My Top Ten Back-To-School MUST-Haves
Ready to go back to school? The 2018-2019 school year is finally upon us and if you’re anything like me, you probably spent the last days of summer scrambling to piece together the perfect classroom.
Getting ready for the new year can be both exciting and stressful AF. This is especially so when you are a new teacher and are prepping for your very first crop of kiddies. I have been teaching for 7 years and have definitely had my fair share of stress while trying to determine the best items for me and my students. I am excited to share with you the exact tools that I use when I am getting ready for a new year.
From coming up with a theme and decorating the classroom, to keeping my materials organized, I have compiled a list of the exact tools I use to keep myself sane, neat and prepared!
This year’s theme: LLAMAS!
These are my top ten back-to-school must-haves!
Cricut Explore Air 2
Can I get an AMEN for the Cricut? This bad boy has honestly made classroom customizations SO MUCH EASIER! I cut out all of my letters, shapes, stickers/labels and even that llama and pencil you will see below with mine! Putting together my bulletin board is cake and I have to attribute my fine lines to this device. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the Cricut giveaway that myself and some other awesome teachers put together. Over 7,000 people participated and there is a very good reason why! Get yours here.
Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
If you know me at all, you know that I have a sick obsession with Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens. I’m not ashamed of it. In fact, one of my favorite pastimes is sharing my love for writing utensils. WHAT TEACHER DOESN’T? You’re lying if you try to say you can’t relate! These pens make grading and mark-ups fun! Trust me, you will need a lot of them to get you through the year, especially if you share a classroom with teachers that have an equal affinity for flairs. BUT, there are ways to keep them safe. Read on…
Pen Pouches – I Don’t Share by Kraus Math
And now for my cheeky but totally necessary and honest product drop… I truly don’t go to school without one of my pen pouches (or many cause ya girl’s gotta have some variety). If you’re going to have the Paper Mate Flairs in ALL THE COLORS, and if you’re going to carry ALL THE STUFF, you obviously need a vehicle. Aka pen pouches. They come in a variety of sizes (standard, long, large and jumbo) with lots of different designs for your browsing. Check ’em out here and don’t forget to tell your teacher friends and lovers of crafts! They make great gifts, hint hint.
IRIS Large Photo and Craft Keeper
Craft keepers are super helpful for keeping pretty much anything organized in the classroom, but I primarily use them for organizing my STAAR task cards. That’s a lot of paper, amirite? These make it so easy to access all of my lessons; I know what I need and where to find it. Label them with special stickers that you custom make in your cricut and you’ll basically be the most organized teacher in the school! Get the exact craft keeper that I use here.
It’s no secret that kids, especially K-5, have sticky fingers. The Swingline Laminator has been clutch for keeping my precious posters and handouts CLEAN. You know as well as I do how much time and money goes into preparing our classrooms and all of the materials we use throughout the school year! This keeps print-outs nice and fresh for as long as possible.
Math STAAR Practice TEKS Aligned Task Cards
Speaking of STAAR task cards, I continue to use my own TEKS aligned products in all of my classrooms. The task cards come in a variety of forms, including multiple choice, and come with answer keys and student recording sheets. Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5 also come as bundles, which are some of the most popular items in my store!
Bulletin Board & Wall Decorations
A new classroom is SO exciting because it’s a blank canvas just asking for personal touches. Let’s be real – white cement walls can be super depressing, but that can be fixed with some TLC.
Here are a few items I use on my bulletin board and classroom walls to add that extra SASS:
Bordette Decorative Border – comes in a variety of colors to fit your classroom theme.
White Board Paper – AFMAT Dry Erase Decal, 9.8ft White Board Stickers for Wall, Dry Erase Paper Roll with Adhesive Backing, Super Sticky, 6 Dry Erase Markers
Wallniture Lisbon Wall File Holder
As much as I love paper, it makes such a mess of my desk that it’s easy to get disorganized early on. I love to keep all of my papers and files stored in this Wall File Holder. It’s discreet, takes up a small amount of space and is easily customizable.
Math and pens are not a great combo, but I clearly NEED my flair pens! I always have at least three white outs with me at all times because I refuse to give up permanent ink. This is my favorite brand!
Expo Markers & Contact Paper
My students and I use dry erase for everything! I cover my tables with contact paper so my students have access to a whiteboard at all times! Expo markers are an absolute MUST and makes practicing math that much easier! Mistakes are a given which is totally fixable with this helpful combo.
What are your favorite school supplies? Comment below!