I love Amazon Prime. I’m stating the obvious here, but it literally has everything. Over the past six months I’ve purchased books, clothing, candy, a shower curtain rod, and jalapeno cheddar popcorn seasoning online. I use Amazon so much that I sometimes forget I can just go to a store if I need something.
Amazon is a treasure chest for tools I use in my classroom. Over the years, I’ve been able to develop a toolkit of items I can’t live without in my classroom. Listed below are some of my favorite things.
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My drama with pencils has been well-documented in a previous post. I try to avoid chastising students who forget pencils every once in a while. I also can’t afford to spend 10% of my income on buying pencils for forgetful adolescents. These golf pencils from Amazon are so helpful. They are short and don’t have an eraser, which makes students way less likely to accidentally take them. I buy a box or two of these a year.
This is the exact pencil sharpener I have in my classroom. My Amazon account shows that I bought my current one in August of 2016. That says a lot about the quality of this pencil sharpener. I mean, if it had lasted even six months I would have felt like I got my money’s worth, but this thing is still going.
My desktop computer is seven years old and it is really showing its age. Before I became a teacher I worked in an accounting role so I’m really good at using a numeric keypad. Like, almost too good. When my computer became too slow to load my gradebook, I immediately bought this for my laptop so I could quickly enter grades. I loved it so much that I bought one for my house, my brother, and a colleague who complimented it when she was covering my homeroom. It makes entering grades so much easier.
I’m a child and I love these so much. To be clear, I didn’t buy these to let me students use, although I will let some students smell them. These are just for me to use when I’m having a stressful day.
Dry Erase Markers
Full disclosure: I very rarely write on my white board. I have a television and a projector that I use. I do use these markers to write vocabulary words with. Expo is the standard, and I liked the price and the color variety of these. I also have very strong opinions about how superior a chisel tip is. Nothing else will do.
Clipboard & Notepad
I have made dozens of purchases in attempts to get organized over the course of my career. Of those times, this may be the only thing I use on a daily basis. I love this because I think it is so pretty. I also love that it has a notepad, a folder pocket, and a pen holder attached to it. I keep my rosters attached on the outside for taking attendance.
At one point my classroom was in a pod, which is basically a giant unit of mobile classrooms. It was great. I was off all by myself, there were no lockers to deal with, and I could adjust the thermostat. The best thing about being in the pod, though, was that I could staple things to the wall! It was life changing. I changed out my posters and displays so often when I was in that room. The room I’m in now has cinder block walls and apparently a very strong sense of gravity. I had issues even getting hot glue to work. This tape is the only thing that has worked. It is life changing. Buy it. I do suggest watching a video on how to use it once you’ve purchased it. There is a technique that makes it more effective.
I know that most teachers are obsessed with Flair pens, but I like this a lot better. If you don’t quite understand the Flair pen obsession, then I think you should give these a try.
So organization is something I struggle with. We are one to one with iPads this year, but I haven’t gone completely digital yet and these still come in handy. Before I got this, the table at the front of the room where I keep my papers was a hot mess. I liked this so much that I bought another one the same day I received the first one. It is great and quite sturdy.