Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Linky: Classroom Must Haves

With less than 3 weeks to go before my school begins our preservice, I am slowly feeling ready to get back into work mode.  I found this fun linky over at Swimming into Second that got me thinking about ten of the most important things in my classroom.

1. My stopwatch

I use this when teaching procedures at the beginning of the year.  I time my students to see how quickly they can get lined up, and we talk about the importance of not wasting a second of learning time.  The stopwatch motivates them to go as quickly as they can, and I keep using it throughout the year.  I also use it to time their restroom breaks (we have to go as a whole class at my school).  Most years, my whole class can be done at the restrooms in 5 minutes or less.

2. My easel

I use my easel almost every single time I bring my class to the carpet for a Reading or Writing minilesson.  I use the dry erase board on it, but also put chart paper on it to make our class anchor charts.

3. Mr. Sketch markers

We make anchor charts for almost every new objective we learn, so I go through these fast.  The kids love getting wafts of the smells coming from the markers!

4. Post-it chart paper

I love how easy it is to make an anchor chart on this paper, then just peel it off and stick it on the wall.  It's expensive, but well worth it to me!

5. Class data board

It changes every year, but I love having some way for everyone to see their progress in math and reading via a class data board.  On this one last year, I had their names on little monkeys that I moved up the chart as they progressed in their reading level and on Mad Minute.  

6. Pens and mechanical pencils
It seems like I go through a pack of these things every week sometimes!  I'm constantly grabbing for a pencil or pen throughout the day, and I don't know where they end up sometimes.  So I always make sure to have extra packs on hand.

7. Clipboard

I carry one of these with me everywhere when I'm with my class.  I always have a class list with me so I can gives checks to kids in the hallway if they are talking, running, etc.  It is a big part of my classroom management.  This year, I'm going to be having a clip chart, so this will help me remember if anyone has to move their clip (up or down) when we get back to the classroom.

8. Student book boxes

I am a big fan of individual book boxes for my students.  This prevents them from constantly being in the class library getting new books.  They can keep several at a time in their book boxes.  It's a big part of my Reading Workshop setup.  

9. Magnetic dry erase board

This was my first classroom that had a MAGNETIC dry erase board.  In my old classroom, it wasn't magnetic.  It made such a difference to be able to stick some magnet tape on the back of something and, "VOILA!" it sticks!  I also loved being able to use magnetic clips to hold papers on the board.

10. Mini dry erase boards

My students keep these in their desks, along with a dry erase marker and a washcloth (to use as an eraser).  We pull them out during Math class all the time to do quick reviews and checks for understanding.  

Well, there you have it!  10 items from my classroom that I would have a hard time doing without!  Link up with your top ten if you get a chance; I'd love to see some of your ideas.  

Also, if you stuck through this long post, I feel like you deserve a reward.  I've been wanting to try this Pin it to Win it idea.  Head to my store and pin any item that you would like to own (link to my store over on the right).  Leave a comment below with the name of the item, a link to the pin, and your email address, and I will choose a random number as a winner on Friday, July 26th.  Good luck!


  1. I just love your stopwatch idea...I have a regular timer, but never thought of a stopwatch. LOL Such a great idea!

    Thanks for sharing! I am your newest follower.

    Flamingos and Butterflies

  2. Thanks for linking up Rebecca! I wish I had a magnetic dry erase board. All mine are just regular. I love your data board. I've been thinking about having one and I like how you laid it out.

    Swimming into Second

  3. I've wanted on of those easels FOREVER!! I had a cheap one that broke last year :( Love your student book boxes! So bright and colorful!!

    A Sunny Day in First Grade

  4. It was difficult to choose but here is my pin! http://pinterest.com/pin/316096467566774754/ I chose your Summer Themed Writing Devices Activities pack.


  5. We share a love of many things. I am curious to know if you like your magnetic schedule signs. I just write the schedule on my board each day. I have thought about making magnetic signs but I think I would just go crazy trying to find "just the right one" for what I want to write. I like that your time magnets are clock faces...clever! I enjoyed visiting your store. Lots of great products. If I had to choose just one this is it http://pinterest.com/pin/148759593914935601/. I always have to review main idea for fiction and non-fiction, even though I teach an upper grade gifted class. Thanks for all the insights today!
    Sidney teachingisagift@outlook.com

  6. I love the idea of a Post It Chart paper. I've never heard of such a wonderful teaching tool. Thanks also for hosting Pin It to Win It.
    Here's my pin: http://pinterest.com/pin/90635011223993827/
    Thanks so much,

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  8. Oh my, this looks like it will bring some extra fun to my point of view unit that I teach at the end of the year. Love it! Thanks for all the awesome products and ideas!
    Michelle mlsattele@gmail.com