It goes without saying,but back to school shopping isn't just for students and parents. With a new school year comes an influx of new products for schools. From modern takes on old staples to totally new inventions, the list of choices for classrooms and front offices can be overwhelming. Here are six new products to keep in mind this year.
New to the Crayola family, these markers are an update on the classic. The emphasis here is on the "Ultra-Clean." Long gone are the days of green and purple hands or multi-colored stains on desks. These markers have an improved washable formula that makes getting stains out of everything from desks and tables to skin and clothes is easy. It sounds like a pretty good deal for lower-elementary school classrooms where hand-eye motor skills are still developing. Visit Crayola's online store and use the Promo Code: Summer50 to get the typically $4.99 8-pack for just $2.49.
Confronted by a lack of "green" options during back to school shopping, Green ABCs co-founder and CEO Beth Davies not only made moves to fill this gap but hopes to inspire a "green revolution" in the process. So what sorts of green supplies can you get? Parents or teachers can purchase "School Kits" that are age- and grade-appropriate. For example, the Elementary School Kit (for pre-k to second grade) costs $70 and comes with the following items made from recyclable or biodegradable materials:
- 1 pair of Scissors, 5" round tip with corn plastic handles
- 5 two-pocket Folders (assorted: red, blue, green, yellow, black)
- 5 100-page Marble Composition Books, wide-ruled
- 1 9" x 12" Sketch Pad, 40 sheets
- 2 boxes of 10 #2 Pencils
- 1 box of 24 soy-based Crayons
- 1 pack of 8 washable Markers
- 1 box of 12 Colored Pencils
- 10 Sticks of Glue
- 2 Bottles of White Glue
- 200 3" x 5" Index Cards
- 200 4" x 6" Index Cards
- 1 ream (500 sheets) of Copy Paper
- 1 pad (48 sheets) of 9" x 12" Construction Paper
- 1 three-ring 1" Binder, with elastic closure
- 2 packs of 150 Sticky Notes
- 1 Pencil Pouch with zipper
- 3 Erasers
- 1 two-hole Sharpener
- 4 fine-tip Highlighters
In other words, it's a lot of supplies for a relatively low price, considering the benefits to the environment in the long run. That said, since the price is somewhat more expensive than some of the other "classroom" deals that lure teachers and families in, Green ABCs has fundraising and donation options as well as some complimentary "green" supplies.
Formerly called Remind101, Remind is a text messaging program that allows for seamless communication between teachers, students, and parents. According to the company's website, Remind is currently being used by one-fifth of U.S. teachers, and just last month, the company launched a global initiative to help teachers abroad connect with their students. Using the app, teachers can send assignment reminders, photos, and documents directly to the phones of students and their parents. But the best part is that privacy is still preserved. While teachers and families can interact with the device, phone numbers are never exchanged. Additionally, smartphones are not necessary for the program to work. Remind messages can go to text message OR email. The app leaves a trail of all messages sent, making it easy for teachers to reference past Remind blasts.
Oh, did we mention the best part? It's free!
Not every classroom has a sink in it, but that doesn't mean fun (and potentially messy) projects should be put on hold. Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes are perfect for cleaning hands, without having to send all 30 students to the bathroom down the hall. Just as important, the wipes are antibacterial and kill 99.99% of germs — a big plus in the classroom setting! Wet Ones can be found at any mass drug or grocery stores nationwide.
Still in beta, ClassWallet aims to alleviate the requirement for teachers to pay for supplies out-of-pocket and get reimbursed later. Founder Jamie Rosenberg, the man behind AdoptAClassroom.org, wanted to streamline the way schools or foundations could distribute money to teachers. The web-based application has teachers spend directly from a school's ClassWallet account — all tracked on a PDF for administrators. For field trips, funds can also be redirected to a prepaid MasterCard. Partners include Best Buy, Office Depot, Scholastic, School Specialty, and Carson Delosa.
This story is part of our newly expanding K12 coverage. If you would like to subscribe to the Education Dive: K12 newsletter, click here. You may also want to read Education Dive's look at whether STEM is enough to prepare students for tomorrow's workforce.