SOS: What’s in Your Teacher Supply Box?

It’s Back to School time!  

Have you picked up a class set of the latest and greatest flamingo pink highlighters? A stapler/USB drive combo tool? What about an extra 10 reams of filler paper, just in case?  Stores all around have filled their bins with the newest types of mechanical pencils, sets of markers at bargain prices, and stacks and stacks of spiral notebooks in any color you’d hope for.  And, the zippers on backpacks are still stiff enough to make that deeply satisfying zzzzzzzzzipping sound! As you make sure you’re ready for students to put pencil to paper, make sure your teacher supply box gets filled up, too.  Here are some ideas for what you might put on your school supply wish list this year.


A Teacher Digital Supply Box 

By now we hope you know about Discovery Education’s Spotlight on Strategies,  a collection of more than 125 creative, research-based instructional strategies that provide endless ways to engage your students.  But, did you know that you can find the SOS in a variety of different ways? Searching for SOS within Discovery Education is the simplest method, while navigating to the SOS Content Collection gives you access to the strategies organized by the skills they address. You can also get great ideas about how fellow teachers are using SOS in their classrooms by watching for SOS-related posts in the DEN Online Community or visiting the DEN Blog on Mondays.


Sticky Notes are at the top of many teachers’ classroom supply wish lists, and it isn’t surprising. Their small size naturally limits a student’s written response, encouraging synthesis and summarization of information. They’re easy to use, stick on most any surface, and they come in lots of shapes and colors. Sticky Notes frequently show up as a required material for many of the SOS, including:  


Markers, because who doesn’t love a package of brand new markers at the beginning of the school year? Their cheerful colors brighten up everything from an illustration on a book report to a class rules poster or science display board. You and your students can use markers to communicate ideas, express creativity, and you can build in accountability by assigning specific colors to individuals or groups.  Some of the SOS that use markers in these ways are:


Board Games aren’t just for entertainment any more!

Many of the strategies in the SOS collection are adapted from popular board games.  These fun and entertaining games encourage strategy development, critical thinking & problem-solving and incorporate just a touch of competition that leaves students wanting more. Bring fun and games into your classroom with one of these strategies:


Glitter: Love it or hate it, glitter adds sparkle everywhere it goes!

Many of the SOS do the same. They enhance tasks that might otherwise cause students to lose interest and they definitely add sparkle to your instruction. Bling it up with one of these strategies:


Remember: SOS are Community Supplies

We’re excited that the over the past 5 years the SOS collection has developed into a community-sourced teacher supply.  You and your fellow DEN Community members have contributed ideas for making the most of digital media as an instructional tool.  Each time an SOS is used, it is adapted it to fit specific student needs. The SOS collection becomes more and more powerful each time a teachers shares their adaptation.  We want to know how you’re using the SOS, and hope you’ll share your SOS Story with the DEN! Looking for a creative way to share these strategies with your colleagues? Check out the SOS Packet Activity or Professional Learning Toolkits.

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