Saturday, May 26, 2012

Classroom Things I Can't Live Without... a linky party!

Kelley over at Teacher Idea Factory is hosting her first linky party and it's great for the end of the year, since we're all thinking about ways to be better in our classrooms next year!

Not only does this linky appeal to my love of perfecting my craft in the classroom... but it's also giving me ideas of ways to SHOP!

So, here are my favorite resources that I couldn't live without in my classroom... clicking on the picture for each one will take you to the vendor site so you can check them out if you want to!

1.) My Mimio Pad!  I love this thing!  We use it all day long, every day.  I was fortunate enough to have one sent to me after my proposal was funded on Donor's Choose and then the parent group at my school bought one for everybody else too!  If you aren't familiar with a Mimio Pad, it acts as a portable mouse.  You can control anything on the computer from anywhere in the room.  This, coupled with my document camera, has made my overhead projector and transparency film obsolete!  Not only that, but my students LOVE the Mimio Pad.  We use it for everything!
2.)  My rug!  This was another item funded for me on Donor's Choose.  I love that it gives us a clear area for group work, my students each have an "assigned" spot, and the squares give boundaries for bodies and personal space.  We do most of our learning here together on the carpet.  Love it!

3.)  My daily organizing bins from Lakeshore!  These live behind my desk and store the things I need for each day of the week.  It makes keeping materials together a cinch and I can *usually* find everything I need!  I am a planner and this helps me be able to plan things in advance (ie. projects and other things), toss them in the bin for the day I want to use them in a week or so, and then know right where to find it!  With 8 days of school left, it's way too messy behind my desk for me to let you see my actual bins... here's the stock photo from the Lakeshore website!  :)

4.) Daily Five.  Can I say that?  It isn't really a resource, but it has really changed and intensified reading instruction in my classroom.  This past year was my third year using Daily Five and my 2nd using CAFE too and I love it.  So do my students!  I've done loads of blog posts about Daily Five and CAFE.  Click those links to see loads of pictures and find out more about it in my classroom.

5.) Last... I would say my books.  My classroom books are among my most prized possessions.  When my school caught on fire in August 2008, my classroom was destroyed from water damage and all of my possessions were trashed.  The clean-up crew did salvage my books... which was AMAZING as I have a huge collection.  Reading and teaching reading is my favorite thing and I am very proud of my classroom library and my own personal collections of books that I use for teaching.  Here's a snapshot of part of my classroom library.  Oh... and my gutted classroom after the fire... just for kicks!

What are your favorite classroom resources?  Head over to Teacher Idea Factory and link up to share!


  1. Wow ... One of my favorite bloggers joined in the party!!! I am feeling so honored. That Mimio looks so rad. Gotta look into that! Thank you again. Happy weekend ;)

    Teacher Idea Factory

  2. Ooh, I love this post!

    We are getting Mimios in our class next year and I am SO excited! And I, too, am in love with the Lakeshore bins :)

    Your story about your school catching fire gave me goosebumps- I can't imagine anything so scary (except for maybe my own house, but my classroom is a close second). Wow!!

    Happy weekend,
    3rd Grade Thoughts

  3. I have never heard of a Mimio! I will have to look into that. I just got the same carpet through a Donor's Choose project:) Of course it was delivered the last week of school, lol. But I will have it to set up in the new year:) Thank you for the ideas.

    Surfin' Through Second

  4. Great resources!! I need to get myself on donorschoose immediately!

    I joined the linky too :)

    T.G.I.F. (Thank God it's First Grade!)

  5. Great resources!! I've never used a Mimio, but it sounds like a fun and useful resource.

    I'm just starting out with Daily 5 & CAFE this year and absolutely love it. Off to check out your posts about it now.

  6. Love your resources. I love my slate/smartboard which is like a mimio board.

  7. Love the lakeshore Mon-Friday storage containers! Couldn't live without them.

  8. Love your resources! I had an early version of the mimio, but it didn't really work very well. Perhaps I should give it a second chance. Honestly, my summer goal is to try an idea I saw on Pinterest using a Wii controller to turn a regular board into a smartboard.

    Check out my new blog- I am giving away a $25 GC to Target.

  9. A mimio pad would have been a great resource to have in the classroom. Technology is amazin! :)


  10. Did you have to use 6 points on donors to order it? I can't seem to find it on any of their vendors.

    I'm excited to finally have a rug like yours, all thanks to donorschoose.

    Little Treasures

  11. I have a smartboard will the mimio work with it?

  12. Thank you for sharing! I am going to start the Daily Five next year. I will definitely check out your past posts for ideas. Any tips for a newbie?
    Eileen Griffin
    Second Grade Sunshine

  13. I'm a new blogger and I love your blog! Thanks for sharing.


  14. Wow! I can't imagine where you would even start after having your room gutted. I have often wondered how much a corporation would chip in to help replace what you lost!

    I love those Lakeshore tubs and have been eying them. Maybe one day I will break down and buy myself some :(

    Your newest follower!

  15. Thanks for sharing about DonorsChoose! I will check it out today! I am also trying Daily Five in July and will get some ideas from your posts. I'm such a fan!

    Heather at Teach It Today!

  16. Holy smokes what a picture! I can't imagine if my (school) classroom caught on fire. You're room has recovered so well! Everything is sooo cute:)

    We are ALL Special!

  17. I looooove your list!! I am fairly new to the blog world and am now your newest follower!!

    I hope you can stop by my blog and follow me!


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