This time of year people love to post about their favorite things. New gadgets and tools that you just have to buy this holiday season. I thought I’d take a minute to post about my favorite teaching things. These are some of the tools that have truly made my teaching life easier. All of the links in this post are my affiliate links which means that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Happy holidays, and happy teaching!
My Favorite Thing – Less Paper on the Floor
As a primary teacher my students are constantly cutting and pasting. This is a normal part of learning for students, but we used to spend a lot of time picking little pieces of paper off of the floor. This year I ordered these mini trash bins that sit on each cluster of desks. They are so practical. My students are able to do their work without having to stop to clean up and head to the trash can. Now that cold and flu season is here, I wipe them down once a week with a Clorox wipe. These trash bins allow my students to spend less time at the large garbage can, and more time on task. Once a week, a student empties all of the mini trash cans. I won’t go back to teaching without these.
My Favorite Thing – Staying Warm at Work!
I become cold quite easily. I always bundle up for outdoor field trips, and when I take my students outside to recess. It helps, but there are times that I’m still cold. My classroom at work also fluctuates in temperature, and sometimes it can become very cold. My engineer is usually able to fix things, but sometimes it can take a while. This year to stop the cold, I found a shirt with a heater inside of it. I LOVE THIS SHIRT!! It has adjustable settings, and comes with it’s own battery which you can easily recharge at home.
Before I purchased this I read the reviews and discovered that I could also use any portable 5 volt 1 amp battery as a back up. I was hoping this would mean it would work with my portable cell phone charger – and it does!! During the day when I get cold, I simply turn my shirt on! I took my students to the farm this fall on a chilly day. I put my coat over my new shirt, and I was not cold! On that particular day I had my back up battery, and had power all day! It’s also perfect for recess duty, and anything else outdoors. I did order a size larger than normal, because I read that it runs a bit small. I’m glad I did that – the size I ordered was perfect. It fits easily underneath my coat, and perfectly over my normal shirt.
My Favorite Thing – A Personal Laminator
I never know when the laminator at work will be operational and when it won’t be. I also don’t always have enough time to wait for it to heat up during my prep periods. So, I purchased this personal laminator, and I LOVE it!! I can laminate small projects for centers in my own home.
My Favorite Unit – Fun With The Polar Express
My absolute favorite holiday story is The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. A few years ago I created this fun Polar Express Lesson and Pop up Book for students to create after reading the book. I hope that you and your students have as much fun as my students and I do with this lesson.
A Hot Breakfast – Handled!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – especially during the winter months! I never had time to make a hot breakfast and get to work on time. That is, until I purchased this breakfast sandwich maker. Words cannot tell you how much I LOVE this product! I highly recommend it. I fill each individual section the night before (I don’t take the English muffins out until the morning though, so they stay soft). I stack the trays and have them ready to place in the machine. Then in the morning, I place everything in the machine and let it cook while I finish getting ready for work. Then I’m able to eat my hot breakfast, and still get to work on time. Did I say that I LOVE this machine?
A Quiet and Resilient Pencil Sharpener
Over the years I cannot tell you how much money I have spend on pencil sharpeners for my classroom. I finally found this Classroom Friendly Sharpener which is almost silent, and fairly indestructible. Aside from getting the occasional lead stuck in it (which is very easy to clean out), I have very few problems with this sharpener. What I love best about it is how quiet it is. It is a manual sharpener, so there is no motor. It is similar to old fashioned sharpeners, but it does not need to be bolted down. These pencil sharpeners come in packs of 3, so I spread them around the room. My students are able to spend less time in line for the sharpener and more time on task. I will never return to an electric sharpener. I also like the fact that this company is owned by a teacher.
If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas for this year, check out these 25 Christmas gift recommendations. For more fun teaching ideas check out the posts below: