I have really cut down the supply list that the students in my Montessori classroom are required to bring for school. In fact, the only things they are bringing are one two-pocket folder and a gallon sized Ziploc bag with a change of clothes. Each child will have their own little cubby in the room. In the past, they have all brought a pencil box, pair of scissors, pencil, and crayons to keep in their cubbies. However, I am planning to have all these supplies available on the art shelf, so they can just go to one place and grab what they need instead of getting in and out the cubbies all the time. To me, that arrangement just makes sense.
Some parents have already inquired about the shorter supply list and have asked what else they could do for the classroom. So.........in my entry area, I have set up a Giving Tree on the bulletin board. I purchased the tree (and the leaves) as a set at a teacher's supply store. I laminated the leaves so I could write on them with a dry-erase marker. On each leaf I have written the name of an item that could be donated to the classroom. Things I have on the leaves so far include: bottle of hand sanitizer, box of wet wipes, box of large Ziploc bags, cotton balls, watercolor paints, etc. If a parent wishes to donate an item, they remove the leaf, purchase the item, then return the item and leaf to a green plastic bin placed near the tree.
Here you can see the tree with the explanation sign (top right) and the tub below. As the leaves come down, I plan to hang some of the children's seasonal artwork on the tree (along with blank leaves) such as apple prints in September, watercolor leaves in October, etc. I don't like to change out bulletin boards, so the blue gingham fabric will stay up all year. I will just change the borders to match the season.
Here is a close-up of the explanation sign I posted. If you would like a copy of it, you may download it here.
Here is the sign I placed on the tub. You may download it here if you wish as well.