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Classroom Essentials and Additions for New Teachers

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classroom essentials new teacher first year supply list things teachers need in their classrooms materials must have supplies items

So You're Writing Your Classroom Supply List...

Maybe you’re an elementary teacher moving into a new classroom or building for the coming school year. Or maybe you are a new first year teacher who doesn’t completely know what the classroom essentials are. What kind of things do teachers need in their classrooms anyways? We’re here to help with the ultimate classroom essentials supply list! Set yourself and your students up to have a comfortable, accommodating, and welcoming learning environment. Below we’re sharing the best classroom essentials, must-have teacher supplies, and materials you can add to your classroom to take it to the next level!

Elementary Classroom Essentials

These are the things teachers need in their classrooms! Use this checklist to get your room started with the supplies you and your students will be using (and losing) all the time.

  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Tissues
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Bandages
  • Pencils
  • Electric pencil sharpener
  • Pens
  • Erasers
  • Glue Sticks
  • Crayons
  • Washable markers
  • Composition notebooks (these will not get tangled together like spiral notebooks with metal coils might)
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Letter trays (for turning in assignments)

Essentials for Teachers

Don’t forget about yourself – teachers have needs and wants too! These supplies can make staying organized and doing your job easier. Invest in helping yourself feel and do your best!

Classroom Items

  • Dry erase markers (How do these disappear so fast!?)
  • Highlighters
  • 3-Hole punch
  • Staples
  • Stapler remover (Have you ever tried removing a staple with your fingers? Not fun!)
  • Tape
  • Colored pens (for grading)
  • Sticky notes (to write down reminders quickly and to place where you’re sure to see them)
  • Paper clips and binder clips
  • Folders
  • Desk organizer
  • Planner or calendar (It’s challenging to keep track of every meeting!)

Personal Items

  • Water bottle
  • Deodorant (Nothing worse than smelling bad!)
  • Chapstick
  • Lotion
  • Pain reliever (for those inevitable headaches that set in halfway through the day)
  • Snacks

Cool Additions

Adding cool things to your classroom can give it a unique and personalized touch. Consider including some of these supplies to your list to create a fun and trendy environment for your young students.

Bulletin Board

Let your creative side show! Decorate your bulletin board according to the season or lessons you’re currently teaching. This is a great way to create a visually engaging and informative area in your classroom. Use construction paper, markers, scissors, and any other props you’d like to brighten up your wall.


Who doesn’t love stickers?! Place stickers on worksheets that students do well on. Use stickers as an incentive or prize. When students receive a sticker from their teacher, they feel special and proud of what they accomplished. It’s a simple and subtle way to connect with your students.


We all know young students love to move around and definitely will not sit at a desk all day. It is a great change of pace to have reading time while sitting on a rug. Having a rug in your classroom also creates a great playtime space and a movie-viewing area. Plus, you can add a splash of color and pattern to your room!

Duct Tape

Speaking of colors and patterns for the floor, duct tape can be a fun addition! Place a strip near the door for the line-leader to stand on. Outline walkways and create arrows to direct students. Be inventive and create an interactive space!


Reading is the ideal activity for students who finish assignments early or when there’s free time to fill. Have a small bookshelf in your classroom for students to choose reading materials from. Students will enjoy having choice over their reading material and you’ll be glad they are practicing their literacy skills.

Math & Movement has a selection of math and literacy storybooks to add to your classroom!

Alternatively, if you are trying to save money, there are plenty of ways to find books second-hand. Ask retiring teachers, check out garage sales, or stop at a thrift store. You’ll be able to build your library in no time!

Stocked for School

Supply lists can be intimidating for first year teachers. But by taking the time to prepare your classroom, you are ensuring that each school day will run smoother than it would have if you didn’t have the teaching tools you need!

Experienced teachers – what items have you found to be must-haves? Share your classroom essentials below in the comments!

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