If you are anything like me, you are probably searching amazon for deals on new education products and classroom resources all the time. Below are the things I have acquired over the years. I will separate them out into Must Haves, Classroom Extras, and Science Fun categories to help you search for new purchases based on where you are in teaching!
My Classroom Fun Extras
These are items that are not necessarily needed but I enjoy having a lot!!
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Ceiling Hooks - 12 Clear Plastic Hinged Hooks for Drop Ceiling
If you want to maximize your decoration space and your school rules permit, these ceiling hooks are fabulous and easy to use. They are not necessary as I have used paperclips in the past, but they offer a little more functionality since they have an actual hook and look cleaner.
Student grouping pencils - Learning Resources Student Grouping Pencils
These are super cute and easy to use. I love the fact that students won't figure out how you are trying to group them and switch things around their with friends too. I have also seen people make something similar with tongue depressors or just use a deck of cards, but they were too cute for me to pass up and I really enjoy having them.
Flexible Rulers - 8 Packs 4 Colors Flexible Ruler 12 Inch Soft Plastic Ruler Clear
If you have ever had students use rulers you know they have a magical ability to bring out every child's inner gladiator, drummer, and circus performer all at once. Now, these are flexible so they don't break and are less fun to use in the above-mentioned ways, but they do bring on a whole slew of other behaviors like, wow this can almost wrap around my head or look at my new cool bracelet. So yes they are awesome, but they still come with a student use warning.
Cricut - Cricut Explore Air 2
Okay, so I know that this is a HUGE extra expense and not everybody can buy one, but man, if you are craft inclined this is a great investment. You can make so many things for your students and classroom. The print and cut feature alone is worth it to me. There are a lot of YouTube channels that talk about Cricut uses and functionalities. I would recommend more research to make sure it is right for you before you invest!
Erasable Cubes - Mind Sparks Dry Erase Blocks
These are fun for review games or stations. You can do so much with them. I would recommend a wet-erase maker instead of a dry erase since it won't be removed as easily during use.
Diffuser - InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser
Most schools do not allow candles or wax warmers since they have an active heat element and can pose a fire risk. Use a diffuser in your classroom instead to have calm ambient lighting and the aroma of your favorite essential oils. Check your school's guidelines to verify you can have these though too.
Class set of clipboards - Clipboards (Set of 30) Low Profile Clip Standard A4 Letter Size
At $1 a clipboard, these are an awesome investment to give yourself freedom and flexibility to teach on the move. As a science teacher, it is always amazing when you can get your students outside learning, but I have seen tons of other subject teachers take their lessons outside to enjoy the day and get fresh air. You will want the low profile clipboards to help with storing them. I spray painted the backs of mine and painted my name on them too. I also painted numbers on the front top corner so I can keep track of them more easily. The ones I bought had a spring pen holder at the top which became more of a hassle than convenience so that is why I am recommending these.
Wall Hanging Organizers - Cascading Wall Organizer, 6 Pockets
This is such a great product. You can hang in on a wall for easy access and visibility or you can close it and secure it with the elastic band for transport. I use it outside of my classroom door for my NJHS club paperwork so students can get the forms they need without interrupting my class but you can use it for so many other ways in your class (think absent work).
Wireless doorbell - Wireless Doorbell 2 Remote Buttons & 1 Receiver
This is one of those things I saw on another teacher's list that I bought and do not use as much as I thought. Mainly because my voice is faster and louder if needed. I have 1 remote adhered to my teacher station so I always know where it is and the other one free-floating so I can travel around with it. Again, I know this is an amazing tool for some teachers and classrooms, but it just hasn't been for me.
Story Cubes - Rory's Story Cube Complete Set
I love these. I just have my lessons so packed I rarely use them. I bought them for a "We're finished early now what?" scenario, but that doesn't happen in my class very often. Either way, these are awesome for ELA or any class you want to prompt kids to start outrageous creative writing stories. Make the main theme of the story be a concept you are teaching, and now you have a fun review activity.
Sticky chart paper - Post-it Super Sticky Easel Pad
This is something I got recently just for convenience but never really needed it. They are kind of expensive since you can just get bulletin paper from your workroom and tape it to the walls instead, but having this does remove a few steps and looks cleaner.