Science teacher Eric Greene

fl-teachers-classroom-needs-c, Boynton Beach, 2/14/2014 -- Eric Greene, a science and biology teacher at South Tech Academy uses a bucket and water pitcher as a make-shift sink in his classroom. He hopes to obtain a real sink through the website Donorschoose.org. Mark Randall, South Florida Sun Sentinel (Mark Randall / Sun Sentinel / February 14, 2014)

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It's no surprise teachers need supplies, but who knew they included leg warmers, stability balls and preserved rats?

South Florida teachers have taken to the website DonorsChoose.org to request books, iPads, computer accessories — basically everything but the kitchen sink. Actually, one teacher is asking for a sink.

Biology teacher Eric Greene wants a $1,239 mobile lab table with a portable sink since his classroom at South Tech Academy charter school in Boynton Beach has no plumbing or water source.

"Without a source of water, there is no way to do many experiments," he said, and students must use tools that haven't been washed regularly. "By the second or third class, things are disgusting."


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Paula Zeeman believes her class at Hollywood Parks Elementary would have all the necessities — if this were the 1970s. Most of the children's audio books are on cassette and "who even uses cassette tapes anymore?"

She's requesting books on CD.

Lake Worth High dance coach Katie Devivo is actually seeking out items from the past. She wants orange leg warmers and tutus for a dance from the 1980s film "Flashdance" and flapper dresses and boas for an "All That Jazz" number.

The costumes "will make them feel like real dancers," she says.

Laura Rush also wants her third-graders at Gator Run Elementary in Weston to be moving, even when they're sitting. Earlier this year she requested, and received, 20 stability balls. She said her students don't do well in hard plastic seats.

"There is all kinds of research that [the balls] help them focus, settle down and it improves their posture," Rush said. "It also gives them better handwriting results."

Julie Maljean wants her students to improve their focus as well. That's why she's asking for privacy partitions for her first-graders at Somerset Pines Academy charter school in Pompano Beach.

"Students in first grade become very distracted with who they think might be looking at their paper or their answers," she wrote on the site. "During weekly testing they become preoccupied with this and often lose focus on their work. This will cause them to make careless mistakes or skip questions entirely."

Brigid McDow wants her students at Lake Shore Middle in Belle Glade to have a realistic experience in science, including dissecting animals. She's requesting earthworms, ant farms and preserved perch and preserved white rats.

"With your generous donation, you will be giving my students the opportunity to rediscover their interest in the natural world and a greater appreciation of living things," she wrote.

stravis@tribune.com or 561-243-6637 or 954-425-1421.