You've been lurking on the site for awhile, and today is the day you're finally going to give this crazy DonorsChoose.org thing a try. Or maybe you're a DonorsChoose.org veteran, and this is the moment you'll shake things up and ask for one of those wacky dream items. Or perhaps you're somewhere in between, keeping an eye out for new project inspiration.If you're not sure what to ask for or how to prioritize items for your next request, here are three places to get awesome suggestions and crucial guidance. The best part? All three of these spots are at your disposal every day.
Your classroom—and the kids that fill it. Take a look around your room and do a good old-fashioned brainstorm. Write down any essential resources you're lacking. Jot down that field trip idea or the name of that class visitor you've been thinking about.DonorsChoose.org teacher Ms. Baugher explains her process: "I start by imagining a perfect day in my classroom: what are students doing? What are they learning? And finally, what are the resources and supplies that will get them there?"The answer to that last question is the beginning of any DonorsChoose.org project.
Your available funding. DonorsChoose.org raises over half the funds donated on our site. To gain access to this built-in support, post a project that qualifies for a current funding opportunity. These opportunities—besides bringing you closer to your goal—provide fantastic fodder for project ideas. See what funding is available in your state; it may very well spark an idea for a new way to reach your students!
Your colleagues, near and far. All you have to do is take a quick look through current classroom projects to confirm that teachers are some of the most inventive people on earth. Whether it's finding a new way to articulate the importance of basic supplies or coming up with an innovative combination of art, literature, and history—educators have serious creative muscles.For donors, these projects offer a glimpse into our nation's schools. For teachers, they're an opportunity to visit classrooms across the country to get inspiration and ideas. You can search projects by grade level, subject area, and geographic location (among other things) to find projects relevant to you.We're always trying to give advice about how to best use the site, but your fellow teachers are the true experts. See what they've been up to!