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Kathy's Favorite Things - 10 Classroom Essentials

This post is just for fun!  I shop A LOT!  Too much in fact.  I try not to, but I just can't pass up a good deal when I see one.   This year, I will post a monthly list of some great finds...just for teachers!

This month I thought I would start with a list of ten essential things that every elementary classroom MUST HAVE.  When I created this list, I kept in mind those things that I absolutely could not live without in my classroom.  I've included tried and true brands to save you time time shopping around.  Trust me...these items are THE BEST!

1.  {Visual} Classroom Timer

This visual timer is essential, especially for primary grade students.  It is just good teaching to set time expectations for students and they appreciate being able to see how much time they have "at a glance."  When time is up, there is a simple, "no-nonsense" beep.  There are several good online timers, but you can't beat this one for ease of won't need to use your Smartboard, and it works even when the internet is down!  It comes in two sizes...I recommend the largest one.

2.  Chimes

These chimes are the perfect tool to get your students' attention.  A soothing sound, easily adjusted to loud or soft, is just what you need to gently direct their attention your way.

3.  Ruggable

Have you seen these WASHABLE rugs?  I have two...and they wash up beautifully....perfect for keeping your classroom clean!  Lot's of different patterns to choose from too!

4.  Stackable Paper Trays

I like to keep papers organized in my classroom, and I could not live without these classroom mailbox trays.  You can use them in a multitude of ways, and they will really help you to avoid creating "teacher piles."

5.  Pencil sharpener

After 28 years in the classroom, I am a connoisseur of pencil sharpeners.  I've had them all, and I can confidently say that this one from School Smart is the very best one!!  No need to shop around any further.  This one will last you several years before needing to be replaced, and when it does die, you can't beat the price point.

6.  Walmart Shelves

Every elementary classroom needs an epic classroom library!  Unfortunately, not all schools provide great shelving for this purpose.  My hubby made me some custom shelving for my classroom that has lasted me all 28 years!  If you're not that lucky, these shelves from Walmart are sturdy and affordable!  You don't need to feel guilty buying multiples as this price!

7.  Plastic Book Bins

I use these bins for so many things, including individual student book bins, extra storage space in a flexible seating classroom, and even to keep myself organized!  You can find extra fancy ones on Really Good Stuff, but if you are on a budget, these ones from Amazon will get the job done for a lot less.  They come in a pack of 30 and are available in lots of fun colors!

8.  Wireless Keyboard

Most classroom smart boards are hooked up to your desktop PC.  It can be less than convenient to walk all the way back to your desk when you need to access your board.  These wireless keyboards are super cheap and so convenient.  The kiddos can even use them!  I love to use them for interactive writing lessons!  This one even comes with a wireless mouse!

9.  Hole Punch

If you are a "binder queen" like me, you punch a lot of holes!!  I like to keep my students and myself organized by keeping things in binders and folders!  This would be absolute drudgery if not for my heavy duty hole punch!  I've had this thing forever and has probably punched at least a million papers!  I have one at home too!  It is such a time-saver.

10.  The "Cadillac" of Staplers

A good stapler is such an essential classroom tool.  It seems like such a simple thing, but choosing the wrong stapler can lead to endless frustration (and even injury)!  I love my shiny red swingline!  I have one at home and at school...don't overthink this one...just buy it!

Well, there you have it...the ten things I could not live without in my classroom.  I am sure that are other things that I could add to this list (we teachers do need so very many things), but I promised to keep this list list to ten!  What are your favorite classroom essentials?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by...check out my TOP TEN BEST SELLERS BELOW!  Happy Shopping!

Kathy O.

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