We start so early now that the District and UESF worked out something so that the check I expected in July 2011 came nearly a year in advance. This is clever on both parts, since the beginning of the school year has got to be prime teacher spending time and flush pockets makes for fun at the teachers' supply store.
In fact, someone should recommend a federal stimulus plan of this nature: hand public school teachers a few hundred bucks and tell them to go to town on classroom materials.
I personally got some science stuff - the materials to do a little unit on magnetism and refills for a unit I did last year on light and color. I got a prism, which I didn't have last year (just various prismatically finished things), and a pound of Insta-Snow. Accept no fake snow substitutes: Insta-Snow is where it's at. Were I more ambitious, I might try to do a whole unit on polymers rather than just explaining how the snow works. Its purpose is to reinforce color blending. I let the kids go to town with Insta-Snow and colored water or diluted liquid watercolor in primary colors and have them record their color formulas. (This is after we've blended primary colors to make secondary colors and talked about complimentary colors and all that - otherwise, I'm guessing you'd get a lot of mix-everything-to-brown.) It's very engaging and the whole thing made the kids very impressive at MoAD last year because they could explain shading using complimentary colors.
I also picked up some craft stuff - little foam fruits and veggies, wings for the kids to decorate and wear - and a few gender-neutral additions for the dress-up cabinet. Oh, and three pairs of dress-up shoes. A few of the kids are quite tall this year and can only wear the largest pair of shoes, so I got some bigger ones.
I also have a birthday coming up, so I figured I deserved a new pair of shoes. Over the summer I had a conversation with a Neiman Marcus clerk in which we agreed that the utter lack of McQ in San Francisco is a tragedy. It ends up that if you are willing to wear last season, you too can shop fine diffusion lines at Loehmann's. I do not buy by season, both because I live in strange weather San Francisco and because I shop by awesomeness of the item. Anyway, I ended up purchasing another excellent dress at a very good price. Perhaps the stimulus plan could be slightly more broad; the kids looooove my new shoes (they have big big bows) and I know I teach better when I look fab.
Yawn. I went to a birthday party for one of the kids at my school today and spent a solid forty minutes in the jumpy. It calls for an early bedtime, I think. I need to go to school tomorrow to ready things for next week and possibly give a second coat to the backscratchers the kids sanded and primed on Friday, too, so it will be an early day!