If you are a 1st-grade teacher as I am, you have to be quick and organized to perform all your tasks without any hassle. For this, you might need a few stuff to arrange your classroom and keep everything handy. To help you out, we have listed 34 first grade teacher must haves, so you don’t miss out on any essentials.
34 First Grade Teacher Must Haves – Our List
The most essential thing to have for any classroom is a whiteboard!
Whether or not the first-grade kids have any idea about reading and writing, you will have to teach and brush up on their skills. But in a class full of kids, a teacher can’t teach how to form letters to every kid separately. Thus, using a whiteboard is an easier way to illustrate something on it to teach kids.
You can either draw something or teach kids how to write a word and then you can access each student separately. Whiteboard is even more convenient than the blackboard, as no need to worry about chalk dust in whiteboards. You can also use colorful markers to make it fun for kids to learn and understand.
#2 Binder Clips
Another must-have for the classroom of 1st graders are binding clips. When you are handling small kids, you will need everything handy. You will not have time to search for a simple paper or sheet, leaving the students alone. Thus, it is better to keep everything organized so that you can easily find anything needed. And binder clips can be a great medium to do so.
Also known as sticky notes, Post-It notes are very helpful if you want to track day-to-day activities. Being convenient, you can write all your work for the day on the notes and stick it at some visible place so you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t miss out on any.
#4 Paper Clips
While teaching small kids, you will need to arrange a lot of papers and worksheets. Paper clips can be helpful in such a scenario.
You can use a paper clip to clip one type of worksheet or drawing sheets together, making it handier to gather all the papers and keep them intact. The paper clip is thus a must-have for teachers if you are handling 1st-grade students.
With small kids, you might need to run to them in some situations. Imagine a situation where all your students are playing in the playground. You are observing them from the corner. What if a kid falls and gets injured? Or what if two kids get into a fight?
You might need to run in such a situation to handle your students, and that would only be possible if you were wearing a comfortable pair of shoes.
#6 File Cabinet
To arrange files and folders, you can bring file cabinets. Name the file cabinet depending on the subject or name of the kids, and organize the files and folders in those cabinets in an ordered way.
Keeping all the papers grouped in a folder is a good habit if you are a teacher. But what if all the folders you own are of similar color? In such a situation, how will you be able to differentiate them?
Imagine a situation where you are finding your students’ science papers in the folder you have maintained. But since all the folders are of the same color, you will have to open each folder to check whether it is the folder you want or not. Thus, it will become easier for you to handle colorful folders.
#8 File Folders
While teaching students, you are going to give them some assignments or a worksheet to solve. Imagine you are collecting worksheets, and it has taken the shape of a messy pile. How will you be able to handle them?
Thus, the more proper way to handle papers easily is to group them in file folders. You can either make a different folder for each of your students or group folders based on documents or subjects. But it will become easy for you to manage the pile of papers.
To arrange pencils, sharpeners, erasers, crayons, paper clips, and other small stuff, you can bring different colored small tubs to set everything conveniently. It will also become more comfortable for kids to find the things they are looking for with everything arranged in tubs. Tubs can help you to keep everything organized.
If you are dealing with smaller kids, you can encounter some situations, where while resolving the fight of kids for color, they accidentally drop all the paint on you. Or while helping a kid open a water bottle, you can spill all the water on you.
In such a case, some extra clothes are going to become your ultimate savior. Thus, if you plan to teach first-grade kids, then extra clothes can become a necessity sometimes.
For hygiene purposes, you can also keep Kleenex tissues in the classroom. It is better to teach cleanliness habits to students from smaller classes, and using Kleenex can help them a lot.
#12 Hand Sanitizer
Nowadays, safety and hygiene are the two most crucial factors to consider. But when you are dealing with small kids, it can become pretty tricky to maintain cleanliness. First-grade kids are real mess makers, and thus, while having lunch or if somebody sneezes, it is a good habit to ask your students to use sanitizer and follow the same.
Making it a habit to use hand sanitizer will be quite helpful for your students in the future, and they are going to thank you later.
First-grade students use pencils, erasers, and Sharpies for writing purposes. But imagine a situation where two kids are fighting to use a similar eraser or pencil. How can you resolve their fight? Or imagine that one of your kid forgot to bring his compass box, and all the other kid refuses to share their pencil with him. You can quickly deal with such situations if you already have a lot of pencils, erasers, and Sharpies. You can share your stuff with kids to resolve their conflicts.
The sweater is a must if you are teaching small kids. They can easily catch a cold if you don’t take proper care. Thus, in such a situation, a School sweater can become the need of the moment. Imagine a situation where on a slightly chilly day, a kid accidentally spills water on himself. In such a case, you might need a school sweater to cover that student up to avoid him catching a cold.
