For the past two years I have had a "Giving Tree" set up in the foyer area of my classroom. I bought it at a teacher supply store. There are a bunch of little leaves that can be attached. In the past I've written some needed supplies on the leaves with a dry-erase marker. This year I decided to do something different since we are really well-stocked with classroom supplies. I came up with a list of several children's books that I wanted for the classroom to support our curriculum. I printed up white labels with the title and author as well as the Amazon price for each book. Then I stuck the leaves onto the tree for parents to take. I have the best group of parents. Seriously! After my parent orientation meeting, there were only 3 leaves left on the tree! After our Open House before school started the tree was totally bare! This week our books (and a few art posters to go with our artist study) have started coming in. I will put a label inside each book designating the child who donated it to our school and the school year. I think the parents have enjoyed contributing to our classroom in such a meaningful, tangible way. It leaves a legacy for their family in our school since the books will stay with the classroom and be enjoyed for years to come instead of being quickly consumed (as in the case of glue sticks or paints).
Since the tree lost its' leaves so quickly I had to come up with even more titles that we would like. How great is that?
Below is a photo showing the tree with the labeled leaves.
And this blurry photo shows a close-up of one of the leaves. I have designated books we'll use soon with a sticky note that says, "We would love this ASAP."