So two years ago I was graduating from my graduate school and moving into the wonderful world of teaching. I was slightly freaking out about what I was going to do with my classroom because as a student, you are not making a ton of money. There is a lot of competition when it comes to your room, as a teacher, you own your room, and when students walk in you want them to feel like it is a fun environment! But every teacher knows you want staff to walk in your room and be a little jealous… and I mean… see you as an organized professional blah blah blah. This is not super easy on a small budget, but I will let you in on a secret! IT CAN BE DONE!
Here are the top ten things that I use to make my classroom look beautiful! Some very cheap, some expensive, and some you may not even think you want, but here is what I use.
- Scotch thermal laminator $24-$37 with scotch thermal laminating laminating pouches (approximately $12 for 100)
- Cricut $249 – So this one is expensive, but in the long run it is a great investment. I am someone that likes to change up my bulletin boards and classroom decorations often. Having this machine makes creating letters in your own cool fonts a piece of cake, and it also makes awesome cards and other paper crafts, so it has many purposes! You can also buy the iron on transfers from Michael’s and create your very own teacher T’s! By buying this machine I NEVER have to buy décor for my classroom; I just make everything I want with some help from Pinterest!
- Card stock – (mostly for the cricut) I normally go to Michaels and get the packs of 50 sheets when they are 3 for $10 or 4 for $10. I get the mixed packs of colors or solid black or white to make
- Post-it tabletop easel Pad 20×23 inches $19 on Amazon Prime! – Here I make anchor charts for my units so my littles have something to use as reference during the unit! These are super helpful, and some of them that I have made many times are not laminated, so I won’t have to do it again!
- CRAYOLA – $3 to $25 depending on how many markers, I bough a pack of 64 for $20). Crayola can shut-up and take my money! I use the original large markers for any posters in my room! They are inexpensive and easily replaced! So schools will even provide them for you!
- BINS BINS BINS! I go to dollar tree and get bins for my shelving units (No bin shall pass…… one dollar!!!). I label them and the kids know where to go to find anything they need, and the best part is they don’t always have to ask me!
- Colorful file folders – about $10 for 50 assorted color file folders. I color code each class with a color and have a magazine holder for each of the periods so students can store their work for the current unit. After the unit is done the work is sorted and filed, but this way you can just grab a color for a class and all of their work is organized in there. It organizes my grading so putting their grades into the grade book is much easier!
- Binders with page protectors – I have a binder for each large unit and inside are all of the master copies and keys for the unit. This makes grabbing and copying super easy! It also allows you to see what you have, and add to it each year!
- USB clicker – $12 – this is super helpful when using power points or PDFs. It allows you to wander freely throughout the classroom and still be flipping through information. Mine also has a laser pointer, and that serves many purposes, but the most fun one is pointing at student’s papers on their desks when they aren’t paying attention! (#MiddleSchoolProbelms)
- LAST BUT MOST IMPORTANT – figure out your style of organization and invest in a teacher binder from TeachersPayTeachers… the only reason I suggest this route is, you can pay as little as $5 for a great organized and cute system, and you can just reprint each year! I also like this idea because you can bind it however you want – I personally used a binder and a happy planner disk set – and you can print what you want or need and get rid of the rest!
I hope that this helps you…. Going into the teacher world is intimidating, as a fellow perfectionist/OCD person, I understand the need to make everything perfect, so I hope that through these 10 things you can find a system that works for you!