Teachers Shared 29 Small, Inexpensive Things That Have Improved Their Teaching Lives, and We Want Them All

Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers

Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers Gas Powered Rc Truck

Teachers Shared 29 Small, Inexpensive Things That Have Improved Their Teaching Lives, and We Want Them All

Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers

I tried out the small, stretchy dinosaurs with my middle schoolers—you would have thought they were cash prizes.

Sometimes the littlest things can make the biggest difference. We asked our teacher audience to tell us what small, inexpensive thing has made their teaching lives better, easier, or more fun, and all of them made us want to click “Add to cart.”

Check out their picks below.

“I taught high school for 37 years before I retired, and whenever a kid was having a bad day, I gave them a stretchy dinosaur. The tactile sensation is calming and the nostalgic joy of getting a silly little toy from their childhood was priceless!”

Buy it on Amazon: Dinosaurs

“I use them to mail out birthday wishes to all of my learners. They really appreciate the handwritten messages.”

Buy it on Amazon: Postcards

“It doubles as a fidget, and I lose my keys less often because I physically can feel them.”

Buy it on Amazon: Wrist key chain

“It makes me feel good to have this little touch of beauty in my day.”

Buy it on Amazon: Teapot and cup

Buy it on Etsy: Self-inking teacher stamp

“Long since retired, but a crab stuffed animal that I would produce when I was getting ‘crabby.’ If kids weren’t listening, weren’t being kind to one another … they knew when the crab appeared, it was time for a behavior reset.”

Buy it on Amazon: Plush crab

“It’s a Swingline, made of steel, and uses special ‘high-performance’ staples. I’m amused, sometimes, by how happy I am to have it.”

Buy it on Amazon: Swingline stapler

“I ring it for great answers. Kids LOVE getting a ding! Double dings are even better.”

Buy it on Amazon: Service bell

Buy it on Amazon: Colored-pencil sharpener

“I’m telling you. Wayyyy better than overhead lights.”

Buy it on Amazon: Lamp

“I have a very small coffee maker I use for tea and hot chocolate.”

Buy it on Amazon: Small coffee maker

“Bonus: You can put cute magnets on it!”

Buy it on Amazon: Pencil dispenser

“I have a Venus flytrap that is somehow still alive and my kids love earning a chance to check on/name the new traps. One of my babies refers to them as ‘the Jeffries,’ and it warms my heart every time. Always wants to water them and make sure they got a chance to catch some flies.”

Buy it on Amazon: Venus flytrap

“Chocolate I keep in my desk for the tough moments!”

Buy it on Amazon: Chocolate

“I use these every single day!”

Buy it on Amazon: Crayola Clicks Retractable Markers

“It sounds so stupid but I freaking love it. I have a terrible back and it helps my muscles relax and helps me relax (especially when it’s cold). It’s not ‘fun,’ but it is my favorite!”

Buy it on Amazon: Heating pad

Buy it on Amazon: EZ Grader

“Even with high school kids! Make the puppet be the one to deliver instructions and they will listen!”

Buy it on Amazon: Puppet

“It’s so much fun when doing read-alouds and when kids do presentations.”

Buy it on Amazon: Karaoke microphone

“So I can point to the word wall, anchor charts, etc., without having to cross the classroom.”

Buy it on Amazon: Laser pointer

“Used it for the first time today. Loving being able to move around the classroom!”

Buy it on Amazon: Wireless remote

“Wear an apron with pockets! Carry the scissors, the wipe-off markers, the eraser, the Kleenex, the Sharpie, the stapler, the hole punch, the fidgets, even the cell phone in the pockets. If you teach littles, you NEVER sit down, so you may as well have everything at the ready.”

Buy it on Amazon: Apron

“For my smarties in the classroom!”

Note: Smarties are the unicorn candy. Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and peanut-free!

Buy it on Amazon: Smarties

“In the faculty restroom where only adults can get it.”

Buy it on Amazon: Foaming hand soap

“I’m fortunate to have a walk-in closet. I lined up command hooks on the walls and keep all the hands on centers that I’ve printed and laminated in baggies or binder rings on the hooks. They’re labeled and ready to grab. You could do the same thing on the inside of cabinet doors if you don’t have a closet.”

Buy it on Amazon: Command Hooks

“I use it in my planning period while I work.”

Buy it on Amazon: Massaging neck wrap

“That is our ‘safe space’ when students are feeling big emotions and need some time and space. Fill the tent with social-emotional books, sensory fidgets, and positive affirmations. Best part of our classroom!”

Buy it on Amazon: Tent

Buy it on Amazon: Wireless doorbell

“That way, when the kids don’t laugh at my hilarious jokes, I can still get laughs!”

Buy it on Amazon: Sound-effect maker

Kelly Treleaven taught middle school English and wrote about it as Love, Teach at You can order her book, Love, Teach: Real Stories and Honest Advice to Keep Teachers from Crying Under Their Desks, or follow her on Facebook or Instagram. She loves iced coffee, too many podcasts, and annoying her husband with made-up basketball facts.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Teachers Shared 29 Small, Inexpensive Things That Have Improved Their Teaching Lives, and We Want Them All

Monster Truck Remote Control Car Classroom ideas, free printables, and great teacher ideas right here.