Today was a work day in my district, and since I am not ready mentally or “organizationally” to work on report cards, I cleaned and rearranged my classroom. When doing so, I first thought “Why am I such a slob?” (Seriously–organization is WAY not my strength) but then began to notice some of the really cool stuff I have. Below I have listed 5 of my favorite “nifty things” and why I love them so!
1. Smelly Markers! OK . . .I am an office supply hoarder. I admit it. I embrace it. But, for me, smelly markers are absolutely my favorite. I use them for my anchor charts because they leave such a bold line, but one other use for them was a discovery about 3 years ago. I used to “sticker” my students’ assignment books each morning if they had a signature but I was always leaving half used sticker sheets around, kids were peeling them off and sticking them all over, etc. So . . . I moved to simply “starring” their notebook with a smelly marker. Can you believe–my rate of signatures has gone UP because my kids want a smelly star in their notebook? Craziness. I celebrate BIG days with mixed smells (day before winter break I had cinnamon and mint for holiday smells!) and double stars. They love it. Go figure.
2. DICE! I love dice–12 sided dice. Big dice. Fraction dice. You name it…but when I saw THESE I knew I had to have them! That’s right–dice within dice! My students love them…and I sense a blog post coming up with some of our favorite activities! You NEED to get some.
Have you seen these? We LOVE them…the green one just has one “die” inside but the clear one has THREE LITTLE DICELETTES! My photo does not do their coolness justice!
3. Magnetic Locker storage thing! I am a remote loser. Again, I am not proud of this. Now that I have a Smartboard, however, it is imperative that I know where the dumb thing is! VOILA! I stuck that bad boy on my board and I now have a place for my remote every time.
I’m sure a million of you have these. This was a really big deal when the “AHA” hit me. I’m easy to impress.
4. Small stuffed animals! It seems weird, but I always keep a few, new stuffed animals in my closet–you know the ones…they only cost 4 or 5 dollars new and I buy them when I see them really on sale. Any time one of my little petunias breaks a collarbone or gets a tonsil out or loses a grandparent, I can simply tie a little ribbon around a critter with a loving note and slip it into the child’s desk when they come back. Kids remember this kind of stuff. Trust me.
5. 3M Hooks and poster strips! I’ve fessed up about the organization part, so this rolls on that theme. I was forever having a problem finding my keys at the end of the day–and with the increased concern for safety and lockdowns, I knew I needed a better solution than rummaging through my school bag in a crisis. Enter the 3M Clip . . . these come in a million shapes and sizes and can be stuck anywhere. I actually got one that is a “clip”, not a hook…I put it inside my room close to my door and immediately drape my keys over it–and then any paperwork I need to go to the office goes right in the clip. Again–probably not rocket science to any of you organized types, but for me it was a “favorite thing” discovery! Not quite Oprah quality, perhaps–but teachers can’t be choosers.
Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear about any other nifty products YOU use in your classroom!
Below are links to some of the items I shared. These are affiliate links, so I do benefit if you purchase from them. Full disclosure!