When I was a new teacher I remember shopping for hours on what I thought were my classroom essentials. Looking back, I wasted a lot of money on items that I thought that I couldn’t live without. After 13 years of teaching, I don’t shop as much as I used to, but I thought if I had to start over what are the 5 true investment pieces.
Classroom Pocket Chart
I can’t tell you how many scissors I have bought for students. After years of buying scissors, I bought this pocket chart that was intended to prevent my scissors from disappearing. If the scissors are stored, it also prevents the students from whittling their desks and pencils! A common occurrence in 5th grade.
Although my intention was just for the scissors, it ended up holding their earbuds, calculators, passwords, and any item they felt needed to be secured. For example, whenever they had to change classrooms and a “stranger” was sitting in their desk, I would see random students start putting their treasures in their numbered pocket.
Sterilite Large Basket (Approximately 17×13)
After many years of carrying my grading pile in cute teacher bags, where the papers can get damaged, slip out of order, and paper clips fall off, I found these simple white baskets. As the last student turns in their assignments I have them paperclip the papers and put them in the grading basket. The basket is big enough that you can rotate the papers. I also use one for my “To be Copied” items. I have had copy moms tell me how much they like the basket because they can easily rotate the stacks and they are easy to carry with the typical teacher load of papers.
Super Strong Magnet Hooks
These are dual purpose for your white board. I use these not only to hold papers and posters to the white board, but when a student is absent I use it to hold assignments onto the side of their desk. This prevents all of the papers from falling to the floor and keeps any returned work private.
I also use them to hold the hall passes and hang random ear buds that are left around the classroom for someone to claim them.
A Nice Magnetic Dry Eraser
It seems when I am teaching I misplace everything I need. Then when I need them most, I can’t seem to find a marker, dry eraser, overheard remote control etc.. My magnetic erasers never leave the board!
I know we all have those cheap foam ones, but it is time to replace it with a quality dry eraser! After receiving these as a gift I can’t go back to the free ones that always smeared my board and never really erased. Spend a little extra on a nice dry eraser, you are worth it! Plus, it is used daily!
This item is the biggest time saver for me. In fact, part of the first week of school in my class is teaching students how to turn in their papers in the sorter. During the first week, I always think this is so arduous, but it is worth it! When my students turn in their papers they have to go in a certain traffic pattern and line up to put their paper in the sorter. It gets them out of their seat and gives a little break. Once they know the process it can be completed within minutes. The best part, I never have to spend time in class to figure out the “no name” or who didn’t turn in their paper, because they are always in order. The last person in line pulls the paper from the sorter, paper clips, and turns it into my grading basket.
These are my 5 investment pieces for my classroom. Tell me your investment pieces that you can’t live without in the comments.