July 21, 2020

7 School Supplies You Must Have!

7 Must Have Back to School Supplies

Throughout my years of teaching, it feels like I have bought out entire stores! Some items were worth it while others have been duds. Luckily, I have also been lucky enough to be given items from generous people to supplement my classroom needs. During this time, I have come to rely on some items that I cannot live without! 

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7 - Toolkit




This may seem like something that is frivolous and not necessary, but let me explain! My toolkit comes in handy for day to day tasks like using pliers to pull a too short pencil from the pencil sharpener, using a screwdriver to fix a loose screw on a student's desk, measuring anything with the tape measure (or using in a math lesson), or creating even bulletin boards with the level.

My toolkit has also come in handy in an emergency! At the end of the school day a couple of years ago, a teacher was returning to her classroom to find the lock stuck. Since it was the end of the day, our regular maintenance guy was gone for the day. Instead, there were two cleaning ladies, our dean, and our principal all trying to open the door without success because they couldn't find the right tools. My trusty toolkit saved the day, opening the door to let everyone get their supplies to go home! 

I've now had my toolkit for about 5 years! I can't go back to not having it around! It's a must have!


6 - Pencil Sharpener




I am a bit of a snob when it comes to pencil sharpeners. The one pictured above is the ONLY one I use (and I use it for colored pencils too)! I have one for home and school. When the school one finally dies, I bring my rarely used one from home and get myself a new at home sharpener. I find that I only have to get a new sharpener every 1 and a 1/2 to 2 years. 

I know that some teachers do not let students use their pencil sharpeners. I don't have the time or energy to sharpen my students' pencils. Instead, I teach my students how to properly use this sharpener. When a pencil is sharpened, the sharpener makes a quieter sound. We all listen for this sound and then I have my students practice using it correctly. It's actually very rare to have issues with this sharpener (at least in my opinion).


5 - Rocketbook


This may seem like a strange thing to include but trust me on this one. A Rocketbook is a reusable notebook. You can write down any notes you want and then erase it when you are finished. Plus you can use the app to send anything you write to the location of your choice - email, Google Drive, etc.

Here's why I recommend this as a must have for school... Instead of writing down all your to-do's on post-it notes, keep them in here. This way you won't lose them. Also, when you go to a PD's or staff meetings, use this notebook for any information you need to remember. This is how I use my Rocketbook!


4 - Sharpie Markers



If you make anchor charts with your kiddos, you need a great marker (set of markers)! I know many people like Mr. Sketch. I am a fan of them because of the scent when using them. My problem with them is that the marker fades after a short period of time.

These Sharpie markers make creating anchor charts a breeze. The markers color sections smoothly and they don't fade! Ultimately, I have to be practical when choosing my markers. (Although I may throw in a set of Mr. Sketch when I want smelly anchor charts.)


3 - Fun Pens

Pens are another item that may seem frivolous. Think about how much time you are going to spend grading papers. That is a thankless, tedious job! Having a favorite pen to use for grading helps to make this a little more palatable. 

Since my favorite color is purple, I ONLY use purple pens when grading. I have also jumped on the flair pen bandwagon. I find that flair pens tend to be smoother when writing. They are also nice and dark when I use my ELMO (it shows any paper and writing in real time). Other pens tend to fade and not get seen on the board.


2 - BLUE Sticky Tack




Sticky Tack is used in lieu of tape to stick posters to the wall. Notice, I said that the Sticky Tack has to be blue (the other colors do not work as well). I have found that this sticky tack is the only thing that will really hold my posters up all school year. You use small amounts, roll it in a ball, and stick it all over the back of a poster. You may need to use a lot to keep it up, but once you invest in this, it will last for years. 

At the end of the school year, when removing posters, collect all the sticky tack and keep it in a sealed container. You can reuse this the following year. You may need to roll around the sticky tack in order for it to be tacky again. It really lasts!


1 - The Perfect Bag

For years, I have searched for the perfect teacher bag. I finally found it with this one right here (although mine is purple). This bag has a cushion inside perfect for protecting your laptop. There are two main zippered compartments (one for a laptop and one for papers and pens). 

The part I like best though, and the reason I bought it, is the versatility of the bag. You can use it like a briefcase, shoulder bag, or backpack. I've had mine for one school year already and it still looks like new.

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What are your Must Have Back to School Supplies?

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