CLASSROOM MUST HAVES: I Can't Picture Myself Teaching Without These Things

In addition to blogging here at Clutter-Free Classroom, I am honored to also be part of an amazing team of talented educators who work as a collaborative team to publish the Upper Elementary Snapshots blog.  Together we are sharing all of our "Classroom Must-Haves" which is a collection of school supplies, books and resources we could not picture ourselves teaching without. 

Oh and best of all we are all also spotlighting our "Must Have FREE Resources." So get comfortable and visit each of our blogs to get some ideas for tools to make your job easier, books to make reading to your students even more enjoyable and resources that will save you time and inspire your teaching.

Did I also mention there are 13 amazing and free resources just waiting to be downloaded? Here are a few of my favorite things.

I first received one of these staple removers in a swag bag at a teacher conference. It seems like a simple little invention, but I found it to be a genius invention. If you have ever pulled staples from a bulletin board using a traditional claw-like remover then you know all to well how the make holes in your background and often damage whatever you are removing from the wall. 

This handy dandy gadget simply slides under the staple and pops it right out. Best of all it collects them as you go so you are not left with staples all over the floor. To make a good thing even better it also has a nifty little slider conveniently positioned at the thumb so you can easily deposit them all in the trash. Love it!

You can order one from Amazon using the link below at a really low price and it will make you happy every time you need to change a bulletin board. 

{Click to Read Description & Order}
Picking one favorite book was a challenge. There are so many great choices. But if I had to narrow it down, I would have to say the read aloud that is nearest and dearest to my heart is Charlotte's Web. The vocabulary and writing style make it a perfect mentor text. The story of friendship is ideal for spring boarding classroom discussions about kindness, caring and the true meaning of friendship. I used it to teach character traits and paired it with a non-fiction unit on Spiders which was ideal for getting them used to reading that type of genre and conducting animal research (which they then did on their own throughout the year as an enrichment activity). One year I made it my theme for open house and we even wrote and performed a script based on the book.

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Unlike narrowing down a must-have book, this category was super easy for me. Of all the resources I've created none have transformed my own teaching or elicited more testimonials and emails from teachers around the country as the The Clutter-Free Classroom Guide for Math Workshop with Guided Math Instruction. It spells out exactly how I planned, implemented, managed and a successful math workshop/guided math model. Upon doing so I began to love teaching math, my students approached it with confidence and enthusiasm and test scores skyrocketed. The resource was recently updated and includes everything you need to use this model of teaching with ANY math curriculum.

{Click to Download the Sub Plans Freebie}

Last, but certainly not least I have my "Must-Have" Freebie to share. I am one of those people that used to drag my sick self into school because it was so much easier to be there than it was to have a substitute teacher come in. I learned the hard way that is not always possible. You never know when you or one of your own children may get sick or car trouble en route to school may occur and prevent you from reporting on time or at all. You work hard. You are entitled to days off. When you are sick your health should be your number one priority. It is imperative that you have detailed sub plans and prepped activities at the ready at all times. My How to Prepare for a Substitute Teacher resource is chock full of tips, ideas and printables to help you put together rock star sub plans.
After you've downloaded my freebie be sure to visit each of the blogs below to add 12 more FREE RESOURCES to your own collection of things you can't picture yourself teaching without. Then swing by our collaborative blog, Upper Elementary Snapshots for lots of great content and ideas you can put into practice in your own classrooms as well as a chance to win gift cards to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Teachers Pay Teachers so you can stock up on your own Classroom Must Haves.


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