Parents are busy stocking up on school supplies for their children and some of the lists seem to grow longer with each passing year. Ron Podmore, who teaches ASL and other classes at Decatur High School in Federal Way, joined Margaret to share his Top 5 school supplies every student should have, whether in elementary, middle, high school or even college.

Here's his list:

  1. Pencil pouch that can be inserted into a 3-ring binder. (Mead provided its Five Star zipper pencil pouch for everyone in the New Day audience)
  2. Paper/notebooks with backup pens and pencils. (Mead provided its Five Star college-ruled, one subject notebooks for everyone in the audience. Staples provided its two-pocket paper folder in a variety of fun designs for everyone in the audience.)
  3. Backpacks, ideally with a whistle/siren and strobe light attached. The strobe light works well when a child is walking to and from school/bus stop on dark mornings or dusky afternoons. You can find a variety of specialty backpacks online, or buy a regular backpack and clip a blinking light on it.
  4. Smartphones. Ron says there are two sides to this suggestion. He believes older students can beneficially use smartphones to take notes or take photos of assignments written up on the board.
  5. Lunch Box. Ron says lunch boxes can be especially beneficial for students who have unique dietary restrictions.

BONUS item: Ron suggested buying your student an alarm clock that's difficult to turn off or hit the snooze button. One clock he suggested is the Flying Alarm Clock featured on Think Geek's website.

Two items Ron says students should leave at home, especially those who are younger than college age:

  1. Laptops, because they can be stolen and schools are not held liable.
  2. Music players (iPods, etc), because students should come to school ready to focus on their studies.

In addition to teacing ASL and other classes at Decatur High School in Federal Way, Ron Podmore teaches courses at Bellevue College and is a recipient of the prestigious PBS Golden Apple Award. He has written two books:

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