- Hole Punches: The teacher who has only one will be overwhelmed by students waving their newly-decorated nametag necklaces, demanding they be hung. The teacher who has seven can set her class lose on them while cutting ribbon for hanging. They also come in useful for flash card rings, papel picados, introductory sewing and lacing projects, developing hand strength, confetti and all kinds of nifty things.
- Flour Sifters: I have three of these. Used together, my class shaves minutes off baking prep time with these. They also make for good grip training.
- Stickers: Stickers are cheap. Kids love them. Why hold back? I assure you: if you are worried that children who get a sticker one time will expect them every time, this is not the case. Indeed, you can even tell them that. However, I should note that my class goes through more stickers for math and art than we do for rewards, since sticker-fidgeting and sticker horse-trading drive me nuts. (I prefer to give out books and to draw on kids' hands with dry-erase markers. I can turn out a ghost, happy face, heart, star, bat, cat, spider or similar doodle as quickly as I can put a sticker on a hand to be transferred to the forehead/ear/shirt/friend's hand/friend's back/oops out of sticky on the floor for me to pick up later.)
- Craft or telephone wire: Useful for art projects, tying bundles and fidgets. A spool of ethernet cable at SCRAP is cheap and it's only a couple of hours with an X-acto to unearth lots and lots of colorful wire.
06 November 2010
Buy in Bulk, Part Two: Teacher Esoterica
While Teacher Hoarding Disease often blurs my thinking, there are some things that are worth having in quantity. Some of these are obvious: copy paper, folders, pencils. The utility of some materials in bulk, however, was not immediately apparent. It was only after a few years in the classroom that I committed to keeping a stock of certain tools. I strongly recommend maintaining a large supply of the following: