Items you use at school that are not "typcal" teacher items

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Chas, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Chas

    Chas Rookie

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    Otherwise known as the "no-so-obvious" Teacher's Toolbox!

    List any items you use to aid in your teaching that are not obvious, especially to a newcomer. I'll start with:

    1. Advil (i had no idea this stuff even worked until February of my first year!)
    2. Remote control that looks sort of like a pencil (to control my PowerPoint)
    3. 6 plug power strip (saves me day in and day out when i have to change rooms)
    4. Duct tape (so many uses! one day it holds up the overhead projector when the knob fails, the next it's holding a student's desk together!)
     
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  3. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Good thread. I'll have to post as I unpack.

    I keep a toolbox at school all the time. A hammar, level and nails come in very handy.

    Goo gone is a lifesaver for sticky labels.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    All of the above, plus: We have computer carts for our computers, and I have mine in the corner to the left of my desk against the wall (sort of making an "L"). I needed to put my DVD/VCR over there too so I could hook it up to the LCD projector in the ceiling - the wires come out of the ceiling in that corner. I bought one of those 3-shelf metal shelf units at Target, but wouldn't you know - it's 36" wide, and the stupid computer cart is 35-1/2" wide! So I bought two 36" wide, 10" deep shelves and just placed them on top of the cart. The computer holds them in place, and now I have three usable shelves above my computer.

    I have a narrow computer table that my DH bought me for my birthday last year that I use for my teaching table. It's dark wood, and it has a tiny drawer on each side that's just right for my pad of passes and my rubber stamps. I place my grading and attendance binders on the pull-out keyboard tray. It looks very classy. :D
     
  5. Electron

    Electron Rookie

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    Koosh-type balls, which I use as 'electrons' getting students to throw them to each other to demonstrate covalent bonding, as masses when discussing the relativity of motion, etc.

    Dice, for random selection of students/groups to perform tasks.

    Radioactive samples :D
     
  6. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    my husband used to work as a retailer of sporting goods. One day he brought home a beachball sized tennis ball. I use it all the time for various learning activities.
     
  7. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Bulb-style bicycle horn (I use it as a fun attention-getter - especially on field trips.)

    Rubber chicken. I have several of these, actually. I also always carry one of these on field trips. I can't tell you how many times I've been so grateful to have it!
     
  8. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Oh, great item to toss around-those shower sponges made out of netting. You can sometimes find them 2/$1 at Target in the dollar bins, and they make great tossing items.
     
  9. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    :confused: Ummm, forgive my ignorance, but what the heck do you do with rubber chickens??????


    My not so usual teacher items are:
    -a screw/nail organizer from the hardware department to store icons
    -shelf liner, the rubber kind, under games or other things that move on the table
    -tennis balls for chair feet (ask the Y or other gym to save their "dead" balls for you)
    -empty travel sized containers/tubes, etc. for labeling and sorting
    -empty grocery sacks for diapers or wet clothes
    -several dip trays for sorting
    -an assortment of rubber dog toys, aquarium tubing, and stretchy key rings for chewing

    I have a ton of unusual items, but those are the ones I use the most.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    A couple of decks of cards. You can use them for organizing groups.

    Ziploc baggies. It's amazing how many times these come in handy. Kids can put materials in them to save for work the next day.
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Ditto on the decks of cards - I assign a card to each seat in the room, then have kids pick a card from a basket and find that seat on the first day of school. No arguments about where to sit! And yes, great for making groups.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I use those long pool noodles when we learn about gladiators. I take the students out into the back quad and they engage in gladiatorial combat with the noodles.
     
  13. missk83

    missk83 Companion

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    I haven't gotten to use it yet b/c this will be my first year teaching, but I saw the idea somewere of having one of those clear shower curtains with pockets. You can make a game out of it by laying it on the floor and putting words in each pocket. For example, if you were studying synonyms, the student would have to put one foot on small, and another on tiny. It plays like an educational game of Twister. I am excited to try it!
     
