With your first year in the classroom approaching, choosing what supplies you’ll need for the school year can feel overwhelming. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of 25 classroom essentials every first year teacher needs. These are classroom materials that I have personally used year after year and could not survive without. Let me take the stress off your plate by giving you my top teacher recommendations to start year one off on the right foot. You might want to add some of these items to your First Year Teacher Amazon Wishlist!
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1. Teacher Toolbox
As a teacher, organization is KEY. I invested in a teacher toolbox during my first year of teaching and it has been one of my most-used teacher supplies to date! A teacher toolbox holds all of your personal supplies while keeping your teacher desk organized and decluttered. It is perfect for storing paperclips, pencils, binder rings, small student incentives, and more. The storage opportunities are truly endless! You can find toolbox labels in my TPT store.
2. Wireless Doorbell
This wireless doorbell is an amazing classroom management tool. It can be used to get your students’ attention during independent activities or to help students transition from one activity to the other. I love using it during reading centers! Once students hear the chime, they know they need to clean up and head to the next center. This wireless doorbell (available in many different colors) is the best classroom attention grabber.
3. Cute Teacher Lanyard
Every first year teacher needs a cute lanyard! Bring some happiness to your day by looking down at this cute engraved lanyard which will hold your USB, keys, and ID badge.
4. Personal Laminator
The line for the laminator at the beginning of the year is always long. This personal laminator can save teachers so much time! This one is nice because it comes with a rounded corners trimmer. Do yourself a favor by skipping the laminator line and pulling this personal one out instead.
5. Laminating Pouches
If you’re going to get your own personal teacher laminator, you need laminating pouches to go along with it. These are the most affordable laminating pouches and very good quality, truly the best bang for your buck!
6. Paper Cutter
You wouldn’t believe the number of things you will need to cut as a teacher. Whether it’s cutting task cards for centers, classroom decorations, or prepping activities for students, this teacher must-have tool will save you so much time! Also, no more jagged cuts using scissors. This is the best paper cutter for teachers.
7. Classroom Sharpener
A nice pencil sharpener is a MUST-HAVE. Don’t waste your time or money on a cheap one that doesn’t sharpen well. You’ll just keep having to replace it. Trust me on this. This X-ACTO Pro is the best pencil sharpener for classrooms.
8. Rolling Cart with Drawers
If you’re wondering, “How do I keep my school desk organized?”… my answer is: Get a Rolling Cart! As a first year teacher, you’ll want to invest in a system for organizing weekly copies and important papers. You do NOT want a stack of papers sitting at your desk each morning. A rolling cart with drawers is perfect for storing weekly copies, papers that need to be graded, and sub information all in one spot! This rolling cart is available in multiple color options.
9. Large Paper Pads
Do you want to know something simple that students love and sparks instant engagement? Getting to write on a large pad of paper. It may sound silly, but it’s true. These are great for whole group lessons or for group activities where students may need to create a poster. Couple this with markers and your students will be thrilled. Plus it’s a great way to spice up an activity and make learning more hands-on.
10. A Good Printer Compatible with HP Insta-Ink Membership
A classroom essentials that every first year teacher needs: A good printer! In case your classroom isn’t equipped with one, consider getting a printer for the classroom to save you a trip to the copier. I have this printer and I LOVE it. It is compatible with HP Insta Ink which is a GAME CHANGER. (more info on that below!).
11. HP Insta Ink Membership
The HP Insta Ink Membership tracks when your printer is running low on ink and instantly sends you a new cartridge. No more going to print, realizing that your ink levels are low, and needing to rush out to the store. Follow the link or use code ‘rrc2M’ to get one free month of ink!
12. Foam Dice
This is one of the most fun classroom essentials that your students will love – foam dice! These are perfect for games or other interactive activities. Students love using them, and it saves your ears from listening to the noise of dice rolling around your classroom. It’s a win-win.
13. Accordion Wall Organizer
A wall organizer keeps all important forms and documents handy in one spot! I use this accordion wall organizer to store incident reports, absent slips, and recap forms for money collection. Make a lot of copies of these documents at the beginning of the year and have them in an accessible spot near your teacher desk.
14. Storage Pouches
These zippered storage pouches are perfect for keeping center activities, task cards, puzzles, and other small pieces all in one place. They come in a variety of colors which makes organizing activities by standards or skill a breeze!
15. Glue Gun
Glue guns make decorating so much easier. You’ll want to have one handy for bulletin boards or other general crafting needs. Don’t forget the glue sticks.
16. Amazon Alexa Dot
The Amazon Alexa Dot can be used in several ways in the classroom which is why it’s so great. A few ways that I use mine is to:
- Play music during independent activities
- Have students ask questions that we don’t know the answer to (because teachers don’t know it all. haha)
- Provide translations for ELL students
17. Dry Erase Boards for Students
Dry erase boards are an easy way to bring variety to activities. A student favorite, these boards can be used across subject areas to keep students stay engaged and show their work.
18. Task Card Boxes
You’ll need a good task card organizer for all the center activities you’ll collect over the years. These colorful boxes are my absolute favorite center storage solution! You can label the outside of each small container with the name of the activity, targeted standards, and instructions on how to use the task cards. I have a box for math centers and one for literacy center task cards.
19. Magic Eraser
We all know that Magic Erasers can be magical on difficult to clean spots in our homes, but how can they work in our classrooms? I love using these to clean my whiteboard and remove old marker marks. Ditch the old-school eraser and swap to a Magic Eraser instead. You’ll be glad you did!
20. Multicultural Crayons
These multicultural Crayola crayons are a perfect way to represent all of the skin tones in your diverse classroom. This small addition to your art supplies can help students’ artwork reflect them and their peers with their true skin tone. No more peach crayon for everyone.
21. Numbered Pocket Chart
Numbered pocket charts are a great tool for organizing student supplies. I especially love this pocket chart for storing student headphones in a spot that is easily acessible. Correspond each pouch with your students’ classroom numbers, and you have an easy organization system ready to go!
22. Binder Rings
These binder ringers are multifunctional, but I love using them for making booklets for students or hanging reference materials for students to interact with.
23. Magnetic Hooks
Most white boards are magnetic. So, you’ll want to get magnetic hooks to hang and display things on your whiteboard. Here’s a great teacher hack: Open two holes at the top of your anchor charts, add binder rings to the top and then hang them onto the magnetic hooks on your board. This is a great way to display and easily rotate anchor charts throughout the school year.
24. Lap Desks for Flexible Seating
Flexible seating gives students opportunities for movement and encourages learners to choose an environment that helps them learn best. Lap desks are a great flexible seating option for students. These lap trays allow students to complete their work from the floor or any other place in the classroom comfortably.
25. Adhesive Magnetic Tape
Tape can be great, or it can be, well…sticky. Although we want it to be sticky, it can also leave residue behind. Adhesive magnetic tape prevents that from being an issue. Hang whatever you want on your board without leaving a sticky mess behind.
Which classroom essentials are you most excited about using this year? I know that no matter what you choose, you will rock this upcoming school year! Looking for more organizational hacks? Check out these 5 Classroom Organization Hacks that will Make Teaching Easier.