Essentials Every Classroom Must Have
Every classroom is unique and has its own needs. Depending on the children’s age and preferences, school supplies differ from classroom to classroom. Every teacher knows her/his students best and knows what’s needed to increase engagement and facilitate learning. But no matter the specific characteristics, there are several essential things that no classroom can go without.
Stationery Essentials for the Classroom
These are the key children’s school supplies you need to have because no classroom can function without stationery items.
Pencils come in all shapes and types but which ones you’ll need depends on the activities of the class. Every classroom should have an abundance of pencils because we know how easy they break or get lost, so pencil sets are the most affordable option.
There’s an important difference that you should know between 2B and HB pencils because these two types are the most used ones. 2B leave darker marks and are softer, which means they break easily. HB, on the other hand, leave lighter marks but have harder leads that are harder to break. This makes 2B pencils suitable for drawing while HB are good for writing, especially for small children. You can opt for larger pencils with a triangular shape that are easier to use by smaller kids.
Besides these, you’ll need coloured pencils as well. They should be high-quality to ensure longer life and ease of use. They can have a hexagonal design that’s more comfortable for holding and won’t roll off the table, and you should definitely go for ABS or Anti-Break System which is a white protective coating that makes the pencils more break-resistant.
If the classroom uses a whiteboard, markers are the must-have school items. To make your job easier, they should be fast-drying so there’s no smudging on the board and the hands. For easier clean-up, choose ones that can be dry-wiped from the whiteboard and other surfaces. Also, dry safe markers are a good idea for classrooms because they won’t dry out even when left uncapped. If you’re not sure what supplies you need for the whiteboard, there are starter sets that contain everything from markers to erasers and whiteboard cleaners.
Art Supplies to Encourage Creative Expression
Art and craft supplies are a necessity that helps kids develop their creativity and express themselves through their work. The basics are scissors, tape, pads for drawing, some paper in colour, and glue. Depending on the curriculum and the art projects that you may have, there are various things that always come in handy.
Clay doughs are preferred children’s school supplies for the youngest. It’s a soft dough that’s easily modelled and can be reused. It’s non-toxic, doesn’t stain, and doesn’t harden. It’s a favourite among kids because they get to play and make different shapes while enhancing their motor skills at the same time. For the older kids, there are different types of clays that you can try. Air-dry clay is often the most suitable one for the classroom because it dries quickly. For creating different patterns, use wooden rollers, cutting wheels, and different tools which will help with the modelling of the clay and clay doughs.
Other art supplies that every classroom needs are construction paper, crayons, watercolour and acrylic paint sets, brushes, a specific paper or canvas pad for the medium that you’ll choose, palettes, and a colour wheel. You can visit a school supply store to give you more ideas on what you might need or you can find more information online.
Storage Items for Easier Organisation
With so many classroom supplies, it may be hard to neatly organise everything. For this reason, you need to be as creative as possible and use everything that can be used. Besides all the shelves and cabinets that you have available in the classroom, there are other solutions that you’ll find useful. Many of the pencil sets and art supplies come with containers that can be reused for another purpose.
Plastic boxes and containers come in handy for storing books and magazines. There are entire units that you can place on top of each other and create more vertical space if floor space is no longer an option. Practical caddies can be used for keeping and easily transporting all of the supplies for a specific activity. You can opt for connector tubes that can be used individually or connected. In this way, students can take all the supplies they need without having to come back for more or get up multiple times during an activity.
Increase Engagement with Flexible Furniture
Flexible furniture is the newest trend when it comes to educational supplies. It’s gained popularity due to its departure from the traditional seating classroom organisation. It adapts to the modern needs of 21st-century classrooms, enables the kids to be more active, and increases focus. If you want to implement it into your classroom at the beginning of the year, maybe start with conventional seating organisation so the students can get adjusted to the environment, and after few weeks you can start slowly introducing the new flexible organisation options.
There are plenty of flexible seating solutions that you can choose from and here are some of them:
- Balance balls, also known as yoga or exercise balls, are a great solution for keeping kids active while seating because it enables them to slightly bounce and improve their posture. They come with inflatable bases that keep them from rolling away.
- Wobble or wriggle stools are the next-generation seating solution. They help the students, especially the fidgeters, to move while retaining their focus on what’s important. They come in a variety of colours and are easy to set up.
- Ergo stools allow forward-backward and side-to-side movement. They can be found in different sizes to suit students of all ages.