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  • Sharon Widmayer

Become an education scavenger!

Updated: Aug 14

Pretty much every educator I know is an expert at scavenging. Teachers cannot drive down the street on bulk trash day without screeching to a halt and throwing something in the trunk. But now - for many of us - school is at home! And so what if you, like many teachers, want to set up a good learning environment but are short on funds, and maybe even short on space? Here are some ideas to make it work on a limited budget.

Join Freecycle - Freecycle, an online community where people give and get free stuff is a great place to find things like binders, book shelves, and more. My local Freecycle has a desk lamp, shelves, misc. office/school supplies, and a bunch of kids books available right now.

Repurpose things you already have - my pandemic desk is a small cafe table pulled from my patio and a chair I normally pile laundry on. Used plastic food containers can be used to store school supplies. Metal baking sheets can be used for magnetic letters. Plastic place mats can be cheap dry erase boards.

Recycle! Shop at Aldi? You know the cardboard boxes everything is displayed in? They make great holders for book and school supplies. If your Aldi is anything like mine, there is usually a giant metal cage full of these boxes waiting to be disposed of. Help Aldi recycle them. Don't have space for desks for kids to work separately? You can make privacy screens so that the kids are less distracted. Here is an example. Need a tablet stand? No problem - repurpose an egg carton. You can also make a phone stand from a toilet paper roll. Live in Alexandria? Check out Upcycle. It's a great source for recycled school supplies.

Chalkboard paint is your friend - No place for a white board or chalk board? You can paint a wall, door, top of desk, etc, with chalkboard paint.

Curtains and tension rods can create private spaces.

Get a big wall board and cut it up for cheap white boards.

And of course, come to a screeching halt if you see something good by the side of the road.




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