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July 29, 2021

7 School Supplies Teachers Must Have in Their Classroom

Cha-Ching! There goes the register adding up all the useless purchases I have made throughout my 15 years of teaching.

I have followed fads with things I thought I must have - toolboxes for school supplies, adorable miniature erasers, countless items from Target's dollar spot, and so much more!

Some items have been spectacular hits while most have just turned out to be duds. 

You don't need all fun new must have items. You do, however, need these 7 School Supplies! They are a must in my classroom and they will be in your room too!

*Disclaimer - This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on them will not cost you any money but may earn me a small commission if you make a purchase.

7 - Toolkit

This may seem like something that is frivolous and not necessary, but let me explain! A toolkit will help you with tasks like these:
  • 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).
  • Creating even bulletin boards with the level.
  • Having on hand whenever my Dad comes to visit. I always have something for him to fix!
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 10 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 2 and a 1/2 to 3 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. 

Helpful Tips: If your sharpener isn't working, try these things:
  • Make sure the cup for shavings is pushed in tightly. If it's not, it won't run.
  • Unplug the sharpener and put it over a garbage can. Bang on it a few times to loosen anything. Cheap pencils will leave remnants behind.
  • If a pencil is caught inside, unplug the sharpener. Use pliers to remove the pencil.

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. 
  • When you go to a PD's or staff meetings, use this notebook for any information you need to remember.  Send your notes to the proper area of your Google Drive or email.

4 - Laminator

Are you even a teacher if you do not like paper stuck in a piece of plastic?

I love to use task cards, like obsessed with them! The problem is when they are just printed on regular paper, they do not last. Laminating them allows me to reuse them year after year.

Laminated items can also be written on with dry erase markers!

Just like the pencil sharpener, I have an at school and an at home laminator. It's easy to sit on the couch, binge watching a show on Netflix, and laminating everything I need.

3 - Fun Pens

Are you a flair pen or ink joy pen person? I am definitely a flair pen person.

Pens are an item that may seem frivolous. But, 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 find that flair pens tend to be smoother when writing. They are also nice and dark when I use my ELMO (it shows on 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

My current favorite bag is this one. I never thought of myself as a backpack girl. I usually have preferred something that looked more professional.

The reason I finally switched are the pockets on the side. They are perfect for water bottles and coffee cups. I tend to drink a lot of beverages during the day! Having two spots for drinks is a MUST HAVE!

This bag also has a compartment for a laptop, locks if needed, and has other pockets for writing utensils and papers.

No matter what bag you choose, make sure to works for your needs!

What are your Must Have Back to School Supplies?

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