Top Ten Classroom Finds for 2014

It has been an amazing school year so far!  Busy, busy, busy for sure, but every year I get to know some amazing young people who touch my life.  This year I have also come across some great products that have been a blessing in the classroom.   I just wanted to take a moment to share them with you.  Some are TpT products by other sellers but most are just things I have happened upon and have made an impact on my sanity.

Here they are in no certain order:

1.  Patterned contact paper!  WHAT?  I would wall paper my entire classroom with it if I could!  The pattern, color, and ease of use have made me one happy camper/teacher!

2.  Card stock…  Um, yea…   Sorry to say I did not discover that you could get this gorgeous stuff for $2 (on sale) at Joanns and Michaels.  Task cards, posters, cards… OH My!

3.  Homeworkopoly!  My students LOVE this!  On Fridays all the students who have turned in their homework for the week get to roll and move their clip.  Some spaces have prizes like use a rolly chair, pick a song to play during clean-up time, or a homework pass.  I found the template online and then customized it for my needs.  You can get it free HERE.

Top 10 list of my favorite finds for the classroom!  Products, gadgets, office supplies, and routines.     Some are clever and some are life savers!  My favorite are #3 and #4!

4.  I found these amazing pen and pencil holders at Walmart.  They are a lifesaver!  My students sign out on a clipboard to use the restroom and trying to tie the a pencil to the clipboard with string was ANNOYING!  Then I found these self adhesive rubber holders and they have changed our lives!  A little hyperbole there, but you get the point!  GREAT FIND!

Top 10 list of my favorite finds for the classroom!  Products, gadgets, office supplies, and routines.     Some are clever and some are life savers!  My favorite are #3 and #4!

5.  My school uses Fountas and Pinnell for our reading assessments.  They can take a LONG time to administer, especially when you have 32+ students in your class.  This product by Hello Literacy has been a big help!  The product is detailed and comprehensive (I would expect nothing less from Hello Literacy)!  It is so good that we talked my principal into getting a school license.

6.  Okay… these aren’t really classroom related, but these rain boots make me happy and a happy teacher makes for a happy class!  I live in the Pacific Northwest, so it rains A LOT!

7.  So…  this may be cheating a little bit, but I LOVE OFFICE SUPPLIES!!!  and this year, through my relationships on Facebook and Instagram, I was introduced to SCENTOS and sticky note glue sticks!!!  Yep…  you heard me…  sticky note glue sticks!  You can use the glue sticks on any paper and the paper is repositionable.  Great for anchor charts, projects, planning, etc.!

8.  Keeping track of all of the common core standards for math can be tricky and I am so glad that I found this resource from Mr. Math Coach.  It was only $1.50!!!

9.  This next resource has my kids buzzing!  They all want to work on a CSI math project!  I have several math students who are early finishers and this resource has been a huge help!  The whole premise of being a detective and trying to catch a suspect by solving problems is intriguing for students!  The product is kind of spendy at $25 dollars, but it is 127 pages and I will be able to use it year after year, so it was money well spent.

10.  My laminator isn’t new to me.  I’ve had the little ole thing for a few years, but this year it has gotten a work-out!  I love the quality of the lamination film and I can buy generic sleeves from Amazon for a decent price.  I got the laminator from Costco a few years ago and it is working like a champ!  I’ve laminated precious recipe cards written in my mom’s handwriting, resource covers for my products to add to my binders, table group signs, and much more!  I love my laminator!

So, that’s it folks!  My 10 favorite classroom finds for 2014!  Have you discovered an amazing resource, item, or idea that has made your classroom a better place?  Share in the comments section!
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