As a teacher, your classroom is your haven, a space where learning and growth flourish. To create an environment that inspires and engages students, it’s crucial to have the right tools at your disposal. Let’s explore this Amazon list of must-haves for every classroom, ensuring that you have everything you need to deliver effective lessons and foster student success starting from the first day of school.
Looking for tips and tricks for the first week of school? Check out this post!
1. Paper Mate Gel Pens InkJoy Pens
Why are these pens my absolute favorite? They dry super quickly, they do not smear, they have a textured ergonomic grip and they come in a large variety of colors. Fun fact: I refuse to grade in RED ink. I hate it! I think it screams “AHHH” to students, who are already nervously anticipating the grade they are about to see when they flip over their assignment. Thus, I typically grade in other bright colors (purple is my current preference).
2. Classroom Pocket Chart for Cell Phones
As educators and schools grapple with the challenges and benefits of integrating technology into the learning environment, one solution that has gained traction is the use of pocket holders for cell phones. These pocket holders provide a designated space for students to store their phones during class, promoting a more focused and distraction-free learning environment.
3. Rolling Storage Organizer on Wheels
This versatile piece of furniture provides convenience, mobility, and efficient organization, allowing teachers to enhance their teaching experience and create an orderly learning environment. My first year of teaching I was in SIX different classrooms. This rolling storage organizer allowed me to move from room to room with ease while shlepping lab supplies, class packets and handouts, my laptop, and so much more. This is a MUST on my amazon list.
4. stickers, stickers and more stickers
While stickers are often associated with younger children, they can also be effectively utilized with middle and high school students to provide motivation, recognize achievements, and create a positive classroom environment. I have a myriad of different stickers on my Amazon list. Click the images below to grab some of my favorites for yourself.
5. Teacher Planner
While digital planners offer convenience and advanced features, I still prefer using this traditional paper planner. The visual layout of this planner provides a spatial awareness of your time, preps, and schedules helping you better plan and allocate your resources. After the school year is over, this planner becomes a personal keepsake for me, allowing me to refer back to past schedules, notes, and reflections throughout the new school year.
6. Presentation clicker
What is the #1 rule when giving a PowerPoint presentation? Get out from behind your desk and walk around the room. Students are more likely to stay engaged and focused on the presentation when the teacher is actively present and moving among them. But how do you proceed with your presentation if you’re not attached to your computer? This presentation clicker is a must and is super easy to use. In fact, when students present projects and such to the class, they ask to use it too. It gives them a sense of authority and empowerment.
Laminating important documents, teaching materials, and visual aids can significantly increase their durability and lifespan, not to mention the professional and polished look it gives them. This laminator is so quick and easy to use and for those reasons, it’s one of my must haves on my Amazon list of teacher essentials. This particular bundle not only comes with a laminator, but it comes with 100 thermal laminating sheets as well.
8. Label maker
Whether you are a Type A, B or C (is there such a thing?) teacher, labeling will make your classroom a more organized environment to learn and to teach in. I label everything, and I mean everything! This label maker is wireless, which makes it super easy to use, and is available in an assortment of colors.
9. bright colors everywhere!
Did you know that colors have been linked to cognitive processes and memory retention? Associating information with distinct colors can enhance memory recall as the brain makes connections between colors and specific details. By utilizing color-coded systems, students and can enhance their learning and retention abilities. For those reasons, I encourage my students to use multi-colored pens and highlighters while taking notes in class. I use neon-colored paper frequently in class for certain assignments, projects and worksheets.
10. sticky notes
I use sticky notes to create to-do lists, label materials, organize lesson plans, write quick notes for myself, and in so many more ways. My favorite way to use sticky notes though is to write discrete notes to students. If a student needs a quick reminder that they are doing a fantastic job, a reminder about an after-school meeting or would benefit from a non-verbal cue to redirect their behavior, sticky notes come in handy. I simply write the note and stick it on their desk for their eyes only. Sticky notes come in so many colors; I say the brighter the better!
11. Learning Resources Answer Buzzers
These buzzers are perfect for in-class review games. Split your class up into teams and assign one student per team the role of “buzzer-pusher.” The excitement these buzzers add to your class review is contagious and will certainly add some liveliness to your typical review activities.
12. fidget toys
High school students often have to sit through long lectures or study sessions, which can lead to restlessness and difficulty focusing. Fidget toys provide a physical outlet for excess energy and can help students stay engaged and attentive by occupying their hands while their minds focus on the task at hand. This large assortment of fidget toys sits in a basket in my classroom and is a favorite for my students.
13. Storage Pocket Chart & Folders
In my classroom this file folder organizer is used to hold the handouts for the week. That way, students know exactly where to go to pick up work they missed. Don’t forget to pick up some flashy and bright folders to add to the pocket chart as well!
Looking for more ideas to spruce up the walls of your classroom? Check out this post: 7 Classroom Decor Ideas for High School.
13. Lysol Disinfectant Wipes
Finally, my Amazon list would not be complete without Lysol disinfectant wipes – always a must! I’ve even used this as a game with my students – whoever has the dirtiest wipe at the end of a timed cleaning session earns a reward.
I hope this Amazon list helps you streamline your shopping process for your classroom. What did I miss? Add your must haves to the comments below!
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