the radical rational…

in search of innovative ideas with a well-balanced approach for the math classroom

5 Things I Can’t Live without in My Classroom #julychallenge

on July 5, 2014

Thanks to @druinok for making me ponder what 5 things I cannot live without in my classroom.  All have simplified or improved myclassroom in some way…


Shoe Organizer – I use mine to store calculators and clickers.  I didn’t have a picture from my current room, this is from my old classroom.  I actually have 2 of them-numbered to correspond to calculator labels.  They are clear, which allows me to stand at my door and quickly scan to determine all have been returned before dismissing students.  I have seen teachers storing measureing tools, tape, gluesticks, markers, index cards, even rulers. Possibilities are endless.


Filetastic – from Mardel’s – hanging file organizer. Great to store extra copies, etc. A great purpose of unused wall space.  They are lifesavers for anyonr in a small room space.  Keep an eye out, sometimes you can catch them on sale! 


The BEST Pencil Sharpener EvvvvveerrRrrrr!  Check them out at Classroom Friendly Supplies.  Here is my post and review-after 2 years, I love it even more! My students return to my classroom to use it.  It is amazing.  If you are an administrator, buy them for your teachers!  If you are a teacher, invest in one!!  If you are a parent, give one as a back to school gift for your student’s teacher…they will love you forever!  They added a couple of new colors as well.


Stickers – Whether its to add some whimsy or a high five to student work or plain dot stickers to carousel and respond to Always, Sometimes, Never statements…I like stickers. And so do the students.  I use them to color code groups, assign specific tasks.  And just this week, created pinch cards for RYG self-assessment.


Sticky-Notes: I have no clue how many I go through a year.  Last year I stocked up when Mighty $ had a package of 600 for $1.  Yep, I thought it was a deal, too!  Whether its a stoplight quiz, exit ticket, flip for answers quiz, 2-minute student reflection…we do something with sticky notes at least twice a week. 

Coming soon #5things I do with Sticky Notes in My Classroom!

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4 responses to “5 Things I Can’t Live without in My Classroom #julychallenge

  1. I LOVE sticky notes so I can’t wait to hear more about how you use them!

  2. What is a stoplight quiz, and where did you get that amazing stoplight? I am all about that pencil sharpener, too!

    • Pam Wilson says:

      Students place their sticky at their self-assessed level of understanding. Green – got it! Very confident. Yellow – almost there! Needs more practice. Red-struggling. Needs help.

      They place sticky next to the color and it’s a great visual for where class is as a whole. If I don’t use sticky notes, I have RYG folders they drop their quiz into as they leave the room.

      Some teachers use color baskets. Also, I often have students indicate on their papers 1 is red, 2 is yellow, 3 is green. I will post a link in a bit for you to see.

    • Pam Wilson says:

      I picked up the stop light at a teacher store in town several years ago.

      Here is a link to a better description.

      Hope it helps!

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