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Most of us would probably have no trouble making a classroom wish list that’s a mile long, but in case you needed some ideas…

If you give a teacher a gift card...

These are some of my teaching must-haves.  Make sure you enter the iTeach 2nd gift card giveaway and you could be crossing some items off of your wish list!

Teaching must haves - galvanized buckets

My husband will tell you that I need a galvanized bucket intervention.  I probably love them a little too much and Target is a big old enabler for featuring them frequently in their “dollar spot.”  Galvanized buckets bring some much-needed style to classroom organization.  The small ones are perfect for pencils, scissors, glue sticks, etc.  The bigger ones make great book bins and storage for clipboards, mini white boards, pillows, and more.  I use the flatware caddy pictured above to keep my papers, teacher guides, markers, and student name sticks handy by my projector.

buckets hanging and on shelves

stacked colored buckets

pillows bucket

flatware caddy

teacher must-haves, charting supplies


My second must-have is charting supplies.  From anchor charts to writing demonstrations to class songs, charting supplies are used daily in my classroom.



Mr. Sketch markers

charting paper

highlighting tape

teacher must-haves,  center materials


These are some of my favorite language arts center materials.

letter stamps – perfect for practicing sight words or spelling patterns

magnetic poetry – kids can find parts of speech, make complete sentences, or obviously write poetry

story cubes – I have students role 3 cubes at a time and use the pictures to make a story with a beginning, middle, and end.  They love this activity!

gel pens – After attending a Debbie Diller workshop I think that a handwriting center is totally legit during language arts time.  The secret to getting kids excited about a handwriting center can be summed up in two words: gel pens!

letter beads – another way for kids to practice sight words and spelling patterns, I like to have them sequence the letters on pipe stem cleaners

teacher must-haves, great books!


Since one of the gift cards we’re giving away is for Amazon, I just had to talk about a few of my favorite books.

Friends – Beautiful photos of unlikely animal buddies are paired with rhymes about friendship in this heartwarming book.

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More – a hilarious story about a child that turns himself into a canvas and the reaction he gets from his mother, can be sung to the tune of “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More.”

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? – This is from a great series of books all about dinosaurs behaving badly, but then eventually getting it right.  The use of dinosaurs in place of children is not only funny but it really exaggerates the negative behaviors and makes it obvious why good manners are important.

A Rose for Pinkerton – Steven Kellogg is hands down my favorite illustrator of all time.  Every time I read one of his books I noticed something in the pictures that I haven’t seen before.  When a kitten comes to live at Pinkerton the great dane’s house, Pinkerton and the kitten both have a major identity crisis and hilarious hijinks ensue.

Mammalabilia – So many poetry books for kids are only about strict rhyme and silly subjects, but not Douglas Florian’s Mammalabilia.  Clever poetic devices can be found sprinkled throughout these short and intriguing poems about animals.

Fast Food – Students will be fascinated with the way simple fruits and vegetables that they see everyday have been transformed into cars, trucks, planes, and trains in this book.  We’re talking actual carved and then photographed produce.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


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Hannah Braun
Hannah Braun

Hannah Braun is a former teacher with 8 years of experience in the classroom and a master’s degree in early childhood education. She designs engaging, organized classroom resources for 1st-3rd grade teachers.