18 Teacher Picks for Best Classroom Supplies

We asked real teachers to share their favorite classroom supplies. Their answers varied from the every day (pencils, pens) to the innovative (socks? tennis balls?). Read on for these brilliant real teacher recommendations of items for your own school supply lists.

1. Index Cards

“I love index cards. They are great for gathering quick responses and can be less intimidating to kids who do not like to write. I buy the multi-colored packs and use them to quickly group kids as well.” — Ashley H., eighth grade English, Maryland

2. Socks

“For whiteboard erasers, my students and I use socks from the dollar store. The kids think it’s so funny but socks are more effective than traditional erasers.” — Anne K., elementary intervention specialist, Oregon

3. Laminators

“I absolutely love my thermal laminating machine. I use it to laminate vocabulary flash cards, handouts for home exercises, BINGO cards, checklists for when my students are working on their sounds, story sequencing cards, the list goes on and on. It helps materials last the whole year, especially if they are carrying them to and from school in a backpack.” —  Courtney H., elementary speech therapist, California

4. Lysol® Disinfecting Wipes

“I would be lost without my Lysol® Disinfecting Wipes. Every single day I use these to wipe down my students’ desks, all door knobs and other shared, hard, non-porous surfaces. I’m fighting the good fight to keep my classroom clean and keep the germs at bay!” — Katie M., fifth grade teacher, Virginia

5. Custom Stamps

” I have custom stamps for checking students’ work and signing forms. The students love my LIKE👍🏻 stamp.” — Lori H., middle school English teacher, California

6. Plastic Plates

“We use simple, affordable plastic plates again and again, for both classroom parties and as individual dry-erase boards.” —Jan H., first grade teacher, Michigan 

7. Colorful Pens

“I can’t do without a good supply of colorful felt tip and gel pens. I use them for grading and marking papers, writing notes and letters as well as my own journal and teacher planner.” — Rebecca M, seventh grade English teacher, Texas 

8. Shoe Pocket Holder

“Shoe pocket holder—students deposit their cell phones when they come into the classroom. Students are hesitant to leave cell phones in lockers (understandably, parents don’t like that idea either), so they can deposit them when they come in and grab as they leave. Voila! — Debi B., dance and fine arts teacher, California 

9. Markers

“Colorful, fine-tipped permanent markers are my favorite because they are highly motivating tools to use with reluctant writers.” — Jen F. , elementary reading specialist, Maryland 

10. Sticky Notes

“Sticky notes! I use them for so much more than my own organization. Students use them to add their thoughts and ideas to anchor charts, learn to paraphrase and notate research, organize their writing, offer revision feedback to each other. Teachers can use them as guides and to limit distractions in mentor texts, or for help with editing suggestions. There’s rarely a day I don’t use sticky notes.” — Julie P. , elementary science teacher, Pennsylvania

11. Plastic Sandwich Bags

“Resealable baggies have lots of uses, from storing small manipulatives to mixing up science experiments.” —Kate K., third grade teacher, Washington 

12. Colorful Duct Tape

“Duct tape in lots of colors is always useful in art projects, but it is especially essential for distinguishing folders or textbooks.” —Terry D., fourth grade teacher, Illinois 

13. Clipboards

“A class set of clipboards so kids can move around the room to complete assignments.” — Tracy M., second grade teacher, Maryland

14. Sitspots

“I could not run my classroom without my sitspots. They are a lifesaver for getting kindergarteners in a circle on day one, and for assigned seats and groupings for the older students.” — Melanie B., elementary music teacher, Texas

15. Sidewalk Chalk

“I love sidewalk chalk! It’s better than regular chalk for creating colorful quotes or displays for my blackboard, and I have students use it on our basketball courts to solve problems. So fun.” —Angie K., sixth grade math teacher, Arizona

16. Desk Trays

“Never underestimate a good ‘turn in’ tray. It’s an easy routine for the kids that also helps me stay organized!” — Melissa P., first grade teacher, New Hampshire

17. Pencils

“Pencils. Not the cheap kind! The name brand #2s. I go through hundreds a year. The last thing you want is a cheap pencil with lead that keeps breaking.” — Kelly W., middle school resource specialist, California

18. Tennis Balls

“I cut them in half and put them on the legs of students’ chairs so that classroom noise is reduced when students get up and down from their desks.” —Anne W., fourth grade teacher, Wisconsin

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