Whether you’re a first-year teacher or you’ve been teaching for years, having the right supplies for your classroom is essential. Even though the school year is over, it’s never too early to start thinking about what you’ll need for your classroom in the fall. When it comes to your classroom, the smallest details make the biggest difference. Here are seven must-have supplies for your classroom:

Pencils

For many teachers, pencils are one of the most important supplies for their classroom. Even if students bring their own pencils on the first day, chances are they’ll lose them after the first few weeks. Keeping an extra supply of pencils on hand means you’ll always have extras to hand out in the classroom. Mechanical pencils are a nice touch, but regular pencils will do the trick.

Pencil Sharpeners

If you’re going to have pencils in your classroom, it’s important that you have an electric pencil sharpener (or two) in your classroom. Spending money on a good pencil sharpener may seem excessive, but having one you can rely on, year after year, will make it worth the investment.

Trashcans

Even if your classroom already comes with a trashcan, it doesn’t hurt to have a few extras around the room. Having multiple trashcans means students will have different places to dispose of their trash. Instead of walking across the room and talking to friends along the way, students can throw away their trash at the nearest trashcan.

Filing Cabinets and Paper Organizers

Grading papers is something teachers do on a daily basis, and it’s important to have somewhere to store them. Having filing cabinets or paper organizers will keep your desk from getting cluttered with tests, homework and other paperwork that accumulates throughout the day. Buying organizers for your desk will help you organize your day-to-day papers, while a filing cabinet will be essential for organizing the papers that you need long-term, such as past lesson plans.

Arts and Crafts Supplies

If you’re an elementary school teacher, having arts and crafts supplies will be essential. Buy items such as construction paper, scissors, markers, crayons and glue for the days where you’re going to be doing projects in the classroom. Instead of waiting until a project comes around to buy these supplies, buy it all in advance and keep it in boxes or cubbies in your classroom. If you do a spontaneous project or activity that requires crayons or paper, you’ll already have the supplies in your classroom, and you won’t have to wait until you can get to the store.

Dry Erase Markers or Chalk

Regardless of whether your classroom has a chalkboard or dry erase board, you’ll still need something to write with. Some schools supply this for you, but most of the time, you’ll be on your own. Buy enough to last for the first half of the year, but don’t be afraid to buy even more. You can never have too much chalk or too many dry erase markers since you’ll be writing on the board every day during lessons. If you do use small whiteboards or chalkboards for classroom activities, make sure you have extra markers or chalk in your classroom.

Folders

Each week, you’ll need to organize worksheets, tests and homework. One of the best ways to do this is to use folders. Having a variety of folders on hand, including manila folders, two-pocket folders and folders with prongs will make it easy to organize your classroom. Using folders in a variety of colors can help you organize your papers by subject or day of the week.

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