My Favorite Things Linky & A HUGE Giveaway!!

Every year that I've been teaching (now four), right before school starts, I've spent tons of money on all things back to school.  Of course you need crayons, scissors and glue, but there are things that, especially as a first year teacher, you'd never think of.  I've learned along the way which purchases aren't necessary and which ones I HAVE to have.  

I'm linking up with Amy Labrasciano from Learning Lessons With Mrs. Labrasciano and Mary Church from A Classroom Full of Smiles for a "My Favorite Things" linky where we're sharing our must-haves for starting off the school-year.  You also have the chance to enter to win an AWESOME giveaway package at the bottom of our posts!

So here are the things I HAVE to have:

I use these EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  I use them to grade, level my reading groups by color, and for color-coding my plans (see below).

I don't know what I ever did without this.  Cutting stations, task cards, booklets, and everything in between is so much faster with this handy little guy.  I loved it so much I went ahead and bought another so I could keep one at school in my classroom and one at home.  No more carrying it back and forth to and from school, and no waiting in line in our school workroom to use a cutter!

I don't know how your school works, but at mine, our laminator is only up and running on Fridays.  If we don't have our items in for lamination by 7:30 a.m. on Friday, we have to wait another week to get them laminated.  :(  Crazy, I know!  In order for me to have the things I need laminated on time, I have one of my very own... Actually, two.  :)  Yes, that's right.  I have one at school and one at home (the 2nd was a gift from the in-laws - I love them!)!

A Teacher Bag

Every year, I find a cute bag, use it and find some fault in it.  This year, I found the ultimate teacher tote.  It's by Thirty-One and it's called The Keep-It Caddy.  

They also have larger utility totes that would probably fit better around your shoulder.  But this one is perfect for my to-be-graded papers and planner.  I love that it has all the compartments on the sides to hold my water bottle, flair pens, post-its, stickers, and EZ grader.

Colorful & Bright Storage/Baskets

I've collected my storage bins, baskets and book bins the past few years from Walmart, Garden Ridge, Dollar Tree, & Really Good Stuff. 

I usually have my tables grouped into 4 cooperative learning groups (green table, pink table, blue table, & orange table).  I got these bins from Walmart and they're where my kiddos store their interactive journals, reading folders, and data binders.  You can see my 3-Drawer Storage Cart spray paint project here.

My books bins and journal baskets are from Really Good Stuff and I really love that they match my color scheme.  Not only are my learning groups color-coded, but my subjects are too.  Our Writing journals are pink, our Math journals are blue, our Science journals are green, and our Social Studies journals are orange.  With my firsties, sometimes it's easier for them to pull out the correct journal when they're color-coded.

Don't you just love all the color?  How can you not be happy each day with all this brightness around you?!

So there you have it - my list of must-haves.  Tell me what's on your list because now you have the chance to cross some things off your wishlist!

Just enter below for a chance to win:

  • Over $350 of Amazon vouchers, 
  • 30 Sit Spots of your choice, & 
  • A Teacher T-shirt!  
I mean, can you believe it?!  This is HUGE!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi, Susan! It looks like we have a lot of the same favorite things - paper cutter, laminator. LOL! I love your labels that you are running through the laminator! Do you mind telling me where they came from?

    One Sharp Bunch

    1. I don't know what I'd do without my paper cutter & laminator! They are truly must-haves!

      The labels were made by me :) I hope to have them up in my TpT store hopefully by tonight. Fingers crossed!

  2. I love your classroom! The composition books sorted in baskets...it's beautiful!


  3. I don't even know where to begin. Your blog is as cute as a button! LOVE it. Your photography skills are amazing. I really appreciate that since I'm challenged in that area. I'm going out to get one of those paper cutters now. There is so much to pin here!!! Thanks for linking up:)
    Take care, Amy

  4. I love those pens! I misplaced one and had to go buy another set :)
    First Grade Dual