Okay, the worst part about Amazon is that I’m afriad Jeff Bezos will take over the world. BUT, the best is that you can basically find anything, for a good price, and it will show up the next day. So, that kinda tips the scales for me.
I find this particularly helpful when I realize I need something when setting up my classroom or for a lesson in a few days. I don’t drive, so anything that I can get delivered, I do.
Another great thing is how many things I am recommended on Amazon that I realize would be an awesome addition to my classroom or teaching. Well, amybe that’s not a great thing, since basically my whole paycheque goes right back into supplies.
Teacher problems, right?
Well, without further ado, here’s my huge, super, major, mega list of things teachers can (and should!) get from Amazon. They’re in no particular order, but they’re all fantastic:
Teacher and Classroom Organization
Every teacher needs a super cute, well-organized teacher planner. I love ones made specifically for teachers because they have great spots for things like grades and parent contact information. Plus, they’re adorned with adorable little teacher clip-art, like apples and crap!
Obviously, the go-to teacher pen is, unofficially, the Paper Mate Flair. I love a good felt-tip marker because they don’t smudge or blotch. These write like a dream and have a zillion fun colours. Every teacher needs at least a pen holder full of these on their desks!
The first year I started teaching, I made my own visual schedule for the whiteboard, and moved it around each day using that blue sticky tack. I quickly found this tedious, and a pocket chart style was implemented the following year. Much easier to move around each day, and I like that you can include times for kids (great for those on the Autism Spectrum).
I am obsessed with these hanging pocket folders. I use them for both my own organization, as well as for students. They’re great to store student work, centres, and supplies. Whenever something is easily grab-and-go, I’m all over it!
Another great tool for holding centres and games supplies are these zippered pouches. They’re excellent for keeping supplies organized and seeing everything that’s inside. They’re also good for sending supplies home with kids if they have homework and you know they don’t have access to the tools to complete it at home.
I love using large, plastic files to organize lesson supplies, homemade games, centres, and so on. The plastic makes them much more durable in little fingers, and they snap closed, keeping everything in place.
These binder clips are an ingenious and simple way to keep papers sorted and organized. With clips for things like “to grade” and send home”, you can keep on top of loose paper and make your desk look, somewhat, organized.
I love having a large calendar on my desk to glance at quickly and know my big to-do items. This one is weekly, which I personally find great because my weeks are very busy, but lots of teachers prefer a month view.
Sure, we could just use the boring old beige file folders provided by school, but why live such a boring life!? When fun graphic file folders like these exist, they make me happy when I look in my filing cabinet, which is quite a feat.
I find having a paper organizer like this one is very necessary. Even though I’m trying to move most of my teaching resources online and reduce my paper use, there are still many things I just need to have printed out. This can keep everything under control, and is even great for each class you teach – a spot for kids to hand things in, a spot for what you need to hand back, upcoming work, and supplies you need for the next class.
When teaching elementary, magazine files are basically a necessity. They’re a must for holding things like duotangs for each class. I find they’re also great for holding go-to resources like writing checklists, multiplication charts, and so on.
Yes, here’s some more paper organization! I like these racks for holding resources like Fountas and Pinnell folders, lessons I’m teaching that day, tests, and so on. A cute one like this makes me happy to look at it each day!
These expandable folders are hella ugly, but they’re ideal for carrying work back and forth from school to home. I like the different compartments to separate different work and classes.
Having adorable paperclips, like these cute animals are a fun way to keep your things together. They’re jsut so teacher-y, don’t you think!?
If you’re going to have a teacher planner, you’re going to need teacher planner stickers, too, right?! I love these because every time I look in my planner, I get happy!
These marble desk accessories are great to brighten up a boring teacher desk. They’re super cute, and useful, too!
I am the (unofficial) queen of highlighters. I collect them like crazy cat ladies collect cats and strange looks. I love these ones because the pastel/neutral colours look great. They’re unexpected and they really jazz up my notes!
