The best investment in your classroom?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by [gloworm], Sep 5, 2007.

  1. [gloworm]

    [gloworm] Rookie

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    What's the best money you've ever spent on your classroom for a non-essential item?

    Let's all pretend we have oodles of money to throw around for school toys and gadgets. :lol: What "luxury" item are you glad you splurged on?



    :wub:
    I just looovve my Xyron900. My favorite cartridge laminates the front side, and magnetizes (is that a word?) the back. I have other laminate/adhesive cartridge options too.

    A teacher friend wouldn't live without her electric stapler. Another loves her crayola twistables; no more broken crayons.

    I also just got a Swiffer carpet flick so I can do quick sweep-ups during class without having to drag out the big vacuum. After only two days of school, it's making my life sooo much easier, tho' I hate to call a cleaning item a toy.:blush:


    Let's all share so we can come up with a really long, but fun wish list.:2up:
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What a fantastic idea!


    I love my mini whiteboards. Apparently not many teachers use them at my school, so they're a huge hit whenever we pull them out. I love anything which gets the kids excited to learn Latin!

    I have a DVD series of these geeky Latin teachers I know doing daily news shows in Latin and dressed up as ancient Romans. It's SOOOO cheesy, and the kids complain about watching them, but I know that they secretly love them. It helps the kids get a feel for what the language sounds like, which is nice because we don't actually speak it very often in class (we read, write, and translate).

    I couldn't live without my LCD projector. I download videos from our local PBS station and show them on my computer, projected onto the big screen at the front of the room using my LCD projector. Kids seem more interested when the image is 10 feet wide, even though it's the same exact thing they'd be watching on the TV.
     
  4. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    I love my labelmaker and my stapler from Staples - the one that's like a staplegun and can staple through at least 20 sheets of paper at a time and it's fabulous for doing bulletin boards.

    I wish I had an LCD projector in my classroom. We have one for the whole school and it is sooooooo finicky. Sometimes it works and other times it just laughs at those who are trying to get it to work!!:p
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I cannot live without my smartboard and personal laptop computer.
     
  6. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Or my brother label maker.
     
  7. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    My label maker and my electronic pencil sharpener that has holes of various sizes to sharpen my PreK sized fat pencils. That thing was $65, but WELL worth it. I don't know how we lived without it. And the label maker, while it doesn't get used as often, is way cool. I've used it at home, too.

    I think I'm heading towards buying a carpet flick, myself.
    Kim
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My three hole electronic hole punch... It cost about $70, but it was worth it. It's lasted 5 years now, and I use it all the time.
     
  9. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I bought a JVC boom box about 15 years ago. It is powerful
    and great sound. Paid about 200 for it. Best investment for
    school I ever made. We jump rope, hula hoop, dance and
    move to it quite often.
     
  10. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    I'm going to have to go with labelmaker too! My father in law got me a pretty high tech one for my birthday because I told him I wanted "an organized house" for my birthday!
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I love all of my organization things. I've got all kinds of baskets, totes, bins, drawers, and other organizers.

    I also like having shower curtains hanging over my tall bookshelves to hide the clutter, and I have coordinating tablecloths, too.

    My dad made me a cedar podium that I love as well. Oh, and then for completely frivilous, I have a fridge, microwave, tranquility fountain, and aquarium.

    I also love all of my "geeky" stuff . . . smartboard, airliner, audio enhancement system, laptops, "clickers", LED projector, and document camera. I've even got my TV/VCR/DVD and stereo hooked to the audio system--SURROUND SOUND!!
     
  12. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    i couldn't live without my hidden stash of dove chocolates.:lol:
     
  13. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    I love my mini white boards. I made them myself for ~$13, and the kids love them.

    I also love the laptop the school gave me.

    Soon I will (hopefully) getting the phonic ear/front row speaker system installed in my room. I'm going to LOVE it! I'm jealous of the other 2 4th grade teachers that have it.
     
  14. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    my big comfy orange arm chair my grandmother gave me in college. It found its way there, and it makes a great reading chair or a reward for the kids to sit in. It also makes for a good nap, not that I have tried it or anything.:whistle:
     
  15. flowerpower31

    flowerpower31 Comrade

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    Laminator. Hands down. I love that thing. I can't imagine not having it and being a teacher.

