#5Things I Cannot Do Without in My Classroom

#5 Space between aisles- I hate clutter and I can't stand when my students desks are too close together. Nobody wants the awkwardness of my butt accidentally rubbing against their back because I can't fit through the aisles. Another reason that I group my desks- more space for me! My biggest class dropped from 22 to 18 and moving those extra 4 desks made a huge difference.

#4 Card stock- I love color and especially for activities in class, I must have my card stock! It's pretty and makes everything seem more fun. It lasts forever, even when I don't laminate it. It's a must have for foldables and interactive noteboooks!

#3 Dry Erase Markers- I us them every day and so do my students. I have four giant white boards and dry erase desks so we literally use them for everything. I get SO much more effort from my students with a marker in their hand.

#2 Timer- I have a digital timer that also serves as a clock, calendar, stopwatch, thermometer, and random student generator. It keeps me on track with my bell ringers. Before I used it, I would easily let 12-15 minutes slip away! Now I keep it to 4ish. I also use it when I want to make sure I give the students enough time to think. It helps keep us all on task- I'm terrible at estimating time.

#1 Smart Board/Projector/Document Camera- Unsurprisingly, these are of major importance. Surprisingly, I really only use them as a projector and giant whiteboard.
Modeling, I guess?

What are your top 5?


  1. We share a few must haves - whiteboard and markers, IWB. I'd love to hear more about your timer. I'm using my iPhone right now (which can get pretty tricky because my sisters love to text when they know I'm teaching - stinkers. ��)

    1. We aren't allowed to have our phones out in front of students but I love my timer! It's from Kagan and it's $49 (link) but I requisitioned mine so my school paid for it. There might be cheaper versions but I've used this every day for 3-4 years now. It does take six batteries (although you can by an adapter) but the batteries last over one calendar year. Well worth it in my opinion!

  2. I also use dry-erase markers constantly with my students. Do you have any tips on the most economical way to purchase/manage them?

    1. I found that giving each student a marker that belonged to them only made them last MUCH longer.

      I also found that the Dollar Tree and Dollar General have the best prices for then. But I started requisitioning them through my school and they bough tubs of 30 each from Staples or somewhere similar. I think three of those lasted the whole school year for me.