If Paper Mate Flairs and Pilot Frixions had a baby, I could die happy. I love these because they’re erasable, and I need to use that eraser a lot as my schedule bounces all over the place!
These math learning dice area great for centres and games! I personally love them, and the kids have a great time playing with them. There are so many fun and educational games you can play with them!
Dice domes are a great way to keep noise under control, to keep dice from flying around the room, and to ensure none get lost. I can’t imagine my math centres without them.
These fact family wipe boards are excellent for work individually, with the teacher, in partners, or small groups. Plus, the kids get a kick out of them – anything to make school and learning more fun, right?!
These magnetic ten frames are excellent for when you model to the class. They’re also great for when students are working in small groups; being able to manipulate these but also having them “stick” is a dream come true!
Well, it’s no secret now that I love magnetic things. I use these magnetic base ten blocks all the time when I’m teaching. I love that the kids can come up to the board and easily show answers, plus they get a kick out of these!
While we’re on the subject, these magnetic fraction tiles are fantastic for students when first learning fractions and decimals. Since they’re hands-on and manipulative, the kids can really visualize fractions.
These giant playing cards are great when you’re doing activities with the whole class. The “jumbo-ness” of them makes it a ton of fun for the students!
If you teach math, you need fake currency! This is also really great for classroom management as you can literally give students “money” for being good and have them buy or bid on things weekly or monthly in a classroom “store”.
Every elementary class needs a hundreds chart. If you’re too lazy to make your own, these work great and kids can write all over them.
Call me crazy, but I absolutely love time telling games and activities. They’re just so useful and hands-on. I love this set because there’s so much you can do with it!
First learning fractions, decimals, and percentages is really hard for most kids. I find these fraction rods excellent for them to physically see and work with the numbers.
Language Arts Supplies
These writing prompt cubes are great for getting students motivated to write. They incorporate fun and choice, so reluctant writers are more inclined to participate!
Just like the writing prompt cubes, these reading comprehension cubes are great for differnetiating for your kiddos! I love to use them in centres after students comlete independent or aprtner reading.
These Silly Starters are great for having kids complete writing prompts. I will usually break my kids into different groups, this being one of the activities, and they love the silly stories they come up with (and so do I)!
Just like the Silly Starters above, these Story Starters are an excellent way to get students participating and excited about their writing. Expecially great when kids are feeling “stuck”.
This giant list of vobcabulary is great for teachers to have as a reference. It’s also fantastic for older students and English Language Learners.
Sylvan Learning has a giant collection of vocabulary word flashcards based on grade level. These are awesome for all students, but I especially find them useful for activities with my English Language Learners.
Of course, every teacher needs a plethora of letters for bulletin boards. I like these because they’re already cut out and ready to go. Plus, they’re super cute and great to mix and match!
This better than paper is fantastic for bulletin boards! Not only does it cover up old, ugly ones, it can be reused year to year. I also write on it and can wipe it off, so it’s great for making student groupings or a jobs board.
I love using fun thumbtacks to liven things up in the room. I personally have bumble bees because my current room is bee-themed, but I love these adorable hummingbirds!
If you teach lower elementary grades, you definitely need one of these student name tags. Having the alphabet, numbers, and left/right is super helpful for them right on their desks!
I went on a contact-paper spree last year when I became disgruntled with how old and ugly my teacher furniture was. It’s a quick, easy, and cheap way to freshen up your space!
Of course, every teacher needs some heavy duty magnets to hold up examples, student work, and so on. I personally love colourful ones because they help to liven up the room and put a smile on my face.
I discovered this white-board contact paper when trying to hide an extremely ugly table. It’s fantastic and allows you to turn any surface into a whiteboard! I find it excellent for math centres!
The best thing about these bullentin board borders is that they’re on a roll. I hate the ones that come in strips because they’re never the right size and end up looking messy! These, you can cut to exactly the right length and they take up way less storage space.
General learning tools and supplies
I like having enough mini whiteboards that each student can have one. They’re great for having kids hold up answers during lessons, working out math problems, and so on!
These colourful cubes seem as boring as can be, but they’re one of my favourite teaching tools of all time. I love to separate kids into groups according to a colour, then I differnetiate the questions I’m asking them to do using the cubes. There’s just so much you can do with these!
As much as we love laminating as teachers, sometimes it just isn’t possible. Schools certainly aren’t rich, after all. I love these lamination pouches because you can turn basically any worksheet into one you can write on and wipe off.
These whiteboard cards are so nifty! They’re great for making your own flashcards, labeling, having kids make their own games, and so on. There are so many possibilities!
Of course, every teacher needs magnetic letters. I even use these in junior high and high school classes – kids love leaving messages (usually they’re appropriate) for their teachers and friends!
I always stash a bunch of clipboards in my “Learning Tools” cupboard for students. This way, they can grab a clipboard and work in the hall, on the carpet, and so on comfortably.
POP is a great game for learning sight words. They also have a version with letters for early learners. The kids love collecting their kernels and hoping they don’t grab the POP!
Is any classroom complete without Bananagrams? This is one of my favourite games ever and there’s so many different ways to play. It never gets boring!
I love Rory’s Story Cubes! These are great and so much fun for building creative story ideas. The kids get a kick out of the dice and what they roll next!
Tri-Facts is great for building students’ operational skills, plus it’s really fun! I usually have my students play math games during centres on Fridays, and it’s a great addition!
Mobi is one of my favourite games ever! I even play it with friends. I just wish it had more tiles and that their was a more difficult version – the it would be perfect!
This Pizza Fraction game is really fun for kids. It’s hilarious to see them try to build their pizzas, and their comments about different toppings are always great!
Obviously, I love sight word pop, but there’s also a great math version. It’s super fun and kids really enjoy it!
Who doesn’t love Bingo? This Sight Words Bingo is a fun way for littles to learn words, and you can do it in a small group or the entire class. Easy peasy!
Is it super nerdy that I love math baord games so much? Probably, but I just don’t care. Proof is a great way to get your students having fun and learning at the same time.
Kids love the card game War, so why not force them to learn?! This multiplication version of war is fun and cheap. And, kids love it!
Just like above, here’s another great version of Math War for building addition and subtractions skills.
I don’t know why something as simple as Boggle is so fun, but it is. I am also that terrible teacher than plays “with” the kids, then revels in winning. I know, I know, I’m awful.
Jenga doesn’t seem educational on the surface, but I always write “getting to know you” questions on each one. At the beginning of every year, it’s my go-to for getting to know my students. You can also do this with math questions, reading comprehension, writing prompts, and so on.
Other Useful Stuff
These teacher stickers are great for sticking on student work, putting in agendas, sticker charts, giving as rewards and so on. I stock up every year.
It doesn’t matter how many whiteboard markers I buy every year, or how well I protect them from irresponsible children; they still seem to disappear or dry up within a week. Always buy more than you think you need.
These teacher stamps are wonderful! They’re so cute and a quick way to leave a kind remark on student work – adding up to time saved grading!
Does anything take you back to your childhood than these classic counters. I just remember the glee I felt when the teacher put a handful on my desk, knowing it was a bingo day!
Having a stash of binder rings at all times will never do you wrong. These are great for flashcards, sight words, body break cards, and so on. I can’t do without them.
I have a love/hate relationship with my electric pencil sharpener. On the one hand, kids are (for some reason) overly thrilled by it and find the most inopportune times to use it. On the other, I don’t think I could live without it. My pencil crayons just get so sharp! My colouring is so much better!
I am obsessed with these giant post-it notes! They’re pretty expensive, but if you can get your school to pay for it, you’ll be thrilled. These are fantastic for gallery walks, in particular!
Of course, could I make a list of things teachers need without including a laminator? I feel like there’s no explanation necessary here.
I love using Table Topics as a great conversation starter in my English Language Learning class, at the beginning of the year, or after a long break. These are a great way to get yours tudents talking and listening!
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