First Days of School

Classroom Materials Challenge

The book Shift This: How to Implement Gradual Changes for Massive Impact in Your Classroom, has truly inspired me to give my students as many opportunities as possible to be part of creating our classroom. This year teachers were given $75 from our generous PTO. I have decided to allow my students to decide how that money is spent. I will be giving them this challenge during the first few days of school. I like the idea of classroom challenges. I may try and create more throughout the year if the students enjoy this process.

Classroom Materials Challenge


The purpose of this challenge is for YOU to be part of creating a space where YOU can learn the best.


You will be given a budget of $75 to buy materials for our classroom.

  • First, brainstorm what you would like to buy for the classroom. The items must help to ENHANCE our learning.  
  • Second, research what you would like to buy and create a budget spreadsheet. The total must not exceed $75 (this includes tax and shipping).
  • Third, you must write a proposal explaining WHY these items will HELP our learning. DEFEND your items with research and your ideas.
  • You will create a presentation for your budget and proposal to present to your classmates.
  • As as class we will rank each proposal privately. You may not rank your own proposal.
  • The proposal with the highest points will be chosen and implemented.

Getting Started: 

Brainstorm what YOU think will make our classroom better.

Think about how you learn best, what you are interested in, and what you wish we had in our classroom.

Material Budget Spreadsheet

Item Vendor Quantity   Total Price
Yoga mat Amazon 1 $9.95
Total with Shipping & Tax

Please provide reasons WHY we should buy these items. Use research and your personal experiences to DEFEND your proposal.
Helpful Sentence Starters:

I believe

In my experience

Research says

I think

The author of __________ states, “_____________”

This item is _________ because ______________.

I know

We need __________ because ________________.

In addition,





2 thoughts on “Classroom Materials Challenge”

  1. Angela, I just might use this at the END of my school year! (That’s when we can order supplies for the next school year.) Would be fun to do in homerooms around our school. Thank you for sharing! I’ll be adding this one to the #1st5days livebinder, of course!


    1. Great idea! I think I may try that too. We just were given an extra $75 so I was super excited to try this out. You would be proud, my family funded my Donors Choose for Flexible Seating. I can’t wait to get out flexible seating options in September.


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