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Classroom Shopping Lists Under $500

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With a fresh new school year right around the corner, you’re probably already thinking about all the tools and resources you’re excited to bring to your students this year. Before you hit the keyboard and request items through DonorsChoose.org, here’s one of our top tips for creating a successful project:

Lower cost project requests are more likely to be funded. Keeping your project under $500 gives it the best chances of getting funded. 

With so many big ideas and opportunities for the coming year, it can be hard to prioritize what you need first. Whether you need pencils and pens, plan to build a school garden with your students, or want to host a writing workshop, here are nine easy-as-pie “recipes” for projects costing less than $500!

Inspired by anything here? 

Create a DonorsChoose.org Classroom Project

A few quick notes: All of the prices below are approximate and subject to change, depending on vendors and availability. Most of these supplies are available at multiple vendors. These suggestions can be mixed and match as you please.

New Year, Fresh Start 

This is your ultimate starter kit to prepare your classroom for the new school year.

1 Mind Reader 3 Tier Metal Mesh Rolling Stacking Storage Bins
1 AdirOffice 30 Slots Classroom File Organizer
2 EXPO Low Odor Dry-Erase Markers, Chisel Tip, 16/pack
2 Bemiss-Jason Bordette Border Rolls, 6/pack
2 Staedtler Wooden Pencil 144/Box
2 EXPO Dry-Erase Markers, Fine Point, 12/pack
3 Teacher Created Resources Better Than Paper Roll
4 BIC Round Stic Xtra Life Ballpoint Pens, Medium Point, Black & Blue Ink 60/pack
4 EXPO Block Eraser 

Total: $465

Story/Journal Time

Develop your students’ writing skills and love for storytelling with this project.

1 PapermateWrite Bros. Ballpoint pens, Medium Point, Blue Ink 60/pack
1 PapermateWrite Bros. Ballpoint pens, Medium Point, Black Ink 60/pack
2 Cliffhanger Writing Prompts 
2  Scholastic Story-Writing Sandwich Prompts
3 Staples Wooden Pencils 72/pack
3 Accent Pocket Style Highlighter 12/set
4 Learning Resources Journals, Writing Journals, Set of 10 
4 Learning Resources Journals, Make a Story, Set of 10 
5 PapermateWrite Bros. Ballpoint pens, Medium Point, Red Ink 12/pack

Total: $450

To Science Now And Beyond

Get your science class essentials. 

2 Cylinder Boros, 10X 0.1 ML, 10/PK
5 Beaker, Low Form 250ML
24 Forceps Sharp Pt. Straight 
24 Petri Dish, 100x 15 mm Top & Bottom
24 Goggles Safety Impact Direct 

Total: $498

A New Year… A New Library

If you’re planning to set up your classroom library, you’ll need these resources to help you get organized.

1 Scotch PRO Thermal Laminator, Never Jam Technology 
1 Heavyweight Ruled Lined 3x5 Index Cards 300-Count
1 Multipurpose Copy Printer Paper - 8.5 x 11 Inches, 3 Ream Case 
2 3M Laminating Pouch Kit with All Varieties of Laminating Pouches 
2 Scotch Sure Start Shipping Packaging Tape, 2 Rolls, and 1 Dispenser 
2 Sharpie Electro Pop Permanent Markers, Fine Point, 24 Count
3 Sterilite Medium Stacking Basket, White Basket With Titanium Accents, 6-Pack
3 Sterilite Medium Stacking Basket, Black Basket With Titanium Accents, 6-Pack

Total: $350

Forensics 101

Looking to make science more hands-on? Create this forensic-focused project for your students. 

1 His Hair, Her Hair, Whose Hair? Kit
1 The Case of the Murdered Mayor Kit
1 The Mystery of Lyle and Louise: Hair and Fiber Analysis Kit
2 MedPride Powder-Free Nitrile Exam Gloves, Large, Box/100

Total: $490

LEGOs Around The World 

Allow your students to build the world they want to explore. This is an awesome hands-on social studies project for middle school students. 

1 LEGO Architecture New York City Skyline Model Kit 
1 LEGO Architecture Statue of Liberty Building Kit 
1 LEGO Architecture Las Vegas
1 LEGO Architecture Skyline CollectionParis Building Kit
1 LEGO Architecture London Skyline Collection 
1 LEGO Architecture Great Wall of China 

Total: $390.00

Let Us Grow Together

If you’re looking for a gardening experience, order these items and help your elementary and middle school students learn about vegetables and nutrients. 

1 Housolution Peat Pots for Seedlings, 100pc 3 Inch Gardening Seed Starter Tray Kit
2 FOYUEE Metal Raised Garden Beds for Vegetables Large Planter Box Steel  Gardening Kit Outdoor Herb 6x3x1FT
2 Miracles-Gro Shake ‘N Feed All Purpose Continuous Release Plant Food 
2 50 Packs Assorted Heirloom Vegetable Seeds 30+ Varieties All Seeds are Heirloom, 100% Non-GMO
2 Bloem Classic JW Watering Can, 2 Gallon Deep Sea
3 Miracles-Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix, 8-Quart (2 pack)

Total: $390

Story Time With LEGOS

Here’s a project to help your students create and develop their stories verbally. Ideal for PreK-1st grade students.  

1 Creative Lego Brick Set 
1 Community Minifigure Set 
1 StoryTales 
1 Build Me Emotions
Total: $455

Future Me In The Making 

Help your students expand their imagination and learn about different professions. This one’s ideal for PreK–1st grade students.

1 Let’s Talk! Storytelling Puppets - Complete Set
1 Toddler Career Costume Set 
1 Pretend & Play Mailbox
1 Push-Button Play Phone

Total: $500

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