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100 Things Every Classroom Should Have

100 Things Every Classroom Should Have

Teachers are funny creatures. I’m allowed to say that because I am one!

We collect random items that no one outside of teaching really understands. We do, however, also have sensible things… but here’s my list of 100 essentials (there are loads more). Let me know if I’ve missed anything! Most items are self-explanatory, but I give a bit more detail for some of the more ‘random’ things or advice that has been passed down to me.

  1. Staple gun – keep this out of the reach of children otherwise you’ll end up with someone at A&E – the same goes for the young, enthusiastic male teachers who have wheely chair races down the corridors!
  2. Staples – you can never ever have too many. You may find yourself trading them for another sought-after items towards the end of the financial year when supplies are running low. 
  3. Stapler
  4. Staple remover (or two!)
  5. Drawing pins – before stapling, you may like to see what things look like. A lot of schools don’t allow the permanent use of these though. I remember someone at secondary school putting one on my chair – yes, I sat on it; yes, it hurt!
  6. Spirit level – if you’re anything like me, seeing displays when they aren’t straight will make your fingers and toes curl. I can’t cope with that unless it’s intentional!
  7. Blu-tak
  8. Hole punch – treat yourself and get 2-hole and 4-hole ones!
  9. Laminator
  10. Laminating pouches – only laminate the stuff you really will be using time and time again, otherwise it could be a waste of plastic and have a negative impact on the environment. 
  11. Corner rounder (it’s an amazing tool that will stop corners on laminated items being too sharp)
  12. Masking tape – so versatile, but my favourite use is definitely making a Carroll diagram on the floor with it.
  13. Sellotape
  14. Sticky pads
  15. PVA glue – is there anything more satisfying than peeling this stuff off your hands after a DT lesson? I used to have two boys whose good behaviour was rewarded with spending time peeling it!
  16. Glue sticks – you will need these in abundance. Top tip: when they have run or dried out, keep the old lids. When a child inevitably loses a lid somewhere in the depths of the classroom, you can present them with an old lid and rescue the glue stick in the process!
  17. Felt tips – see above for a tip about how to make them last longer than a week.
  18. Colouring pencils
  19. Pens and pencils – a selection of different ones because you will, at some point, need to demonstrate how to shade a 2D shape to make it look 3D.
  20. Scissors – left-handed, right-handed, adult, fabric (keep these ones locked away as they will be ‘borrowed’), wavy/crinkle cut ones – you’ll find a use for all of them.
  21. Rulers – 15cm and 30cm ones
  22. Metre sticks
  23. Trundle wheel
  24. Tape measure
  25. Flipchart – I know we tend to use interactive whiteboards these days, but it is good for your students to see you writing properly (you know, with a pen?). It is also easy to rip off the work you have done and pin it onto your working wall (display board). Don’t forget that tech can fail whenever you most need it, so having a backup plan is always advisable. 
  26. Flipchart paper
  27. Sugar paper – massive sheets that you can use for group work and cut down for other purposes
  28. Display backing paper
  29. Display borders – I like the wavy, corrugated ones.
  30. Mini whiteboards
  31. Whiteboard markers
  32. Whiteboard erasers – if you don’t have these, the children will use their fingers and then grubby black marks will be left all over tables, doors and even walls!
  33. Whiteboard spray 
  34. A selection of dressing up clothes – great for role play, which can fit into all areas of the curriculum.
  35. Permanent markers in a selection of colours
  36. Post-it notes
  37. Blank labels – all different shapes and sizes
  38. Label printer – mine is a godsend and one of my favourite items. The children adore creating their own stickers too. 
  39. iPad
  40. Laptop
  41. Visualiser – sometimes it simply isn’t possible for all children to see another child’s piece of work. This is where a visualiser comes in perfectly. 
  42. Printer
  43. Camera
  44. Stickers – these are great for rewards. I particularly like the scented ones. I’ve also had personalised ones made in the past, which the children love. 
  45. Bulldog clips
  46. Paperclips
  47. Elastic bands
  48. Paper fasteners
  49. Treasury tags
  50. Table storage for stationery – lots of teachers like the plastic tubs you get to put near the kitchen sink
  51. Visual timetable – laminated pictures of the different lessons you will be doing
  52. Newspaper – you will always need it. Cover tables with it, use it for papier mâché, even get children to sit on it when on a coach for a school trip (apparently this helps with travel sickness – not sure where the advice came from, but we tried it and had no one taken ill, but the other vehicle had several!). 
  53. Plastic sealable bags – these are great in a selection of sizes for storing resources such as flashcards.
  54. Standard 6-sided dice
  55. Large foam or inflatable dice
  56. Different numbered dice e.g. 10-sided dice
  57. Blank dice – these are fantastic as you can add pictures, numbers, words, letters and symbols of your choice.
  58. Dominoes
  59. Playing cards – I always recommend having a large pack because then the whole class can see them wherever they are sitting. 
  60. Playdough
  61. Multilink cubes in a variety of colours
  62. Red, yellow and green boxes – use these for children to put their books in at the end of a lesson. If they feel like they didn’t meet the learning objective at all, they ought to put their book in the red box. For a little extra help, choose yellow, and if they feel they were fine, they should go for green. 
  63. Magnets
  64. Magnetic clips
  65. Velcro
  66. Clipboard
  67. Paper cutter
  68. Highlighters – for you and your pupils
  69. Ink stamps – use for praise, level of support (e.g. independent work, TA supported, group work)
  70. Date stamp (self-inking) – this can save loads of time!
  71. Printer paper – white and coloured
  72. Inflatable globe
  73. Number fans
  74. Bead strings
  75. Parachute – I love parachute games. Ok, so you might not be able to easily do it in the classroom, but using a hall, gym or playground, this can be perfect for so many lessons.
  76. Electric pencil sharpener
  77. Photo paper
  78. In and out trays
  79. Carrier bags – wet clothes, masses of junk modelling or art work, even a collection of autumn conkers, acorns and leaves – you will always need carrier bags to send things home, rather than building up a messy and potentially smelly collection in the classroom.
  80. Tote bags – great for storing resources linked to a particular topic.
  81. Hand sanitizer
  82. Tissues
  83. Antibacterial wipes
  84. Painkillers
  85. Antihistamines
  86. Deodorant
  87. Body spray/perfume
  88. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  89. Change of clothing – paint, marker pen, food, vomit – there are numerous reasons for needing this. I worked with a leader once who was notoriously messy and her stained clothing was really off-putting to so many.
  90. Hair bobbles, grips and clips
  91. Plasters
  92. Sanitary products
  93. Emery board
  94. Nail clippers
  95. Tweezers
  96. Lip balm
  97. Snacks – cereal bars and small packets of sweets are great to grab when you’re having a hectic day. 
  98. Lunches – tins of soup or just add boiling water pasta packets can be lifesavers when you forget your packed lunch or do not have time to prepare something the night before or the morning.
  99. Waterproof coat – you may be called upon to do break duty unexpectedly, so having a coat to grab and go is always handy. 
  100. Umbrella

While you may not have every single item on the list, having most of them will help your teaching career. Just make sure that you label everything otherwise things do have a habit of growing legs and travelling into other people’s classrooms!

This article was created as part of the 100 Things Bloggers Link Up.

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