Every teacher develops their own list of classroom must-haves, but there are some basic supplies everyone could use. These items might enhance learning, create more space through organization, streamline lesson planning, or all of the above. Whether it’s your first year of teaching or your 25th, this list can contribute toward a top-notch school year for you and your students.
10 Classroom Must-Haves
These supplies may be basic, but their versatility makes them useful in any classroom space. Don’t get caught without them on hand.
1. A Stash of Basic Supplies
Basic, essential school supplies, such as pencils can be a lifesaver. Keep extra basic supplies on hand to lend to students in need, but also keep a stash of your favorite supplies to use when grading papers, leaving reminders, or planning lessons. Simple color coding might be just enough to brighten a busy semester.
2. Emergency Substitute Teacher Packets
Stressing out over last-minute emergencies and unplanned sick days can be avoided by having a few substitute teacher packets in your desk. Include a note to the teacher, some work and activities, and names/contact info of colleagues to turn to for further help.
3. Plastic Storage Bins
Using plastic storage bins makes it easy to store a variety of materials. Choose color coded or clear bins to help keep things organized.
4. Reading Corner
A simple, cozy reading nook encourages students to read during downtime. Display theme-related books with a book stand can that can work well in small spaces.
5. Wall of Fame
Create space where student work can be displayed. Rotate the work regularly to ensure each student is recognized.
6. Wall Organizers
Storage space is a hot commodity in the classroom. Take advantage of wall space with hanging organizers. Fill these with commonly used supplies, games and books.
7. Personal Planner/Lesson Book Combination
As a teacher, your time is valuable. Avoid wasting time by keeping a calendar in your lesson planner so you can keep track of meetings, conferences and planning sessions, and use free time wisely.
8. Bell-Ringers (or Warm-Up Activities)
There are days when you and your students need a little warm-up before diving into the day’s activities. Keep a stash of warm-up activities that last no more than five minutes. These can range from timed-tests to puzzles to stretching exercises.
9. Snacks and Bottled Water
It’s always wise to have small packages of crackers and a few bottles of water on-hand in the event that you or a student feels that they can’t make it until lunch or dinner.
10. Assignment Organization System
Place an accordion file folder or stacking trays on your desk for students to put their assignments in as they enter the classroom. This will help avoid lost or late assignments while keeping homework organized per class.
The items that are essential to each teacher’s classroom may vary depending upon the students’ age group, the subject that is taught and many other factors. What things do you find necessary in your classroom, and how do you use them? We’d love to have you share your ideas with us.
More Classroom Must-Haves and Organization Tools
Looking for more ideas and inspiration to get your classroom running as efficiently as possible? Be sure to stop by the Teacher Must-Haves tag page to see a collection of articles with great ideas and tips. Also visit the online store to find thousands of the best supplies and classroom tools.