As the saying goes, “Give a teacher the right supplies and they can conquer the world.” Okay, maybe that’s not quite how it goes, but as a first-grade teacher, I can attest to the fact that having the right teaching supplies can make all the difference in the world. From creating a comfortable and engaging learning environment to fostering a love of learning in your students, having the right tools at your disposal can help you become a more effective and successful educator.
So, whether you’re a seasoned educator or a new teacher just starting out, here are my top must-have teaching supplies that will help you take on the world (or at least your classroom!) with confidence. From organization bins to social-emotional tools, here’s what you need to succeed!
With so many different teaching supplies and materials to keep track of, it’s important to have a system in place that keeps everything organized and easy to find. I use a variety of bins and storage containers, from paper baskets to book and binder holders, to keep everything in its place and make it easy to find what we need.
Organization System Idea: In my classroom, we color code our tables to help students stay organized and on track. Each table has a designated color and all materials and supplies for that table are labeled with the corresponding color. This makes it easy for students to quickly find what they need and keeps their workspace tidy. Really Good Stuff® offers a variety of color-coded resources such as chair pockets, bins, and labels that can help teachers implement this system effectively in their classrooms.
Flexible seating is a great option for classrooms because it allows students to move and change positions throughout the day. As we all know, students can get wiggly and restless, making it difficult for them to stay focused on their work. Flexible seating options like floor cushions, wiggle seats, and lap trays can help alleviate some of this restlessness by providing students with the opportunity to move around while still staying engaged in their work. I have seen that providing students with increased movement and freedom through flexible seating options can lead to better attention and focus in the classroom, ultimately improving student learning and success. For that reason, flexible seating is among the best teaching supplies that educators can invest in.
Hands-on Learning Materials
In my classroom, I believe that hands-on learning is crucial to engage students and promote active learning. That’s why I incorporate a variety of hands-on learning materials such as blocks, puzzles, and manipulatives into my lessons. For early literacy phonics skills, I use magnetic color-coded letters, which not only makes learning fun but also help students visualize and understand letters and sounds. By providing students with these interactive tools, I help them develop a deeper understanding of the material and cultivate a love of learning.
Students’ social and emotional well-being is just as important as their academic success. As a teacher, I prioritize creating a positive and supportive classroom environment. To do this, I make sure to have social-emotional tools readily available for students. These include items such as a calm-down corner, weighted blankets, reset visuals, and calming jars. These tools help students to identify and manage their emotions effectively, which leads to a more peaceful and cooperative classroom.
Some students need extra help with focusing on their work, and fidget tools can be a great solution. I keep a variety of fidgets such as sensory discs, sensory balls, and spike fij-its available in my classroom. These tools allow students to expend excess energy and help them to focus on their work better. In my experience, providing fidget tools has led to improved student engagement and learning.
In conclusion, having the right teaching supplies can truly make a world of difference in the success of both teachers and students. From organization bins and flexible seating options to hands-on learning materials and social-emotional tools, there are so many must-have teaching supplies that can help create a positive and engaging classroom environment. By incorporating these supplies into your teaching, you can help your students develop a love of learning while also fostering their academic and emotional growth. So go ahead, equip yourself with these must-have supplies and watch as you conquer the world (or at least your classroom!) with confidence.
By Bethany Barr
Compensation was provided for this blog post but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Bethany Barr is an experienced first-grade teacher based in California, and the creative force behind Bethany Barr Education. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology, as well as a teaching credential, Bethany has dedicated over 15 years of her career to teaching in various settings, including music and K-5 literacy. Her passion for empowering young learners and making education fun and effective has led her to become a respected TPT author, creating innovative and practical resources for primary classrooms. Whether she’s in the classroom or designing new materials, Bethany is committed to helping students reach their full potential and become lifelong learners.