  14. firemaple

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    The deck of cards idea is cool.

    yeah, I'm curious too about what to do with a rubber chicken.

    Speaking of cards, I like magic tricks. Most tricks are really easy to learn and the kids love it. Sometimes I do it as a treat at the end of the week for good behavior, etc.

    The kids are still trying to figure out how I made the pen float a foot off my desk. haha.
     
  15. soflgal

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    Okay....

    Windex (a must)
    nail polish remover
    baby wipes
    fly swatter
     
  16. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I keep a tool kit as others have said, as well as an exacto knife, a putty knife and a supply of screws and nails.

    I also use a lot of wicker baskets (it's a Montessori School) and trays for various things that the kids use.

    I even bring in my sewing machine on occasion and use it at school.
     
  17. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    Still wondering about the rubber chicken!!!! :D
     
  18. Chas

    Chas Rookie

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    Good shout. The box of 100 is one of the best purchases i've made this year!
     
  19. sarypotter

    sarypotter Comrade

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    Keeping in mind that I teach children with autism, and motivators are often pretty unconventional ...

    -neon-colored straw cowboy hats (an absolute STAPLE at my first teaching job -- we could not have gotten through the day without these!)

    -a set of multi-colored translucent serving trays

    -a set of multi-colored spaghetti strainers

    -drawings of chicken pox

    -a set of checkered dish towels

    -multiple photos of the Stewart's Hot Dogs logo

    This list only gets longer and more colorful from there.

    Also: yogurt cups, shoe boxes, cereal boxes, packing cartons, bubble wrap, ketchup bottles, detergent bottles, etc. -- otherwise known as other people's trash, lol.
     
  20. SouperTeach

    SouperTeach Companion

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    Hmm, this is my first year, so I don't really have that much unconventional stuff yet. But I do have my eye on some small tackle organizers to store manipulatives for my overhead in.
     
  21. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    A sewing kit. Has come in handy mannny times lol

    btw I LOVE the card idea!
     
  22. inhisgrip20

    inhisgrip20 Comrade

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    Velcro is an essential in my room! As well as a trampoline and stability ball.
     
  23. teach_each1

    teach_each1 Comrade

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    phillips and flathead screwdriver
    small hammer
    nails and screws

    super glue
    hairspray
    nail polish remover

    nail file
    comb
    barrettes/clips
    orajel
    lipstick
    lip gloss
    deodorant

    velcro

    bean bags

    playdough
     
  24. Matt633

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    All of the before mentioned items and Tie-wraps, old towels, colored electrical tape, and an ace bandage.

    Thought of a new use for strofaom produce trays...putting one under my electric pencil sharpener because shavings always get all over the counter no matter how careful you are emptying it!
     
  25. SweetHomeAlabam

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    Let me jump on the bandwagon....
    :confused::confused::confused:Rubber chicken???:confused::confused::confused:
     
  26. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Okay, about the rubber chickens...

    I always carry one (or more) in my backpack. There are so many games you can play with them and they are just so much fun!

    For example, one time we were on a field trip (an environmental one - hiking in the woods) and there was miscommunication with the bus driver and another teacher, so we found ourselves with an extra hour. We had done all of our hiking and science activities already. So I found a field and started playing games. We played a tag game called "toss the chicken" where if you were tagged you were frozen and the way to get unfrozen was for someone to toss you a rubber chicken. It's a great cooperative game because someone could be selfish and just keep a chicken and therefore never be tagged.

    There's also "chicken ballet" where you stand in a circle and take turns tossing the chicken around. You just get creative and make up some fancy move, spin, or whatever before tossing it.

