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Pro tips on making your classroom basics projects pop

Middle School student posing next to the classroom cabinet sharpening his pencil

Even though it’s only October, we know your students have probably chewed on their pencils and copy paper is running low. Classroom basics like paper, pencils, glue, markers, and cleaning supplies are a necessity year-round; and the DonorsChoose community is excited to help you restock your closet!

One of the challenges that teachers report is that writing about classroom basics can feel, well, basic! To help you get started with your classroom basics project essay, we asked our teacher experts to share their tips to make your projects stand out.

Keep your project descriptions simple and vivid

Classroom basics might seem obvious, but including some examples of the resources needed and how your students will use them can go a long way in inspiring donors.

Ms. Lorimer, for example, finds it helpful to tell it like it is — these supplies are ordinary resources, but if a teacher doesn’t have the basics, they can’t spend as much time focusing on student learning.

I think that it is helpful for people to understand that basic supplies aren’t exciting. But having them means freeing us up to do our best, most student-centered work. We cannot do that if we’re trying to find paper, tape, staples, Kleenex, and such that we need just to get through the day.

- Ms. Lorimer

Use creativity to help your project stand out

Whether you create a rhyme, include stats, or share an inspiring quote, creativity is key! Ms. Edwards posted a project description with a catchy song to show the impact of the resources she was requesting.

I wrote a project to the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for basic supplies and it was a great way for me to be able to express the need for basic supplies.

I explained how red pens help with my students by giving each other feedback on their work and reflecting on their own work. Specifically mentioning the ways basic supplies can have an impact on the classroom using examples helps donors connect to the project goal.”

- Ms. Edwards

If you got excited about this idea, here’s a screenshot of the project rhyme! Sing along! 

Bring a smile to potential donors with humor

Fun descriptions for your classroom supplies project can be a great way to grab your donor’s attention and show them the energy you bring to your students.

I think adding humor is helpful as well. I got a project funded for Ticonderoga pre-sharpened pencils, and it was all about how middle school students eat pencils. I joke with my students about it all the time and we brainstorm where all the missing pencils have gone. Donors like to know that there is truly a need, but also enjoy tasteful humor.

- Mrs. Yates

Feeling inspired? Start creating your classroom basics project now! 

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