If you work in a school, you’ve likely been there. The curse of missing stationery! As I’m writing this, I’m reminded of my favourite stapler that went missing from the staffroom about 8 years ago… I’m still not over it!
In a classroom with lots of children around, it gets worse. You need every child in your class to have the essential equipment, pencils, rulers, glue sticks and such like, but how on earth do you keep them where they should be and stop them vanishing into thin air?!
Here are a few ideas and quick wins to stop stationary going missing in your classroom:
Encourage responsibility from your pupils. They become the stationery saviours who must take care and protect it; that means no borrowing, no vandalising and no losing it! Reward successful saviours with something of value to them.
Let your class decorate their pencils and pens, coloured tape is ideal for this or it could be as simple as a name or initials! This not only gives the kids a sense of ownership over their stationery, but it also makes each item identifiable and unique.
If you need to avoid names on equipment, then give every item a number and allocate that number to a child. If one goes missing or turns up where it shouldn’t be you’ll know who is responsible.
Give all stationery a home, it’s taken out to be used and put back when you’re done. Encourage your pupils to get into the habit of returning things. A stationery station in the classroom or individual ‘homes’ in each pupils tray or on the table.
Loan out your classroom stationery and hold something of your pupil’s value until it’s returned. The valuable thing you take in return could be a few minutes of playtime or house/team points for example - it doesn’t need to be a physical thing. If you get your items back, then they get theirs.