    Chickens can be used for lots of different team-building activities or just plain silliness. My motto is "Always have your rubber chicken." :cool: I have a rubber pig, too, but the chickens are more fun, IMO. :)
     
  27. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    :woot:LOL ...Now where am I going to find a rubber chicken :woot:
     
  28. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Here:

    rubber chicken
     
  29. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    I love this ideas:thanks:

    Shoe boxes are great organizers,
    my coworker uses a shoe organizer over her closet door
    We use tool kits with manipulative for math. This year I bought the Rubbermaid Take Along rectangular containers for my children to store the items that they will need. I hope this works; tomorrow will be our first time using them.
     
  30. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I never knew I needed a rubber chicken.
     
  31. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    +Fly swatter to allow kids to swat the correct answer on the board
    +Pepto bismal (ya never know when something you eat will bite you back!!)
    +clothes pins
    +Magic Eraser ( I think by Mr. Clean??)
    +Breath mints
    +Thank you cards with envelopes
    +Plastic page protectors - I slit them open and you can insert paper in it, and you can also write on them with Expo white board pens
    + clear vinyl table cloth--I cut them into strips to make a pocket chart anywhere I want
     
  32. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I use a lot of zip ties (the new duct tape)

    Speaking of duct tape, when I was in a really small room, I had this idea that my students would use less floor space when they came to the floor they sat in chairs. So I got 20 extra chairs so they didn't have to carry their own chairs around the room.

    But they kept rocking back and forth. So I tied the chairs together with zip ties in groups of four. They broke the zip ties. So I tried tying them together with twine. They broke the twine. So I used a lot more twine and then secured the twine with duct tape. That kept them in from rocking back and forth and falling down.

    Therefore, I can actually admit to using duct tape to keep my students in their seats.

    I've also used a Vietnam-era steel pot helmet. That was my hall pass when I taught middle school.

    Can you guess what I use one of these for? It's made for glass installers to carry sheets of glass around.

    I've also used a laser level, but it didn't work for the purpose for which I wanted to use it. It would have, but I told a story about my cat before hand.
     
  33. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ Companion

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    safty pins
    fly swater - for reading
    witch nails-for pointing at text while reading
    flash lights
    slippers
    zip lock baggies
     
  34. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    How do you make a pocket chart wherever you want out of a plastic table cloth? Are you McGuyver (hahaha!)... Seriously, though, how?

    And now I feel I need a rubber chicken. Great!

    And two decks of cards. That's a good idea about assigning seats!

    I have a hot water pot and set of cups to serve tea during DEAR.
     
  35. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    The only one I can think of off teh top of my head is a volly/soccer ball....I wrote various, general answer questions in each of the "squares" on the ball, and then we would toss it around...wherever your right thumb lands is the question you answer...this works really well with literary questions...(i.e. plot, setting, characters)...as well as Bible review. :0) If I think of more, I will post them...:)
     
  36. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I use my rubber chicken for review games. One game is a category game. Students stand in a circle and pass the chicken around. Each time they touch it, they must name something that fits the category (name a planet, famous scientist...). The other game also starts with a circle. I play music (hamster dance is my favorite) and when the music stops, whoever is holding the chicken answers the question.
     
  37. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Has someone mentioned small chip clips? I just got 4 sets of 8-I have 16 kids, so that's one set of clips to go around our Homeworkopoly board and one set to go around our Independent Reading spot chart. They are just the size of my thumbnail, and I wrote numbers on the top with a marker. I love them! They were in the kitchen section.
     
  38. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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  39. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    OK, now I know about the rubber chicken. What does Sarge need a mini suction puller for??? To pull the dents out of your car when you play baseball with your kids in the parking lot? Or for when the parents have a duckfit and hit your car with a bat? Or do you teach driver's ed on the side and it for the little fender benders that may happen?

    My things are duct tape, bungee cords, a laundry basket attached to a luggage cart on wheels, tons of velcro, ziplock bags, my own toolbox full of stuff, I don't know what all I have in here.
     
  40. Lareigna

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    :rofl: Never knew I needed a rubber chicken. Now I do!
     
  41. TeacherShelly

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