Classroom Must Haves: Things I Can’t “Picture” Myself Teaching Without

It's getting close to that official "back to school" day for me, so my friends over at Upper Elementary Snapshots and I thought it would fun to host a fun series of posts and a giveaway to celebrate!

Each of us will showcase FOUR things we just can't "picture (Upper Elementary SNAPSHOTS--get it?) teaching without!  So here we go with my collection...

First of all each of us is showcasing a favorite school supply or classroom tool--and I am a HUGE fan of Mr. Sketch smelly markers...but when I make my anchor charts, I have found that some of the Mr. Sketch colors fade under fluorescent lights.  I tried the Sharpie brand chart markers and INSTANTLY fell in love.  I have included two affiliate links below if you want to check them out.  I usually order the first ones (the are an "add on" item for other shopping orders) or you can order the bigger set.  I just love them.

Here are a few anchor charts I made with them...super clean lines, lots of ink, super nice.

So here are the links if you want to check them out...

Our next "Showcase" item is a favorite book...I wanted to share Fish in a Tree because it is my beginning of the year read aloud but I JUST mentioned it in a blog post so I thought I'd share a book I got last year and read with my class--and now am going to read AND make a back to school bulletin board with...the book is super cute.  "Only One You" is a short picture book with quite a punch. The illustrations are so bright--but what I love most is all the inspirational quotes.  I am going to have each student make a "quote" of their own...we will type them up in fun fonts, then make our own fish projects to display.  Stay tuned for the final project!

The THIRD thing we are highlighting is a product from our own store...and this was hard for me to pick.  I would have to say that one of my favorite resources for back to school time is my perseverance resource.  If you have followed me for any length of time, watched my FB Lives, or have attended my recent webinar series, you know that creating a culture of math "excitement" is super important to me.  This resource is one of the things I use at the beginning of the year to help set the stage for challenge and perseverance is...

I use it to start the year and teach how to work with partners...and that not all problems are easy....and that not all problems have one answer.  These are all new for some students--especially the very capable ones!  

The FINAL "Must Have" we are all sharing is a FREEBIE!  Who doesn't want something free, right?  I thought I'd share a freebie of mine that you might not have's a sample of how I tend to make my word problem resources--with three different formats.  This freebie can let you give one a try and see what you think!

After you've downloaded my freebie be sure to visit each of the blogs below to add 12 more FREE RESOURCES to your own collection of things you can't picture yourself teaching without. Afterwards swing by our collaborative blog, Upper Elementary Snapshots for lots of great content and ideas you can put into practice in your own classrooms as well as a chance to win gift cards to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Teachers Pay Teachers so you can stock up on your own Classroom Must Haves.

Thanks for stopping by--and go visit all these other posts to check out their favorites!  (And don't forget to enter to win at Upper Elementary Snapshots!)


  1. Where do I find the title of your fish-y quote-y book?

  2. What is written on your charts? Are you going to give students post its to put their answers on?

  3. Those are a few of my "first days" anchor charts "headers"...we work on generating ideas as a class and then I will transfer them onto the charts. A few of them are "Being helpful"..."My dreams for this year"..."What is quality work"...

  4. I've never heard of Only One You!! I'll definitely be picking that one up this year!!