Classroom Must Haves: Teaching Tips

Sometimes it’s fun to reflect on our favorites and “must haves” for our classrooms.  Today I thought I’d share a few of my classroom must haves.
Classroom must haves blog post
First of all, I wanted to share one of my favorite school supplies.  I am a HUGE fan of Mr. Sketch smelly markers…but when I make my anchor charts, I have found that some of the Mr. Sketch colors fade under fluorescent lights.  I tried the Sharpie brand chart markers and INSTANTLY fell in love.  Interested? I have included two affiliate links below if you want to check them out.  Typically, I order this set, but there are other sets as well.  I just love them.
Here are a few anchor charts I made with them…super clean lines, lots of ink, super nice.
So here are the links if you want to check them out…

Classroom Timers–One of my Classrom Must Haves!

Another classroom favorite is my visual timer.  I use this ALL THE TIME!  It has a magnetic backing so it lives on my whiteboard.  I use it for small things (“You have 2 minutes to talk with your partner”) and long things (You have 30 minutes to work on your essay.”).  It keeps students focused–and helps keep ME on track!

Another organizational tool I love is my small pocket charts.  I use them for SO many things–from holding new vocabulary words to one of my favorites–holding word problems!  Check out THIS POST for more about that!  Anyway–these are smaller sizes so they fit into little wall spaces.  I hang them up with small 3M hooks and they live there all year.
Another favorite I wanted to share is a favorite book.  I wanted to share Fish in a Tree because it is my beginning of the year read aloud but I JUST mentioned it in a blog post (read it here) so I thought I’d share a book I got last year and read with my class–and now am going to read AND use to make a back to school bulletin board!
“Only One You” is a short picture book with quite a punch. The illustrations are so bright–but what I love most is all the inspirational quotes.  I am going to have each student make a “quote” of their own…we will type them up in fun fonts, then make our own fish projects to display.

Teaching Perseverance

A third “favorite” I want to showcase is actually from my store–and is so helpful at the beginning of the year to build a culture of problem-solving.  If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that creating a culture of math “excitement” is super important to me.  This resource is one of the things I use at the beginning of the year to help set the stage for challenge and perseverance.  It’s one of my most “seasoned” resources and leads to amazing math discussions.  Use them in so many ways–as warm ups, as a center, for partners–or put in the small pocket chart for fast finishers!  I actually use them in all of those ways–I use some as partner problem solving experiences (great for math talk practice) and reserve others to use later!
teaching perseverance
I use it to start the year and teach how to work with partners…and that not all problems are easy….and that not all problems have one answer.  These are all new for some students–especially the very capable ones!
Of course, I have tons of other items and resources that I would consider my classroom must haves, but I thought these might be of interest to you.  I’d love to hear yours as well!  Shoot me an email or message me on social media and let me know!