A little over a year ago my husband and I made the decision for me to leave the classroom to come home as we welcomed our second little one. I wasn't sure if I'd be going back to the classroom or if I'd be able to stay home during our little ones' early years, but in faith I packed up some of my stuff but gave everything else away. God knew what He was doing when He called me home and though it only lasted a year, I'm thankful for the time with my babies.
Having given away most of my stuff I'm starting fresh . . . and that's a GREAT thing. The downside is that I'm having to spend some moo-lah in order to get my class ready again. (But oh, do I love the chance to create a uniform theme in my room! The classroom I dismantled before going home was 11 years worth of collection hodge-podge.)
Today my family and I raided IKEA. I had 3 things in mind when I went, but I left with a whole lot more. Wanna see what I scored?
You know how I know teachers love IKEA? Well besides all the stuff that my teacher friends and I buy at IKEA, I overheard comments from other shoppers around me that told me that I was not the only teacher shopping there. I promise I wasn't listening in on other people's conversations, but when you're standing side-by-side with another shopper looking at the same product and they start talking you're gonna hear some stuff, ok?
No, I don't hang my pants at school! These hangers are AWESOME for holding chart paper! The neck of the hanger swivels so you can hang it from any ledge or hook, and the open/close snappy lever design of the hanger makes it really easy to add chart paper or posters while you're teaching. I got 4 so I can use them while teaching from chart paper and to hang anchor charts around the room.
These boxes come in several sizes, but I got the medium sized boxes. They're the perfect size for file folders and gallon sized ziploc bags. You know what that means, don't you? File folder games and bagged games/activities! I've got TONS that need organizing so I got one for Language Arts and one for Math. They have the clear ones too.
I stick these on the side of my desk for easy access to paper clips, rubber bands, and whatever else. The see through lid lets you know what's inside or you can make them all cute with a swatch of fabric or scrapbook paper in the window. See that heavy duty magnet on the backside? It's super strong, so don't worry about accidentally knocking the tin off the desk. It's pretty hard to do that.
Big, powerful magnets for my magnetic whiteboard. You know . . . for those times you clip posters, chart paper, or whatever to your board. The best part of these is the angled top design that makes the magnet go "clip clop" when you press on it. Press the top of that angled magnet with your finger and the flat part tips open so you can slide your paper right underneath without removing the whole magnet. It's the little things!
Uh. . . . 'cause you can never have too many scissors! Besides, they always go missing, AND they come in 3 different sizes!
This big ol' plastic tray is supposed to be for flatware in your kitchen, but this baby is going in my top desk drawer to try to organize it! Maybe things won't go sliding around in there and I'll find things more easily!
Ok, so here's my idea for this - I want to use this as a dry erase board.This big frame has a plastic (not glass) face, so I'm not worried about it being broken and hurting anyone. Plus, that makes it super light. I've already tested it (just in case) and yes, you can use dry erase markers on it. I'm thinking I can blow up graphic organizers or just put a piece of solid butcher paper inside that can be used when I teach and then used in centers or group activities. My school has a poster maker, so I want to use that to create templates that can be switched in and out of the frame and used by the kids.
I used to use these to organize workbooks and notebooks. This year I got a ton of them so that each student can decorate their own book box. These cardboard boxes are fairly thick and durable. Maybe a strip of packaging or duct tape on the bottom to reinforce the closure, but other than that - fold and go! (At $1.49/5 that's about $.30 a box! Ummm . . . I got 6 sets. So that's 30. And if I go back to IKEA I'll
definitely get more.)
Lastly . . . my little glass spice jars. SO CUTE! Tons of uses in the classroom, but I didn't buy these for my classroom per se. I won't say what I bought them for exactly because that would give away the little surprise. =) The uses, however, are endless! (They also have that flat side at an angle so the jars can stand as you see or slightly tilted for easy access!)
You wanna go shopping at IKEA now, don't you?
Hey! There are tons of other useful things there that I had to tell myself no to, but if you've got stuff you bought from IKEA please share in the comments! Tell us what you got and how you use it!!!!