    Another thing that may sound strange but is a huge help is these smiley face box things I got as a gift from my parents. They're these plastic/cardboard (????) boxes and they're are 4 of them. They each have a smaller matching box inside them, and a smaller matching box inside those. In all, there are 12...they all have eyes and a smile cut in them. They're cute, but I always wondered (before I started teaching) what on earth I would do in my classroom with 12 smiley face boxes. You would be AMAZED at how much I use those things. lol...storage, decoration, "hat" (as in pulling names out of a hat to pick a student....I use the box instead). They're wonderful.
     
  16. beanie

    beanie Rookie

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    My laptop, my soon to be smartboard (we got a grant for one in each classroom - yipee!!), my laminator, assorted pens/textas/zooms and scholastic book club!!!!
     
  17. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    Great question!

    My best classroom investments have been:
    1. LCD projector (Love it, love it, love it!)
    2. books on CD
    3. my Elmo document camera
    4. tennis balls for the bottom of the chairs
    5. student pencil organizers from Big Lots
    6. Bill Nye videos
    7. 20 drawer paper organizer from Costco
    8. My minature paper cutter
    9. Fadeless butcher paper for bulletin boards
    10. My rolling cart
     
  18. [gloworm]

    [gloworm] Rookie

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    Wow!

    You guys have some great classrooms!! I can now spend my weekend dreaming of the ultimate teaching space and eating dove chocolates (thanks for that idea Julie:clap:)!

    I also remembered my Staples Easy Button. Like flowerpower31, I got it from a parent and thought :huh:. But getting to push it was the favorite reward for my kids last year! Saved me a lot of treasure box $. Wish it would work for prep tho:mad:!

    Keep the ideas comin!!!
     
  19. Dill

    Dill Rookie

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    My absolute favorite is my Elmo. I bought it off of Ebay this summer and love it.

    Close runners up are: Navigator plastic sleeves from EAI - saves a bunch on copies. Smartboard. Literature Organizers.
     
  20. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    I bought a copy machine for my own use. It sure beats sending a student to the office when I need 1 more copy in a pinch!
     
  21. cinaminsweet

    cinaminsweet Companion

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    My best investment for my classroom would be all the books I've bought for my library.

    Other things in my room that I couldn't live without but that I didn't pay for (the school gave them to me) are the computers, overhead, and projector. Now if they could just give me a visualizer, I'd be an even happier camper. :D
     
  22. iluvteachin

    iluvteachin Rookie

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    I love the books I've bought or gotten.

    My school has LCD projectors throughout the building but I would LOVE to have my own!
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    It's not my classroom (aide) so for the main center I teach, my best investment is a simple $5 invisible ink pen. I use it on popcicle sticks for a game. I use it to increase fluency (they have to chunk when you are controling the light for them to see the words). I use it to encourage them to write. I use it to be secretive and see if they can guess the word I wrote. The kids love it! Other teachers have noticed mentioned to others that I use this cool item. I use all kinds of fun stuff like shaving cream and this year I am gonna play around with wiki sticks (item I saw from another teacher and bought this weekend), but the invisible pen has been my favorite.

    Another poster mentioned whiteboards...we use those constantly too. If we didn't have them, that would be another one of my investments worth it's weight in gold. It has actually been on the student's supply list for a few years. Now we've accumulated some that didnt' make it home and we didn't request it this year.
     
  24. aliencitizen

    aliencitizen Rookie

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    The staple-gun type stapler (from CVS);) is the latest cool thing in my room. But since there is currently no pencil sharpener in my new classroom, I may give in and buy an electric one.

    Oh, but truly the "coolest" things in my room right now are the new train sets. I've had one for a few years but it keeps dying on me and I wanted to be able to use them with several small groups...so now I have 5 train sets (plus the original one if it decides to work again). I can have them work in groups of five or four and time how long it takes their trains to circle the track at various speeds (my inverse relationships unit). Yippy!

    Of course the trains are also the reason that I'm not sure I should be spending more on my classroom... Ho hum. :unsure:

    By the way, I don't remember who started it but I am looooving this thread. I hope many more people post ideas on cool things to use in the classroom...
     
