It’s no secret that a love of school supplies is one major requirement for becoming a teacher, so the question of must-have items for upper elementary always leads to great answers in our FREE Inspired In Upper Elementary Facebook group. Whether you’re a first year teacher, primary teacher moving on up, or an upper elementary pro on the hunt for new ideas… I have you covered with my personal Amazon classroom favorites!
All of the links below are Amazon affiliate links for easy browsing!
First up, let’s get you a good bag to carry all your stuff! I try not to make a habit of letting papers to grade ride to and from school in my bag every day, but I DO carry a lot of stuff. Supplies for projects, library books, tech, allll the water bottles, etc. need to fit in my bag. Here are some favorites, based on your styles.
- This canvas teacher bag just might come in your school colors! If you’re looking for a great gift for a student teacher, this is a good one to grab for that too. Fill it with a few of your favorite books and school supplies. Then have your students sign their names or draw little doodle in fabric marker.
- Want to go hands-free? Try this backpack option!
- Teacher on the go? This teacher bag on wheels is a great alternative to a cart.
- If you want to throw in a cute lunch bag while you’re at it, this is mine.
Electric Pencil Sharpener
This was a “splurge” item for me as a new teacher, but you are going to sharpen more pencils than you ever thought possible, and that will just be in the first week. An electric pencil sharpener is a game changer. Here’s a couple tips to make your pencil sharpener last for years:
- Only sharpen regular pencils, no colored pencils
- Don’t use it on the “fancy” pencils with a decorative plastic coating
- Make a sign to post by the sharpener that shows how tall the pencil must be to ride. Trust me.
Storage / Organization Essentials
Having a way to keep yourself and all the paper organized is going to be essential.
- Colorful daily folders or drawers for holding copies not only keeps your desk neat, but also makes it super easy for a sub to find what they need if you’re unexpectedly absent. I also have students turn in their work to these bins labeled by subject!
- This rolling cart is perfect for keeping essential task cards, markers, sticky notes, etc. at my fingertips during literacy or math small groups.
- These plastic bins are great for storing sets of task cards.
Manipulative and Hands-On Learning
I shared this post with my favorite math manipulatives, but here are a few more to add to your list!
- Having a timer in the classroom is a tool that helps both you and the students. I love this big timer because it’s easy to see from all around the room and the students can monitor their time with the red display. This small timer is perfect for small groups or conferences. You can also project free digital timers.
- Transparent sticky notes are sooooo awesome for math!
- Plastic sheet protectors work with dry erase markers to make center activities reusable without laminating. These heavy duty sleeves last a long time!
If you visit my classroom, here’s what you’ll find in my personal stash.
- It’s a scientific fact that you can’t make a great anchor chart without scented markers.
- Flair pens are a must have too.
- I don’t laminate a ton but when I do and need it quickly, I use this laminator with these pouches.
- I also keep a three hole punch in my filing cabinet.
More Amazon Classroom Favorites
Here’s a rundown of more great suggestions from teachers in our Facebook group!
- Grab a hot glue gun. Use it to put together projects, hang stubborn decor on block walls, or even add a dab to a hem that has come undone. On a non-pourous surface like a white board or door, the cooled glue will pop right off when you take things down!
- Clipboards are a must for flexible seating and rotations. These dry erase clipboards serve double duty.
- Wireless doorbells have become popular for attention getters during transitions.
What would you add to the list?? Come be part of our next conversation in our FREE Inspired In Upper Elementary Facebook group.