Happy Friday friends! I hope you are finishing out your school year happily and stress free ( I know, kind of impossible). But just keep the end in sight, there is light at the end of the tunnel! It’s called SUMMER!!
Well, I have had the beginning in sight. Yup, that’s right beginning of the school year. So I wanted to share with you my TOP 5 MUST HAVES for my classroom.
This could be different for everyone but I wanted to share mine so you could see a different point of view! So, here it goes!
My classroom rug!
This has seriously been the best investment
I my dad has made for me and my classroom! Here’s me opening my Christmas present! Seriously, like a kid right!
And yes, I’m wearing my new Cowboy jersey OVER my dress. That’s what you do at Christmas right?
I started out my first year with a cute & colorful, swirly rug that matched my room, and boy did I learn my lesson! I had kiddos in each other’s “bubble”, kids sitting next to kids that were not good together and I couldn’t assign seats because there were no “spaces”. So I tried the good ol’ velcro with their names on it…. um no. They would get moved around accidently and get stuck to shoes and clothes. It was not ideal. I even tried colored duct tape and no luck. So my amazing dad got me this beautiful rug that I had been begging for that year and my classroom management changed forever!
I’m not saying you can’t classroom manage without a rug with spaces or spots, I’m just saying it worked best for me.
My second favorite thing in my classroom was book boxes!!! I had gone through dollar store book boxes, Target book boxes and I finally invested in some good, sturdy book boxes from Really Good Stuff last year and I could not be happier! First, are my students browsing book boxes. They shop for books every Monday and I usually put a guided reading book in each box for the week. They are colorful, strong and best of all they have a stabilizer wing so if they put taller books in them, they won’t plop down. I absolutely LOVE them!
Also from Really Good Stuff, I got these little babies for my reading corner. They are sturdy and can hold a ton of books and best of all, the color scheme matches my room!
Storage boxes! I absolutely LOVE these latch box containers. I purchased some for my manipulatives/counters and bigger ones for my unit/themed files!
Oh my word ya’ll, this changed my life!
But here’s a quick overview….
I used to have a giant
ugly filing cabinet to store all of my unit stuff. And it looked like this!
I could not take it another year. So, I invested in these little guys and they rocked my socks off!
They are perfect size for my file folders ziplock baggies with samples and plenty more!
I also got these smaller ones for my counters!
I LOOOOOVE how they are easy to get to, easy to open (for my kidlets) and they match the other boxes!
This was a bit of an investment but I spread out the cost so it wasn’t all at once and voila, they look amazing!
Now, here’s what my cabinet looks like!
A must have for sure!
Oh, by the way, if you like these labels they will be free in my store until Sunday night!
Go get ‘em now!!
Fabric for bulletins!! How many of you invest on good, cute fabric for your bulletins?
Well, if you don’t…. you should! Just try it for one or two and you will see how much you will LOVE it!
I started doing this my first year because I had such a specific theme that I didn’t want to use the dull colors of butcher paper. I bought most of the fabric at Hobby Lobby or Joan’s fabric (using my teacher discount woohoo) and that set me up for a good 3 years and counting!
And here’s a good tip one of my teammates told me about! If you have a big space to fill (like your word wall) just buy a twin size sheet and there you go! Super cheap, super easy fabric for bulletins! Here are some photos!
Sorry so blurry, but it’s a polka dot colored fabric with the awesome Cupcake for the Teacher’s writing center!
And last but not least my ipod shuffles for listening station!
We used to use cd players with cd’s, but how old school is that?! Just kidding… kinda.
I found myself constantly being interrupted in my guided reading groups due to “broken” cd players, the batteries were out, the cd was skipping or they forgot which button to press, etc. I would even put stickers on the buttons for stop and start but the kids got so confused sometimes!
So we got some ipod shuffles and this is how we use them.
Each color ipod matches the color book box it goes in. At the beginning of the year I put one book on each ipod and one book in the book box. The students are taught how to use the ipod (which, let’s be honest most of them already knew how). Very easy, start, volume and switch off were the only buttons they really needed. At the end of two weeks I would unplug the ipods, switch out the books and charge them over the weekend. They NEVER needed to be charged more than that, it was something I didn’t have to worry about, ever!
About halfway through the year, once the students really mastered using the ipods and listening to the whole story I added a second book to each box and ipod. This worked for multiple reasons. By this time in the year, our Daily 5 time had expanded a bit so they had more time at the station. It also lasted a week longer since each student didn’t get to each book in two short weeks. And let me just tell ya, this was one of the student’s FAVORITE daily 5 choices very quickly! They just loved cozying up under a table with their head phones on and getting lost in a good book! I loved seeing them enjoy this station!
Well friends, I hope you found this post helpful in your planning for next year’s classroom!
If you liked this post and found it useful, please drop me a note and tell me what your #1 must have is for your classroom!
I’ll pick one winner Sunday night to win a FREE product from my TPT store! Anything!
Start shopping now!
And don’t forget to check out my newest unit a MONSTER MATH packet that you can use year round!
* Don’t forget to tell me your #1 must have and leave your email!
Happy shopping friends!