I decided I need to get on a posting spree this summer and maybe I'll keep up with it during the school year. Today is MUST HAVE Monday. People always come into my classroom and look at my stuff asking where I got it and yada yada. There are a few things that I have come to love this year and CANNOT and do not want to teach without. I am going technology related with this post...
1. IPODS <<<------ saved my life
This is my listening center in a nutshell. Gone are the days of having the students sit and listen in a five student setting with five headphones tangled. I purchased IPods from Ebay. I got the older versions (not the Touch) for about $20 to $30. I have used my own personal IPod for years instead of a radio and thought why not purchase some for the students to listen to listening books. I bought a few and tried it out and they LOVED them. One school break, I took all of my books on CD that I purchased from Scholastic (the ones that are usually about $15 or $20 with about 3 or 4 books included) and added them to my Itunes. Then, I simply added them to a playlist and added them to the Ipods. Easy peasy.
From Amazon, I found a 2 splitter for about $3.00. I added one to each of my Ipods. My students are able to share a book with a friend if they would like and then it's not too noisy. They also sell 5 part splitters, but I like the fact that I can have two or three groups of students listening to books and they never make a peep. When it gets to 3 and 4 students, there is always something going on with that many. One Ipod and one splitter for about $35 is an easy way to separate students during centers. Mind you, I did not buy my IPods all at the same time. I did go ahead and purchase the splitters all together just because I got free shipping.
If you purchase Ipods and a splitter you will have to have headphones. I also found some pretty durable and cheap headphones. None of the headphones were damaged this year. This is the first time that has ever happened. Headphones are always messed up by the end of the year. We had an extensive talk about how to take care of them, how to wrap them up, and where to put them with the IPod and splittler. They listened and took care of them because they did not want to lose the IPods. I found this one on Amazon for $3.00. I got a few of those when I ordered the splitters.
4. Portable/Personal Laminator
I'm not sure how your school laminator situation works out, but our school has the worst situation. We have to laminate ourselves (during school) and only on Thursday. I usually never have time to laminate during the day and that means I do not. This year, I have made and bought MORE teacher made things than ever before and most of these games and center items need to be laminated. My handy dandy laminator has smelled so good getting hot this year! As with the rest of my things, I found a pack of 100 on Amazon for about $9.00. It got too expensive buying the 25 packs from Walmart.
If you made it ALL the way down here... what are some things YOU cannot teach without?