must haves monday

I'm linking up with my friends at Blog Hoppin' to share my ABSOLUTE classroom must-haves...{a.k.a. my favorite "teacher things"}:

1.  Nice lighting.  I hope that isn't weird, but I'm serious!  I have 5 lamps in my room, and wish I had places to put more!  I love the way the lamps add warmth to classrooms.  My newest addition this year was my string of lights on the back wall.  Sooooo cozy--especially on rainy days!!!

2.  The WOW Binder.  This binder is amazing.  It keeps the kids organized, parents informed, and it makes me happy.  I can't tell you enough how amazing the binder system is for school to home communication!  

3.  Class mascots.  Everything is just so much more fun when they're around.  Who doesn't love a stuffed toy?  Especially one that is magical, like Richard--our class bird!  Class mascots are a wonderful motivator for good behavior.  

4.  Mini laminator.  Oh, how I LOVE my new little laminator!!!  It makes things shiny, and the laminate is thicker than most school laminators, so my projects/activities will last longer.  I also don't have to run down the hall during my planning period to go laminate something small!  I can just run it right through in my classroom!  
5.   Class Cheers!  Nothing builds community like cheering on your classmates when they work hard, solve a problem, share an answer, or need recognition for being a super smartie.  

6.  Melonheadz Illustrations clip art.  Basically, my classroom theme should just be her clip art, because I have it EVERYWHERE this year.  From my helper cards--to my math detective wall--to my daily five cards, and my hallway headers.  I also used her art on our journal covers and poetry binders.  What a talented lady.  I wish I could take some drawing classes from her!  This bulletin board+her clip art=precious.

7.  My HP laser printer.  I print, and I print A LOT.  I might say that my laser printer is one of my most prized possessions in my classroom {besides all of my books}.  The ink costs a fortune, but it lasts months, and the color is incredible.  If you are thinking of getting one...just do it.  Now.  You'll be happy you did.

8.  SmartBoard!  I literally did the happy dance and screamed when I found out I was getting one of our SmartBoards.  I still have so much to learn about it. The kids absolutely love it, and it is perfect for interactive lessons.  It's glorious.

9.  Coffee.  This might be the most important.  Ha!  Just kidding...kind of.  Ideally, I would make time to wake up in the morning, drink my coffee out of my favorite Anthropologie mug--but I don't have the time for that business anymore!  Luckily, my sweet teacher friend next door has a Keurig, and so does our workroom, so I have stocked up on all kinds of K-cups.  I also carry around lots of gum--I don't want to have terrible coffee breath while teaching reading groups!  ;)
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