Best classroom accessories: The teacher's back-to-school list

Thinking about back to school time often sparks images of backpacks, class schedules, and supply lists. However, teachers are heading back to the classroom too and have a long list of items they need for the school year. Beyond the jumbo pack of glue sticks, Clorox wipes, and extra pencils, here are a few things you don’t want to keep off of your back to school checklist.

Cloud-based education tools

G Suite for Education

Staff pick

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G Suite has all the digital tools you need to engage with your students, keep track of their progress, encourage collaboration, create and distribute permission forms and study materials, and communicate with students and parents. Teachers get an account for free when their school partners with Google and then can give access to students.

Free at Google

Weekly lesson planner

Carson-Dellosa Aim High

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This planner dedicates a full spread to each week giving you plenty of space to jot down every detail of lessons, corresponding activities and include notes for aides and substitutes for the entire school year. There are spaces to log thoughts, reminders, students grades and daily progress, and store important contact information.

$14 at Amazon

Bluetooth speaker

OontZ Angle 3

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This wireless speaker is a great way to amplify your voice when using Bluetooth enabled devices including portable microphones and projectors. Connect your cellphone to play music, which can kids concentrate while working, or choose a pop song list as a reward. This speaker connects to Amazon Echo devices, too.

$26 at Amazon

Folder organizer

Smead Cascading Wall Organizer

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This organizer includes six, letter-sized reusable folders in different colors. Each holds 50 sheets of paper and has cord closures for added security. The folders slip easily in and out from the cascading organizer that is just over 36 inches long. Made from tear-proof poly material, this organizer can be used over and over each year.

$13 at Amazon

Pocket organizer

Misslo Numbered Chart

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This pocket organizer is a great way to keep student’s phones out of their hands during class time. Each pocket is numbered so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. Itr can be used to store other essentials such as calculators and office supplies. It comes with four hooks for easy, nail-free hanging.

$14 at Amazon

Grading calculator

E-Z Grader

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The E-Z Grader helps you quickly figure out the percentage grades of homework, tests, and quizzes. Enter the number of questions and this grading calculator will display scores based on the number of problems the student missed. This grader works with tests with up to 95 problems.

$11 at Amazon

USB document camera

IPEVO V4K

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The IPEVO document camera captures high definition images and video. This is a great tool for projecting live streams or scanning book pages or homework assignments into a digital format. This document camera is compatible with PC, Mac, and Chromebook, along with a variety of apps and programs.

$99 at Amazon

Recognition stamps

ECR4Kids Teacher Stamps

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This collection of eight self-inking stamps include messages like “Terrific,” “Outstanding,” and “Good work” in fun, bright colors with extra embellishments. There is even a stamp to use when an assignment needs a little extra work, but the fun, colorful wording helps it become more encouraging.

$16 at Amazon

Motivational posters

Palace Learning Classroom Wall Posters

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Hanging Palace Learning motivational posters is a great way to decorate the classroom while also encouraging students to do their best. This package of 16 different chalkboard-style posters is designed to remind students to keep trying and work hard. Each poster is printed on 120-pound poster paper and measures 13 by 9 inches.

$30 at Amazon

Our final thoughts

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Teachers have our utmost respect for the hours of dedication and sacrifice they give to their students. We know a lot of personal funds go to ensure students have the bare minimum to survive the school year, on top of creating a fun learning environment. There are a few extra items that make organizing and managing a classroom easier.

We think every teacher should have access to G Suite for Education. This tool connects you to all the office programs of Google One, like Docs, Sheets, and Slide, plus Gmail for accessing school email addresses. But you also have access to Google Forms, which is a great tool for creating and sending permission slips to parents. Everything created using G Suite, including announcements, handouts and study guides, can be sent directly to students, parents, and administrators from within the program. Teachers with G Suite accounts also get to use the collaboration tools, including Hangouts and Classroom. These help you create, assign, and monitor group projects and allow real-time collaboration and document editing. All homework can be sent through G Suites, too, and help you can keep track of student grades and progress.

There is a big hitch to this perk, though. While G Suites is free for teachers and students to use, the school must partner with Google first to allow teachers access. G Suite for Education is offered to schools for free, too, so we encourage teachers to speak with administrators about getting a school account and then allow individual teachers access to the program.

Another handy tool to have in the classroom is a document camera. The IPEVO V4K document camera lets you project live-stream presentations, but it also doubles as a scanner to upload projects, live-action images and textbook pages to your computer. The IPEVO is compatible with many document, projector and camera apps, and works with PC, Mac, and Chromebook.