  25. rogue0208

    rogue0208 Companion

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    I don't have my own classroom yet, but I just wanted to say that I agree with some of the previous posters about loving their library of books. I've been collecting childrens books for as long I've wanted to be a teacher and I have an amazing collection that I'm quite proud of. I got 20 Eric Carle books on Ebay for only $35!!! :D
     
  26. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    I have several things.

    1) fabric for my bulletin boards (they don't get torn and fall appart!)
    2) a carpet for the front of the room (lots of time spent on the floor and the little ones complain about it being hard or cold)
    3) sharpies (in 5th i graded with them, in K i now put smilies and stars on papers)
    4) file folders (i'm trying to get organized) ;)
     
  27. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I discovered a cool thing this summer. Basically it is a spiral bound plastic 8 pocket portfolio folder. It has 8 "pages" or "dividers" with pockets in them. Then I stuff my papers in them and go. Each portfolio represents a different subject, theme or need. Mine are translucent but colored. I like being able to see things and stuff them. It's easy to carry around. I love it! If I dont' use those, I use the pocket dividers and make my own. We use pocket dividers to for kid's unfinished works. If you buy the stock paper kind (rather than poly) then it stands up for the kids to pick it up and file.
     
  28. aliencitizen

    aliencitizen Rookie

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    How about those super absorbent cloth wipes? We used to use the same kind of wipes to dry the car, etc. but now they replace disposable paper towels when we are doing messy/wet group projects in the classroom. We used to run out of towels all the time and students would have to run and get some from the restrooms...and the industrial brown paper towels only move the water, they absorb nothing. Get the absorbent cloths and save yourself a headache.
     
  29. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I forgot to mention my electric hole punch.
     
  30. aliencitizen

    aliencitizen Rookie

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    I've never seen an electric hole punch! Sounds kind of frightening.
     
  31. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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  32. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    This thread is great! Thanks for the ideas. I'm student teaching now and acquiring things for my future classroom as I can afford them. Since I don't know what grade I'll be teaching, I pick up whatever I think I might use.

    So far I think the best thing I have is my filing cabinet filled with ideas and activities I've stolen from other teachers over the past couple of years.
     
  33. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    I love my pencil sharpener. It is the super duper one with multiple wholes and the clear front shavings holder. I don't know how I got along without it before this year!
     
  34. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I have one of those but I'm afraid to release it to the classroom. It stays home for me and my kiddos. It cost $50 and for an Aide, that's too pricey to share. I bring it a few days a year when it seems like every pencil is unsharpened and messed up. I get them all caught up and bring it back home again.
     
  35. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I like my rolling desk chair. After school, I roll out in the hall to the class next door or down the hall, then I push real hard with my feet and roll very fast down the hallway.

    One time I had left it in the class across the hall the evening before, so in the morning after the pledge, I went to get it. I sat in it and pushed it backwards and rolled in to my classroom with a "ta-da" flourish. Ah, the memories of school that I'll carry with me when I quit next year due to intense NCLB pressure.

    I am not putting any smiley faces on this post because I am dead serious.
     
  36. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    My heart goes out to you, believe me. I thank my lucky stars I only have a couple years to go. I am anixious to retire for that very reason. I will miss the kids terribly, and most of all will miss teaching them to read.

    I do hope you'll be able to stay in it and make it work for you.
     
  37. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Between this and the sliding down the wall and eating your sandwich gives such a glimpse as to what a great, funny person you are...oh to be a student in your room! Sounds like you have tons of fun!
     
  38. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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  39. sundrop

    sundrop Cohort

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    Get a Xyron!

    Thank you to whoever said that they loved their Xyron machine which laminates, makes stickers, and makes magnets. I invested in one and got my first chance to use it last week. Love it! We made pics in PreK using Kidpix which I then exported and turned into little 2" x 3" magnets for them to take home. The PreK teacher and aide were very impressed! I can't wait to use it again. I give it a two thumbs up! :2up:
     
  40. jaruby

    jaruby Companion

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    I LOVE MY LASER POINTER!!! I have one of the good ones that uses AAA batteries instead of those cheap watch batteries. I like to teach from the back of the room where the kids are, so with the pointer I can still use the white board and overhead and still be circulating.
     
  41. DaveF

    DaveF Companion

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    I second the laser pointer! I have my 1st grade high freq. words posted in 3 different spots in the room. I can stand in the back of the room or walk and point. It is my modern day flashcard. The kids love it when the pointer comes out.
     

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