To handle a class full of troublemaking students, you might need to be power-packed. Energy will only come after eating food. But still, if you are not getting a chance to eat food, keep some handy snacks with you always so that you can quickly energize yourself whenever you feel low.
#16 A Nice Planner
Good planning for the week is essential if you want everything to go in flow. Thus, you can make a planner that will help you throughout the week or month. Something such as an Erin Condren planner can go a long way to keep you organized.
A calendar can be another item you should have in your classroom to track the dates of exams and holidays.
It is easier to bribe small kids. You just need to offer them some candy, and they will become ready to do whatever you say to them. Imagine a situation where two kids got into a fight and start crying. In such a case, giving a toffee to each one will help calm them down. Thus, it would help if you kept candies ready with you all the time.
The stapler is a day-to-day need if you are a teacher. You will need to collect many assignments, workbooks, answer sheets, and drawing sheets with your student. But how will you keep all the papers intact? One way is to arrange them in a big pile of paper.
Another one is to staple all the student records together and then arrange them in a folder. The second one is more convenient and easier to perform. Thus, a stapler is a must in the classroom.
#20 Board Games
First-grade kids can be troublemakers. To let them sit calmly for a while, you can ask them to play some board games like Ludo or Shoots and Ladders. But make sure that they play a board game with a competitive spirit, instead of ending up with a fight. You can also play with your students to keep the environment light.
#21 Coloring Sheets
All kids love to draw their imagination on sheets. You can keep coloring sheets with you and organize drawing competitions regularly to encourage the inner artist among your kids and let them enjoy it for a while.
Thus, it is advisable to keep coloring sheets in the classroom as you might frequently need them to deal with kids.
Toddlers love stickers. Stickers can be a great way to bribe them and make them happy. You can keep a lot of stickers with you in school.
#23 Pencil Sharpener
Generally, kids fight most on Sharpeners. Being competitive, they want to sharpen their pencil while their kid is sharpening his pencil. But what if one of them doesn’t have a sharpener? In such a case, kids will get into a fight for Sharpener. To avoid such a scenario in the classroom, teachers should keep a sharpener handy.
You might need markers handy for you to teach your students on the whiteboard. Thus, keep a stock of colorful features with you if you are teaching first-grade students. But while teaching them, keep in mind to keep crayons in bulk, as kids can lose their crayons and then cry for them.
To avoid such a situation, keep crayons with you to share them with kids whenever needed.
#25 Packing Tape
Packing tape is another thing you should have in the first-grade classroom as you don’t know when you will need packaging tape with kids.
#26 Lip Balm
To take care of your lips while teaching kids and talking for a whole day with them, you should keep a lip balm handy.
Using a laminator, you can easily laminate the drawings or important paper of students to keep them more handy and secure. Here are our recommendations for the best laminators for the classroom.
Students can be real mess-makers. Whether they are eating food or painting, they can make a mess anytime. In such a situation, you can clean up them and their mess using tissues. Thus, it is advisable to keep a box of Tissues in the classroom. Also, it is a good habit to teach students.
Every student should know the basic classroom rules. Not just will they understand the way to behave in the classroom, but teaching them good habits will make it easier for you to handle them. Pasting a poster for class rules with pictures drawn on it will teach classroom habits to kids. You can even ask kids to prepare a poster for the classroom by themselves.
#30 Goodwill Books for Classroom Library
Books can be a great way to teach good habits and new things to kids. You can create a small classroom library for kids with good value books and picture books, with which your students can observe, read, and learn new and good values.
Glue sticks are also a crucial must-have for the classroom. You can paste posters or ask kids to cut and paste some pictures on their notebooks. Or, consider a situation where your student’s notebook’s middle stapled page came out, and he started crying over it. In such a condition, a glue stick can be helpful for you.
#32 Sticky Putty
For pasting posters and charts on the classroom wall, you will need sticky putty so that they can stay stuck on the wall for a longer time.
#33 Name Badges
It is not easy to remember the name of every student in the class. An easier way to know everyone’s name is to hand them their name badge or attach the badge to their uniform. With a name badge, it will become more comfortable for you and other teachers to remember students.
Mints can be a good bribe for kids as small kids find it cool to eat mints. Mint can also be excellent for you as a teacher to refresh yourself quickly.
Work-life balance is crucial in keeping yourself calm and miles away from stress, which will be possible only by organizing and arranging everything handily. These are the 34 must-haves you can keep in your classroom to make everything more handy and organized.