Back to School Must-Haves + A Giveaway!

I admit it, I’m a list maker. I’m not sure if it’s because I inherently like making lists, or that I have such a terrible memory that I need to make lists. Either way, I get through life making lists.

b2s14 list list makers gonna list

This post is all about my list of my favorite things for Back to School. Really, what teacher doesn’t have a list of their favorite #b2s things?


I start my day – EVERY day – with a glass of chocolate milk. I crave chocolate, and this lets me have it without lots of guilt! And I just discovered almond milk, so what’s better than chocolate covered almonds for breakfast?


Teachers are on their feet all day, so a good pair of shoes is very important. But so is style, isn’t it? I love these cheetah print shoes; they’re comfy and stylish!


I need to be organized at the beginning of the school year, or I’ll be off-track the rest of the year. I know this because I tried that once. It didn’t work. My entire classroom library and all of my texts are organized using Mrs. Dixon’s (from Teaching Special Thinkers) Chalkboard and Chevron pack. I love how it pops! This year, I’m using Tara’s (from Fourth Grade Frolics) Classroom Colors Plus Pink, Turquoise and Lime pack to decorate the rest of my classroom. I’m thrilled with the fact that I can organize my room in a way that makes it pretty AND functional!


Organization doesn’t stop with my books. I haven’t splurged on an Erin Condren planner, because I’ve been so happy with my freebie planner from Tina’s Teaching Treasures. Everything goes in here. I love it!

daily_5 guided_reading scholastic_reading_club

Books, books, and more books! My most recent back to school must-have is my Daily 5 text, making its way next to my guided reading text from Fountas and Pinnell. I was new to Daily 5 last year, and I fell in love with it immediately. Guided reading is such an integral part of my reading program that I’d be lost without these two books. And more than half of my classroom library is made up of Scholastic books!


Like Mrs. Labrasciano, I am a bag-aholic. I collect bags. All kinds. I use different kinds of bag for different things. I have cinch bags, tote bags, book bags, backpacks. Small bags, large bags, medium-sized bags. Collegiate bags, chevron bags, museum bags. You name it. But my essential back-to-school bag is this one, a gift from a parent. It is the sturdiest bag I’ve ever owned, so it stands up to the test of everything that I store in it. And it literally stands up!

flair_pens papermate_pencil papermate_pencils

Many teachers love these pens and pencils. I won’t use anything else. Ever. Stubborn, yes, but I know what I like!

supportive_parents great_teammates

I can’t even imagine where I’d be without supportive parents and wonderful teammates. Although we work alone in our classrooms, this is not a profession in a vacuum. We continually look to our colleagues for support and advice (Teachers Pay Teachers, anyone?), and we certainly couldn’t do what we do without the support of our students’ parents. A definite must-have!

class_rules set_of_3

Students need structure; we all know that. But many of us go about providing it a bit differently, depending on the needs of our students and our classrooms. I found two sets of rules that have served me well over the years, without fail. The first is my Classroom Rules poster. The focus is on RESPECT. I teach my students what respect is, what it looks like, what it sounds like, and what it feels like. It covers every possible infraction. I refer to the poster with a misbehaving student and ask, “Which rule are you breaking?” John Wooden’s Set of Three is another favorite of mine. Often times, I refer to this poster more than my classroom rules poster because kids are kids; they whine, complain and make excuses. I simply point to the poster. My students know they’ve been trumped.

You have to check out the other blogs {starting with Learning Lessons with Mrs. Labrasciano and A Classroom Full of Smiles} linked up for this fun Back to School Favorites linky! If you enter the huge giveaway, you’ll have a chance to win over $300 in Amazon gift cards! I’m pretty sure that’ll help you purchase some of your favorite Back to School Must-Haves! The more you enter, the more chances you have of winning!

I’d love to know: what are YOUR favorite Must-Haves for Back to School?



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