Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Teaching Stuff I Can't Live Without

Linking up again with Teacher Idea Factory...This time for the fun stuff I can't live without in my classroom. 

First thing is this saweeet pencil sharpener.  I had the professional grade electric kind that eventually started eating my pencils.  I swore it was just cheap pencils until I came across this heaven sent sharpener. Sharpens pencils to perfection.   You can read more about it here.

Classroom Friendly Supplies

Next, is Lakeshore's Sight-Word Sentence Builder Kit.  The best $50 I have ever spent.  The sentences are organized in sets of 5.   The children then "fill in the blanks" with the correct word.  The sentences become more difficult as you go from the first set to the last.  It includes pictures and words which are perfect for beginning firsties.  You can see how we use them below. I haven't seen them in the most recent Lakeshore catalog so they may have discontinued them....sorry.

This is how we use the sentences pictured above.  I have two of these magnetic pocket charts from Lakeshore.  The magnet is so strong.  I place one on each side of my filing cabinet and they become a center during my 90 minute reading block.  I use two because my center rotations last a week.  The kids do one side the first week then go to the other side the second week.  So for this particular center I only have to change it out every two weeks.  Makes my life so much easier.  Even better my sweet daughter is old enough now to help me change it out.

After filling in the sentences the children write the sentences out
on story line paper and illustrate one of the sentences.

The next item I LUUUVVV is my new gently used Lakeshore easel.  I've been making due with a small Little Tykes easel that I bought for my daughter at a yard sale for $5 a few years ago.  I actually had to cut my chart paper in half so that it fit the easel.  I purchased this from a friend who got a new one.  I am so excited to use it this year.  My hubby is putting locking casters on it this weekend.  WooHoo!

Finally this little easel is another favorite.  I use it at my Rhymes and Chimes Center.  I create small word family poems that the children have to copy, highlight the word family rhyme, then illustrate.  It's magnetic, doesn't take up a lot of room, and stores so easily. 

Well those are all the goodies I can't live without. Can you tell I love Lakeshore.  We have a store about an hour away  that I visit before school starts.  I haven't been yet!  School starts in a week so I better start making my list.  It's a dangerous place.  You know that feeling you get as a teacher when you pull into the parking lot.  Your breath catches, you jump get out of your car and sprint  walk to the front door.  Such a fun place to shop.

Thanks for looking!!!


  1. Thank you so much for linking up! I am so jealous . . . er . . . excited . . . that you get to use that easel this year! One of those puppies has been on my wish list each and every year! I can't wait to check back during the school year and see it in action :) Thanks again!!!

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  2. I love my easel, too! I was lucky enough to inherit my easel from the teacher who's room I took over. I almost use my easel more than my big white board!
    Blessings of Teaching

  3. Hi:) I really enjoyed hoppin' around your blog. I just nominated you for the "One Lovely Blog" award so come on by to pick it up. I am trying to become one of your newest followers but Google is doing something weird tonight, it won't let me join anyone's blog! I promise I will come back by and join up with you. I look forward to following you!

    Teaching with Z

  4. That sharpener is the BEST!! We could not live without our easel either. Good upgrade! :)

    Christy & Tammy