Third- through fifth-grade: back-to-school supply list
Here's a basic list if you don't have one from your child's school yet.
Don't Waste Your Money on These
- "Feather pencils, light-up pencil sharpeners, pretty erasers that don't work," says Salvatico.
- Expensive folders "with many pockets and zippers are basically useless - especially in K-5 - and are often times too big to fit in desks," says Robertson.
By GreatSchools Staff
Before you shop for back-to-school supplies, it's best to get a list of what's required from your child's school or new teacher. If the school list isn't available yet, you can still take advantage of back-to-school sales by sticking to the basics that you know your child will need.
Basic Writing Supplies
No. 2 pencils (Parents should stick to the basics here, advises Nicola Salvatico, Pennsylvania's 2005 Teacher of the Year. "When they get fancy pencils, it becomes a 'that's mine' event.")
Pencil sharpener (hand held with a top to collect shavings)
Large pink eraser ("These good old ones do the best erasing," says Salvatico "The fancy ones look good but don't erase well.")
Box of crayons (16-pack for younger kids, more for older ones, says Salvatico. "Parents need to think how their child can organize and care for their supplies before buying them the mega box of things.")
Spiral bound or composition notebooks
Loose-leaf notebook paper
Note: Teachers can be picky about paper. Schools usually supply specially ruled handwriting paper to help younger children with letter formation. Older children use wide-ruled paper.
Basic Organizational Supplies
Box for storing supplies
Index cards, ruled and unruled (for making flash cards)
A sturdy, supportive backpack
Note: Some schools do not permit rolling backpacks because of space considerations, so check with your school before considering this option.
Basic Craft Supplies
A ruler with English and metric measurements
4-oz. bottle of white glue
Scissors (blunt end for younger kids, pointy for older ones)
Water color paints