Last Sunday I blogged part one in the Must Haves That You Didn’t Know You Needed in your classroom series. You can read that post by clicking here. This, is part two…continuing the wisdom and knowledge of some educators that I have come to call friends over the years.
The things you need in your classroom that you didn’t know you needed in no particular order (part 2):
1.) My bud Adan Alvarado reminded my of a must-have that has become such a staple in my room, I would have forgotten to mention it: over the ear headphones.
There are times, in this digital age, where you will have kids working on their devices, and they will not have or not have with them…headphones. In these cases, it’s nice to have a couple pair to lend out, even if it’s just for kids to use during silent work. It helps if they are made of a material that is easily and quickly cleaned with a disinfecting wipe.
2.) Adan also recommends make-shift trophies to increase engagement and bring a celebratory tone to the room. I love this idea! Maybe even have a celebration each Friday and give out some rotating trophies accompanied by a doughnut!
3.) Social Studies teacher and overall great homeboy Jason Nisavic recommends big plastic storage bins with lids. “If you have multiple classrooms, it helps to completely isolate your stuff from that of others so nothing gets lost. Teachers that might be tempted to ‘borrow’ stuff without permission will be discouraged. And if there’s a lot of clutter or disorganization on your desk, it helps to just put it away, all in one box, so you can clear your space and your head; organize it later.”
Jason goes on to mention that having students put the assignments in the closed boxes also creates a chain of custody and lessens the chance of losing it or having students use the old “But I put it on your desk!” argument. Silly, rabbit, binders are for assignments!
4.) Adam Ebert is speaking truth when he says candy. Adam calls candy “the ultimate communication tool,” but he mostly uses it to encourage kids while they are silently working. I’ll second the candy and add…food. I keep food around. Just little snack bags of stuff and boxes of healthy snacks from Costco. Kids get seriously hungry, and if I can help a hungry kid out, and build that bridge, I’ma do that!
5.) Adam and I also suggest bandaids because, well, you don’t want blood splashing around. The school nurse is often a bit of a walk. Also, see Jeff Vazzana’s comment from the first blog post!
OK! Five more from some great peeps! I will be picking this series up a bit later in the spring. Next week, I’ll be featuring my first guest Sunday’s For Teachers post, and it’s shaping up to be a good one!
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