How technology and retail items have changed in such a short amount of time. When I started teaching 10 years ago...I WISH I had so much of the stuff that I started to accumulate as years went on but those things just weren't that well known or didn't exist back then. So now looking back, I would have loved to have the following things my first year teaching.
Book Bags and Whisper Phones
This is a two for one type of deal for me. How my Silent Reading time would have been really silent had I made use of book bags and whisper phones.
I made a bunch of whisper phone about 5 years back using PVC pipe and duct tape. Pinterest will give you tons of DIY ways or you can read one of my very first blog posts on my personal blog HERE for how I made mine.
I also went to the Target Dollar Spot and got a class set of Dr. Seuss themed bags. I attached each one to a Command hook and students would go once a week to the class library - pick some books they wanted for the week and put them in their bag. When it was Read to Self time during our rotations, they would get their book bags, grab a whisper phone, and get to work. They love the novelty of the whisper phone and so it motivated them to keep quiet.
The TARGET DOLLAR SPOT.
Speaking of the book bags I got from Target, I SOOOO wish the Target Dollar Spot existed all those years back. That place is a gold mine but also a money trap! I have to stop myself from going there all the time because otherwise it becomes very expensive. I got all my paper bins, supply caddies, and buckets from the Dollar Spot and they've made my room colorful while providing all the storage I need.
A Glue Gun
Some schools may not allow this, but after years of frustration of posters and other things falling down from the walls when it got humid, I finally started using the glue gun to hang everything. I would put painter's tape on the back of all my items, put the glue on the tape and then stick it to the wall. That stuff lasted all year! I also used the glue gun to layer different colored borders onto the butcher paper for my bulletin boards.
These are simple things that made my life a whole lot easier I had known when I first started. I hope you've been getting tons of ideas during this blog series. Don't forget to come back every day this month to gather even more ideas!