I have always wanted to have a “My Favorite Things” list like Oprah does each year. I remember watching the Oprah Show back in 2004 when she gave out cars to everyone. It was AMAZING to watch! The crazy thing was, I didn’t want to be a person in the audience that received a car (okay, maybe a little bit), but I really wanted to be Oprah….the one that got to surprise everyone and absolutely make their day!
Giving is one of the kindest things we can do for one another. This is probably why most of us became teachers. We have a desire to help others!
I have created a list of “My Favorite Things” for teachers. I’d loooooove to be able to give out each item to 275 people, but of course, I’m not Oprah.
I hope you discover some things that maybe you haven’t used before, or maybe a parent has been asking how they can help supply resources for your room and you can direct them here.
I have listed some resources that a teacher could have used 10 years ago (if they existed) and hopefully 10+ years from now. These are, in my mind, the most valuable resources in my classroom.
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A necessity for every teacher! The two that I use the most are EXPO Dry Erase Markers and Papermate Flair Pens. Teacher’s need color and these two products do not disappoint!
What does this look like?....I post a few problems on the overhead screen and have students hold up their answers whenever they are ready. I respond with a yes or no, so they know if they can go to the next problem. Once the complete the practice problems, they then can begin their other math work.
These static cling dry-erase sheets have been a fun addition to my class! They are great for when students are practicing math problems in pairs or groups. Each group hangs their sheet anywhere in the room. I can easily see them working together and when they call me over for help, it’s easy to see the steps they’ve already completed. Then, when we are done, we roll them up and put them away for next time.
These are not just for primary students!!! I am in love with these dry-erase pocket sleeves because it allows me to save handouts from year to year…without laminating! Plus, this set includes 30 dry-erase markers. I use these sleeves all the time for my Battle My Math Ship games.
Of course, I use all of my graphing calculator reference sheets to teach students how to use the TI-84 calculator, but it is also helpful to do the sheets with them. This tool is a great way for students to visually follow along with you.
I know some schools provide class sets of Texas Instrument calculators, but mine does not. So, I always like to have about five extra TI-84 calculators on hand for when a student forgets their calculator or their batteries run out…or heaven forbid they lost it! Eeek!
I use my Wacom Tablet almost every day! It is an amazing way to digitally write notes with students. I know there are other types of tablets that come with Smartboards, but I have been using my Wacom for years and I love it…so easy and durable. I even have the wireless kit so I can walk around the room or have my students use it from their desk. Below is a glimpse of how I use it in my class....
WHITE CARD STOCK SHEETS
Students love to be identified with a talent! I like to give out math awards and these sheets are perfect for awards.
DECORATIVE MASKING TAPE
I have a whole whiteboard in my room designated for a classroom calendar and I use masking tape to make the divisions. You can use ones with designs or plain colors. Plus, you can use this on bulletin boards too if you are looking for a fun way to make student and/or class sections.
These are for the “I don’t have good handwriting, or a Cricut, or the time ~ teacher”. I like these because they are easy to re-use and move around the room throughout the school year.
Let’s face it, we know that we are better teachers if we are HAPPY! So, I have also listed the things that have been huge aspects for me to keep up with my self-care.
I’m not big on headphones while working out. Therefore, I purchased a bike mount for my iPhone. I don’t even need the volume up that high to hear it and I can ride and see the screen at the same time. It’s also nice and handy for taking pictures of cool things I see on my route.
AIR FRYER & INSTANT POT
Okay, I have to admit…I am completely obsessed with both of these small kitchen appliances. In fact, I am now the proud owner of one Instant Pot and two air fryers. These appliances have made making dinner soooo much faster AND easier, but still keeping it healthy! Here are some of my favorite foods to cook in each…
Instant Pot: chili, chicken noodle soup, shredded pork, ribs, shredded chicken (usually for enchiladas), and hardboiled eggs. This is basically a super fast crockpot!
Air Fryer: ANY vegetable is amazing when cooked in the air fryer, as well as chicken wings, bacon, pork chops, cheeseburgers, homemade french fries or hash browns, salmon (simply the best), fish, and chicken breasts. Any food you want to be crispy on the outside, but still juicy/tender in the middle…this is your go to appliance.
After a looooong week of teaching, sometimes we just want to curl up and watch a good movie or binge on a tv series. And that’s okay!!! Netflix is an easy way to do this via computer, tv, or even your iPad. Some people watch on their phone, but my eyes are too old for that!
I used to be an avid reader and then kids and life took over for a few years. However, I have made a commitment to read at least one book every month…or at least try. I definitely do it in spurts. I’m the type that will read a book in 2-3 days because once I start, I can’t put the book down. I find that reading really helps me “escape” my worries and stress in a good way. So if you are like me and reading has been on the back burner, get back into it! You can find some good ones on the New York Time’s Bestseller List or free ones on Wattpad.
I hope you found some useful things in this post! Feel free to email me with things you use in your classroom that are must-haves!!!
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