Amazon Favorites for the Classroom | 2020
February 20, 2020
Do you buy everything on Amazon like me?! It is slightly embarrassing, but the convenience of getting everything I need delivered to my house within 48 hours is something I just love.
Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite classroom tools and toys I have bought on Amazon. Before I dive in, I should note three things: (1) Nothing I list here is necessary for you to be an effective teacher. These are simply things I have found that my students or my boys at home have loved or things that were of great help to me in the classroom. (2) I also should note that I could make a new one of these videos every 6 months or so because picking only 5 items is tough! So here is my Winter 2020 version. (3) Lastly, I want to mention that this blog post is not sponsored. I purchased all these items with my own money, by my own choice and the opinions of them are completely my own.
Before I list all five Amazon faves, I also wanted to let you know I have this blog post in video format over on my YouTube channel, so if you want to watch/listen to my favorites and see some of them in action, just watch below:
My Amazon Classroom Favorites:
please note: all links below are affiliate links which means if you purchase any of these items through the links, I will receive a very small (read: VERY small) portion of the sale.
1. DRY ERASE DICE:
These 4 dice from Mind Sparks are perfect for the classroom. They’re large (which basically means FUN for students) and I like to use them in both small group and whole group in front of the whole class. I have used them in so many of my Sunday Spotlight videos for math and literacy activities because they’re so versatile. I love that I can easily differentiate activities by adding the numbers or letters I need on the dice.
2. DRY ERASE PUZZLE PIECES:
This was a new find for me, but I purchased them because my son Calvin (3.5) is working on his name! He can identify the letters in his name but is still working on putting those middle letters in the right order. Since he is so young, I wanted to help him out with something tactile and he loves puzzles, so this was right up his alley! He can first identify the letters and then work on putting them in the right order as seen below.
My other son, Theo (5), wanted to join in on the fun and since there are 52 pieces in this pack, that was easy. For him, I made some number pieces and some matching puzzle pieces with that many dots for him to pair up. This made me realize these puzzle pieces can be used for so many different skills! The box this arrives in also comes with tons of ideas for using these. Some of them include: addition and subtraction sentences, creating simple sentences, and ordering numbers/letters!
3. Building and Engineering Set
Okay, HELLO FAVORITE! This kit is literally my favorite toy the boys own and thankfully, they feel the same. When I pick Theo up from Pre-K, I was noticing that he was always playing with the same toy: a playground building set. I asked his teacher about it and she showed us these kits from Learning Resources. Well, Santa must’ve known how much Theo loved it because he brought us the city set! Both my boys love to create bridges, skyscrapers, parking garages and so much more.
I show this in the video above, but each kit comes with a bunch of cards students can follow to create different things in a city. There aren’t step-by-step directions, but instead, they have to look at the pieces they need and there a few steps along the way for students to follow to create their masterpiece. Students can also create whatever they would like out of the pieces as well!
If I were still in the classroom, I would love this for a morning tub, science bin, or indoor recess activity and I think my students would too. I know us Joneses will definitely be getting the treehouse and playground versions for our own house as well.
4. Small-Group Easel/Pocket Chart
If you’ve watched my YouTube videos, you may know I love my small group easel/pocket chart from Lakeshore. In the classroom, I would keep it at my guided reading table and use it all the time for different skills. It was also a life-saver when I was a traveling literacy teacher. I didn’t have my own classroom that year and I would travel from room to room, table-to-table, and would often teach in the hallway! I could store all my materials (magnet letters, sight word cards, markers/erasers, etc.) inside the storage part and have everything I need. While I do love that one, it is pretty pricey ($80) and it can be heavy.
I found the one shown above on Amazon and it is so much lighter! It also has a built-in pocket chart in the back which I love! It has the same storage pocket in the front like my one from Lakeshore, and I love that you can fold it up easily with a little handle to carry it around. It’s like they knew I would be traveling all over!
5. Whiteboard Organizer
Okay, this one may seem silly… but it was one of those things I just didn’t think of until I was in the classroom for a few years! I just used the ledge to store my markers and to no one’s surprise, I would often find my markers all stacked up like one big sword. Or the caps would be off, markers would be missing, or I just couldn’t find a marker when I needed one! I ended up buying a divided organizer like the one shown above and it was a game-changer. It can be stored nice and high, so student hands wouldn’t be tempted and my markers would last longer.
I also liked the divided ones because I would always store sticky notes, magnets, erasers, and other things I needed that week on the other side of it. Hopefully, you are smarter than me and have already found a fix to organize your whiteboard materials, but in case you haven’t… try out a magnetic whiteboard organizer and thank me later 😉
So there are 5 of my current classroom favorites that you can find on Amazon! Do you have any other favorites to add?! Leave a comment below!
Pin to remember: