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c green

After another week in which my classes lost all their handouts and tried to make it my fault, I'm going to try interactive notebooks after the break. Told kids they needed to bring in two spiral-bound notebooks after the break.

Me: If someone knows this will be a problem, they should come to me outside of class, and ask for help.

"What if we can't?"

"I can't AFFORD it!"

"My mom won't buy them. Too much money!"

Me: You need to have these school supplies. As I said, if this will really not be possible for your parents to get, talk to me outside of class. You can get cheap notebooks at any Walgreens, or Office Depot.

"Or the dollar store!"

Me: Right. You could probably get a whole bunch of notebooks at a dollar store. But if your parents really say it's too much money, talk to me OUTSIDE of class.

"I can't afford it. I ain't going to get them."

"I'm not either."

"It's too much money! No way!"

Me: I think your mom will give you the money.

"No way! She'll say it's too much money."

"I ain't getting them. I ain't getting them."

"How come we have to have notebooks?"

"What if we don't get them?"

"How come you don't buy them for us?"


"How come you don't buy us notebooks?"

Me: ???????????????????????????????????

This is a middle-class neighborhood, although not at all affluent. The kids have cell phones, scooters, decent clothes. Now, this was only about five or six kids participating in this madness, but YEEEEEEESH! What is the MATTER with these kids? They whine a lot about having to use lined paper, too, and tell me their other teachers GIVE them paper to write on.


Senior Member

It's sometimes hard to get supplies from kids. In one school I worked at, it was such a hassle that I would actually stand in the doorway during passing periods informing them that in 20 minutes they would need paper and pencils so start looking now! LOL.

What I do is give them a grade for any supplies I want them to keep in my room. It ends up being either 100 or 0. Then I make compromises. This year I want them to keep a Reading Journal. I pulled out used file folders and told the kids that if they did not have a notebook, grab a folder and use that. I didn't spend money and they still can keep the journals.

I keep scratch paper for kids who claim they can't find anything to write on. They don't like the scratch paper, so they usually manage to find a piece. For pencils I loan out the ones I find on the floor or my tables. If they're gone, they're gone. Usually the pencils I find are crummy and the kids don't like to use them. If they're desparate for something to write with, and I don't have anything else, they need to use a crayon. "If you don't like what I have to offer, bring your own."

It can be a struggle, but eventually you find ways of getting around fighting the battle.


ok, whiners-

Fine, Ms. Green will buy you notebooks if you all buy her morning coffee, stickers, craft supplies, snacks, storage bins, and whatever else she pays out of her own pocket for you!

What is wrong with kids these days? I have some big time whiners in my class as well. In the future, I would just send a notice home to the parents directly without even telling the kids regarding your request for notebooks.


Senior Member
Guaranteed, if there were a child who really couldn't afford it, they'd be too embarrassed to say so.

If kids tried to blurt out in class that they couldn't afford something, I'd just say, "Your family's financial situation is private and confidential. See me after class to discuss it."

That would weed out the oppositional behavior (which is basically what the students were doing in your class) and spare anyone the embarrassment who really couldn't afford it.

You don't know what their parents are saying to them at home, of course - kids can be very literal. So if mom makes an offhand remark about how the family "can't keep spending money" on school supplies or trips or whatever, the kid might take it too seriously when the parent was just venting about prices or solicitations.