Sunday, December 24, 2017

Classroom Must Haves #MTBoS12Days

Since it's Christmas Eve, I suppose I should have named this post the "Classroom Teacher Gift Guide" :)  I've had some generous students over the years and have received my fair share of candles, candy, and Starbucks gift cards, but the kids that really know me well tend to get me school supplies :)

My Must Have Items for my Classroom

Must Have #1 - Personal Laminator
Confession Time - I actually have 3 laminators, but my Amazon Basics one is the one in my classroom and probably my favorite one.  It's compact and fits perfectly in a little cubbyhole for storage.  My other two laminators are larger (12" width), but this little one definitely gets the most use.

The Amazon Basics pouches are pretty good quality as well.  I've tried other, less expensive brands, but prefer the Amazon Basics.

Must Have #2 - Paper Trimmer
With INBs, it is important to have a way to easily cut paper.  A lot of people like the paper guillotine cutters but to be honest, those scare me to death!  Instead, I found a scrapbooking paper trimmer to be perfect for me.  I can easily cut several pieces of paper for INBs without being afraid to lose a finger, but more importantly, I can have my aide use it without worrying about he/she losing a finger!  Probably my favorite part of the paper trimmer though, is how easily I can cut laminated activities without having to use scissors or stressing about straight lines.  (Yeah, I'm one of those that would redo an activity if my student aide didn't cut it straight...)

You can even order replacement blades!

Must Have #3 - Good Pens for Grading
I don't know a teacher out there that doesn't love a good pen.  For me, I have 3 that I absolutely adore...

  • Flair Papermate Pens - These are amazing for grading because they come in bright, bold colors and don't bleed through the paper.  I tend to buy the big pack at Sams when they are on sale :)
  • Papermate InkJoy Gel Pens - These pens are a new find for me.  I like the thicker barrel because it's more comfortable to hold while grading, but the ink isn't quite as bold as the Flair Pen.  
  • Zebra Sarasa Gel Pen - These pens are my favorite daily writing pen.  They remind me a lot of the Pilot G2, but a smoother ink glide.  I've never really cared for G2s because they always end up either skipping or clumping on me and I've never had that happen with the Sarasa.

Must Have #4 - Dry Erase Sleeves
I'll admit, that I had these for years before I knew the magic of them!  I had picked up a class set at the Target Dollar Spot back when things really were $1. :)  They sat in my cabinet for a few years until I started reading blog posts about the awesomeness that is the dry erase sleeve.

Now, these things are used in my classroom on a daily basis and I'm hoping to buy some of the larger ones that fit an 11x17 page.  I use them for stations, warmups, graphing, etc.  Pretty much if they aren't putting it into their notebook, but I want to have them practice, we use these sleeves.  I don't know how I managed so many years with them in the cabinet! :)

Must Have #5 - Plastic Picture Frames
I might have about 30 of these frames - some vertical, some horizontal, in various sizes - but they are so useful!  I use these frames for Station activities, for Sub Instructions (I'll blog more about that sometime), for Lab Procedures, for Kahoot Activities, for just about anything that I need the students to reference while working.

The best part is that they are available at Dollar Tree, so whenever I see them, I definitely stock up! :)  

What are your classroom must-haves??

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