pictures of markers, folders and planner tabs recommended for teachers

5 Items You’ll Kick Yourself for Missing During Back-to-School Supply Sales

Woohoo!! It’s back to school shopping time!

The Fourth of July is always a fun, long family weekend, but equally exciting for me is that right after 4th of July… school supply sales start!!

I know I’m not the only one whose heart goes pitter-patter at the thought of shiny new Crayolas and beautiful, pristine notebooks to pick out, right?

I’m a shopper at heart and I love perusing a store, finding just the right product at a steal of a price. Over the years, I’ve spent hours upon hours wandering the aisles of every big box store, teacher supply store and office supply store searching out the very best products to use in my classroom for myself and with my students.

I love finding products that are super functional for my classroom while also being a great deal (because what teacher has bazillions of dollars at their disposal??) and being cute and stylish. That’s not too much to ask, is it? 😉

In all those countless hours (probably days!!) of my life that I have dedicated to school supply shopping, I have found some go-to products that work amazingly well in my classroom and that make me soooo happy. To save you the time and the search, I’ve got my top 5 favorites right here.

Note: In order to get the best prices, and for the best availability, it is best to purchase these during back to school season (July through September, generally) but they can certainly be purchased year-round!

Nurtured Potential 5 Must-Have Class Supplies

5 Must-Haves

1 The classic and iconic $1 Crayola thick pens, $1 Crayola thin pens, and $1 Crayola colored pencils. At this amazing price and for the quality, they are SO worth it over the other brands. (While they cost about $3 to $5 per pack most places, get them at Target during back to school season for $1 per pack!) My students’ families used to send in their own supplies each year which meant that every child in my class had different brands and types of pens. And year after year, the Crayola pens were still going strong in May and June while the other brands had long-since dried out. Each teacher at my school now purchases the supplies for their class with funds from the PTA, and these Crayola pens and crayons are what I get for every student. Each child’s “art box” (aka pencil box) gets a pack of thin Crayola markers, a pack of thick Crayola markers and a pack of Crayola colored pencils.

2 My favorite homework folders. They are made of super-durable plastic in 10 different colors, with large tabs inside to flap down over the papers in the folder so they Don’t. Fall. Out!  And we all know every teacher finds a pile of homework folder papers on the ground way more often than we’d like because our precious little ones repeatedly carry their homework folders upside down, right? I’ve been using my class set of folders for two full years and they are still in good enough shape to use next year! See a whole post on these folders (that’s how much I love them!) here.

3 Flair pens. Not for your students; for you. They’ll be your special teacher pens in beautiful colors and will make even the most boring meetings more fun and the longest to-do list more palatable. They are fine-tipped, felt tip pens and don’t write erratically like I find colored gel and ink pens always do. They make my writing, notes, to-do lists, and more pop!

4 Multiple colors of highlighters for every student. While you are picking out your Crayolas, don’t pass up the chance to get a set of 7 different color highlighters for 1.00! See all about how I get 7 different color highlighters for every child in my class for less than $30 total in this post.

5 Glamorous Monthly Tabs that work in any planner. I love these from Erin Condren. I add them to my own Nurtured Potential Teacher Planner and love the vibrant watercolor washes with real gold foil lettering. They’re one of those little things that will make you so happy.

Which of these sound perfect for your classroom? What are your favorite student or teacher school supplies to buy? I always love new ideas!


I'm Allison Blair, and I’m so honored you are here. I am a teacher at heart who can never pass up an opportunity to share information with someone. Luckily, that teaching compulsion comes in handy — I am a first-grade teacher of over 15 years, a teaching/parenting blogger and (most importantly!) a mom of two little ones. I have especially strong passions for: • early literacy learning and classroom and home libraries • creating a love of learning and reading in children • behavior management and child development • building classroom communities and family closeness • using purposeful teacher and parent word choice with children You've already got the love. Now here's the background knowledge you need to support your child's academic and emotional growth and create a strong family connection. I'm here to ease your mind and help you confidently raise your children in the way you've always wished you could. Welcome!

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