project receives funding!
Did you read my recent table transformation post? I’m sharing with you how I upgraded this old table for only $8!
Be sure to read the post to see how to makeover the top of the table. One key detail I mention is that those beautiful blue chairs are in my classroom now at no cost to me through a Donor’s Choose project.
Free Items for Your Classroom
Our classroom is full of thousands of dollars worth of supplies donated for my students to use through the website Donor’s Choose!
See all of these adorable center activities, ink pads, stamps, magnets, and the cloth alphabet book? Those alpha-bots are a HUGE hit with my kids and the Launch and Learn games are so much fun!
This beautiful rug is in our classroom because of Donor’s Choose. I have always wanted one of these but was never able to afford one because of the cost. I am so grateful that we’ve now had this one for a couple of years thanks to all the generous donors!
How To Get Free Resources for Your Classroom through Donor’s Choose
Have you used Donor’s Choose before? The first time I submitted a project it was not funded. In fact, the first few times I tried to submit a project, they were not funded.
I can’t wait to share several secrets with you to ensure you receive funding! Here are my top tips!
- First, use this link or any of the links in this post to sign up! If you do, we both receive $25 towards a project of our choice!
- Second, after receiving signed permission from parents, upload a photo of your students. I think this really helps grab their attention as they are scrolling through the site.
- Then write an accurate description of the struggles your students face. Do you have a high number of free or reduced lunch students? Do you teach in a Title 1 school? Have a high number of ESL learners? Make sure to include that information when describing your classroom!
- Next, be specific about why you need each item and how you will use it (daily if possible).
- Consider breaking large projects into smaller ones. For example, if you want $500 worth of books to add to your classroom library, consider breaking that into 2 or 3 projects. List one project and start another after your first receives funding.
- Share your link with friends and family without being pushy. You will be surprised how many people would love to help add to your classroom!
- Finally, when your project is funded, make sure your thank you notes shine to show how grateful you are possibly have repeat donors!
Thank You Dilemma
This year I received these 4 super comfy, super nice floor chairs to add to our classroom through a Donor’s Choose grant. The rainbow soft seats cushions also came from this project.
I knew it was time for my students to write thank you notes but the problem is that I teach kindergarten, it’s the beginning of the year, and I know they can’t really write too much yet.
I began by explaining to my students how generous and kind the lady was that bought all of these nice floor seats so we could fully implement flexible seating this year. (Many times it will be several people donating together to fund your project. Fortunately, the first lady to donate decided to fund the entire project this summer!)
I began by writing the words “soft seats” on the board and the students were instructed to copy those two words and write their names at the bottom of the sheet I provided. As they got to work, I went around taking pictures of where they naturally decided to sit. Guess what? Students always select the rainbow cushions and blue flex chairs first!
My daughter even added her cushion to another chair to make it extra comfy!
I quickly uploaded the pictures to my project page on Donor’s Choose. After I finished, I walked around to see what my students were coming up with.
Finished Thank You Notes
My kids really impressed me! How adorable are the drawings?
I cut around the edges of the page and added cardstock to the back. I think you will love this resource on TPT where you can find a variety of differentiated Thank You Note templates to choose from. These thank you notes work for anyone who gives to your classroom whether that be through time, money, or resources!
Afterwards, I also wrote a personalized thank you note to our generous donor. Of course, you can find the teacher thank you in my TPT resource too.
All you have to do is print out a free shipping label, attach it to an envelope. and slide these thank you notes inside. It makes the whole process so easy. One of my favorite things about Donor’s Choose is that they save much of your information for the next project you submit so it’s much easier the next time around!
What do you think? Have you used Donor’s Choose in your classroom or do you intend to? Leave a comment or question for me below!
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Happy Teaching & Mommy-ing this week friends!