"I don't have a highlighter!"
"You never gave me a whiteboard marker!"
"We didn't get enough glue sticks!"
How many times have you heard your students asking you these questions? I start hearing them, about, the second hour on the first day. But I have come up with a simple solution.
All of the tables in my classroom are color coated, red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. Anything supplies that go into the caddy are related to the table color. Red scissors, pink highlighters, red whiteboard markers, etc.
How does this help?
I collect the "lost" supplies I find around the room. If a student find a scissors that is blue, voila! It belongs to the blue table. If I find two green scissors at the word work station, I know who left them there... Students begin to take ownership for their supplies. This results in less "lost" items.