"Curiouser and Curiouser": Favourites for Classroom Beginnings

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September is always a month filled with new possibilities, new challenges, growing "to-do" lists, and excitement for what lies ahead with the onset of a new school year! That being said, the ladies of #4EverInspired decided to host another giveaway! This one in particular highlights the perspectives of each one of us when it comes to classroom set-up, inventory and our personal passions with hopes to inspire you as we make our way into October!

The nature of our lists are by no means exhaustive and are not meant to be perceived as a "must-have" guide to every classroom. Just as Alice fostered a intrinsic sense of wonderment and curiosity when stating "curiouser and curiouser" in Alice in Wonderland, we thought these classroom favourites would shed light on what each of us finds personally essential to our individual practices when designing and setting up a classroom.

Please note that my list is in no particular order or preference but a curation of my favourites for classroom beginnings!

1. Sharpie Flip Chart Markers

After receiving these in my Christmas stocking the year I first started teaching, I have not found anything else I enjoy more then writing with these "juicy markers" - which we call them in our class! They are thick, colourful and yes, juicy, and show up so nicely on any chart paper!  

2. Sharpie Pens

These are new to me and I absolutely ADORE them! Nothing beats a smooth pen that doesn't clump when taking documentation notes, writing cards, and more! They come in a variety of different colours too which couldn't be more fun! 

3. Classic Black Sharpie Markers 
(or any Sharpie Markers for that matter!)

Who doesn't love Sharpie? It goes without saying that black sharpies are most definitely a classroom staple in my room. They are a wonderful addition to any art studio and are of quality material that students get so excited to use!

4. Mirrors

Mirrors add an extra element of design in any classroom space! They add depth, perspective and light into any space and the Dollar Store has them in a variety of shapes and sizes (circles, squares - both large and small).

5. Sit Spots

These foam squares are the perfect addition to any outdoor environment and are reasonably priced at the Dollar Store for a set of four! They are durable, colourful and comfortable to sit on outside and students always enjoy personalizing them throughout the school year.

6. "Woods" Wagon

I was first introduced to this FABULOUS wagon during our participation in the Ministry of Education's Pilot Project last spring. Read more about it by clicking here ("A Week in the Forest"). This wagon is collapsable and very durable. It can be found at Canadian Tire (click here) and allows for materials to be easily brought to any outdoor environment! 

7. Clipboards (both Mini and Large)

Clipboards provide students with invitations to communicate their thinking in a variety of ways. Whether they are mini or large, they can be incredibly versatile tool to support learning in the classroom.

8. iPad with Google Drive and Pic Collage


Integrating a purposeful use of technology in the 21st Century classroom is key! An iPad is a wonderful teaching and learning tool to add to any classroom and as a teaching team, can be a great addition to tracking student success and making it visible!

9. Watercolours

After being introduced to this quality art material from my dear friend and colleague, Heidi Theis, I have truly seen the value in how art can be a vehicle of communication for students. Watercolours are easy to use, versatile and foster a multitude of learning opportunities for students (e.g. science, oral communication, visual arts, etc).

10. Plants and Greenery

Bringing the outdoors inside is a wonderful way to foster an understanding and respect for the world around us! Simple plants, flowers, etc can really liven up our classroom spaces and provide responsible opportunities for students!

Be sure to check out Instagram for your chance at winning one of four amazing prizes! My giveaway will include three of my all-time classroom favourites: 
1. Set of Sharpie Flipchart Markers
2. Set of 5 Sharpie Pens
3. Set of 10 Black Sharpie Markers
Don't forget to visit the other #4EverInspired member’s pages to read about their top-ten favourites for classroom setup as well and be sure to enter in our giveaway over Instagram! Read more about our lists and adventures by clicking on the links below:
Kindie Korner’s Trista Dutt: "These are a few of our favourite things"

Transform Ed.’s Joanne Babalis: "When in doubt, just add glitter!"

Evolving Educator’s Vanessa Bianchi: "A Curated Collection of my Classroom Favourites"

Reflectively yours,

#4EverInspired xoxo

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