Saturday, August 5, 2017

5 Classroom Non-Essentials That I Can't Live Without



Back in July of 2013, I wrote a blog post called Classroom Must-Haves for the First-Year Teacher. It has been one of my most popular posts to date. As I've been preparing my classroom this week for the 2017-2018 school year, I've noticed that the things I suggested as must-haves back then are still must-haves now (though I would probably add the Classroom Operations Binder as a must-have now). I've also realized that there are a few splurge items that are by no means essentials... but I don't think I could live without them now! So if you're at the point in your career where you are ready to splurge a little on some non-essential-but-hella-useful items, allow me to suggest five.

Quick note: I'm not being paid by any of these companies to say any of these nice things. I just like these products.

1. Flair Pens
My social media scouting has led me to believe that I am not the only educator taking part in an ardent love affair with Paper Mate Flair Pens. They don't smear, they don't bleed (unless your paper quality is poor), the felt tip doesn't become misshapen with use, they offer vivid pops of color, and they last forever! What is not to love?*

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*As a lover of all things Sharpie, author John Green would beg to differ. But what does he know anyway? (Besides everything.)

2. Scotch Laminator
I bought one of these last year and I don't know how I lived without one! There's a fairly strict and unspoken no-one-touches-the-laminator-besides-the-librarian rule in my building, so I just never laminated anything. Now that I have the Scotch Laminator, I laminate ALL THE THINGS. Don't worry, you'll see when I post my 2017-2018 Classroom Tour. Everything is super shiny and safely sealed in plastic!

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3. Storage Ottomans
I bought one of these collapsible storage ottomans last year and got a ton of use out of it. So, naturally, I bought two more this year. They are currently all pushed together to create a bench. They are deep, so they can store tons of supplies, and they are sturdy so they can serve as alternative seating. Love them!

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4. Document Camera
I was fortunate enough to have a Point 2 View IPEVO document camera donated to my classroom a few years ago. At only $69, it is an inexpensive option with high utility. I love that I can detach the camera from the stand and move it around. The quality isn't as crisp as I would like for it to be (in fact, I am hoping to upgrade this year), but it serves its purpose. I use my document camera multiple times a week.

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5. Teacher's Pet Board Eraser
I received one of these from the folks at Teacher's Pet to try out and, I gotta say, I'm in love with this thing. Have you ever noticed how the typical eraser wipes up the ink and you get little bits and pieces of ink dust or residue or whatever that rains down on your chalk tray or on the floor or your khaki pants if you are quite vigorous with the erasing? This big old cutie is made of microfiber, so it grabs the ink residue and holds onto it. The best part is you can throw it in your washing machine! As a teacher, I like worthy investments that will save me money in the long run. No more broken Styrofoam erasers or ink sprinkles everywhere!

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The cool people at Teacher's Pet were kind enough to give me four extra Teacher's Pets to give away to four lucky readers! Enter to win below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are your non-essentials that you love love love?

School starts next week for me! Wish me luck!


P.S. - 2017-2018 Classroom Tour coming soon!

14 comments:

  1. In my school, I am the keeper of the big laminator, just by default since I was the one who read the directions and set it up. I understand your librarian's protectiveness--its ridiculously easy to use but you'd be shocked how many people have screwed it up and made a big mess! I happily laminate for other people, but only I am allowed to do the laminating

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  2. I have at least a dozen clipboards for student use. They love to sit on the floor to write and do group work.

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  3. i can't live without my classroom library! Leigh Tuell

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  4. A great list! Good pens and whiteboard erasers reduce lots of stress. :) I have had that laminator at home and school (I teach high school) for a long time and I love it! I donated one to my daughter's classroom teacher last year too.

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  5. I miss the large-scale laminator at my last school. My department has a small one, but it just isn't the same!

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  6. I'm a lover of the Flair pens as well! But I also use the large Post-its for anchor charts and group discussions.

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  7. I buy the scotch expressions magic tape to section off my whiteboard for things like homework and week at a glance. It's awesome because it's vibrant, doesn't erase or get dingey from erasing over it and even 3 years later came off with no residue at all on the board

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  8. I use large canvas bins in my classroom. Students keep their interactive notebooks and reading books in there, and my classroom remains tidy.

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  9. I love, love, love my Post-it backed chart paper--makes it so easy to do gallery walks, silent table discussions, art projects, mind maps, etc. - Lisa

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  10. I love having a stash of GOOD permanent markers on hand. They tend to walk off pretty easily, so I like to start the year with a bunch and know I'm set.

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  11. Great list! In addition to my papermate flairs, I must have new fabric on my bulletin boards (Hobby Lobby + 40% off coupon), my CARL paper-cutter which holds the papers in place and does perforation, and new for this year are the magnetic mini-strips to partition my whiteboard and move out of the way when I need the entire thing.

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  12. As a math teacher, I cannot live without a million Paper Mate Sharpwriter Mechanical Pencils. They are not refillable with lead but they write dark enough, the lead doesn't snap like most other mechanical pencils, and they go on crazy sale during back to school!

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  13. My planning calendars are a must, as are Google Drive and Classroom.

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