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Published on July 23rd, 2019 | by Steven


Top 10 School Supplies First Grade Teachers Rejoice Over

Do you want to start the new school year off on the right foot? Back to school supply lists are as old as time. What you might not know is how these lists come to be. The majority of lists are made specifically by the classroom teacher. Lists include mainly items for the students, but also some for the classroom and for the teacher. The requests may not make any sense to you and that is fine. But please, take my advice, if teachers ask for a specific brand of supply, make them happy and spend the few extra dollars.

I have been teaching first grade for many, many years. I’ve been given and used tons of different supplies. These are the top 10 supplies that make first grade teachers really happy! As you will read, we aren’t trying to be a pain, there really is a good reason behind each request. Apples are always a plus!

10. Felt Tip Markers

This was something I had not heard of until my daughter’s 6th grade teacher had them on her supply list. I’m not going to lie, I was annoyed at first. I had no idea what they were, why they were so important, or why I couldn’t find them. She only wanted red and black, but of course there wasn’t just a pack with red and black. My selfish side decided to keep the green and blue to try them out. Oh. My. Gosh. These things were heaven! Heaven on paper! I’ve discovered that Paper Mate has lots of fun colors of these, too (LINK 10)! They add a pop of color, write wider than an ink pen and when I get annoyed with my class, I can pop that lid on and off louder and quicker than they have ever heard.

9. Glue

Ugh, glue. There are pros and cons to both liquid glue and glue sticks. Elmer’s glue sticks that go on purple is helpful for kids to know where they put the glue (LINK 9). While glue sticks are MUCH easier to use and not as messy, they still get first grade fingers stuck together. Another downside of glue sticks, is that the glue doesn’t hold all that long. This is where liquid glue takes the cake.

When kids use a half-dollar size instead of pea-size amount of glue, that piece of paper isn’t going anywhere! Another bonus of liquid glue is you can just rub your fingers together and it’s gone! Sometimes it wrinkles paper, but that’s a small price to pay. Stick with whatever type is on your list, your teacher has their favorite. Whatever happened to paste?

8. Tissue with Lotion

Tissue is an age-old school supply. You can’t go wrong with a few boxes of plain old tissue, right? Try telling that to a sick teacher who has blown her nose so much that she now looks like Rudolph. Try telling that to the student who has gotten up to blow their nose for the tenth time before 9:00 am. Now, I am not saying that every box of tissue has to be the lotion kind. However, a decent reserve for the sick months feels amazing on these raw noses. My deepest sympathies for all the sick noses prior to 1987 when Puffs introduced their tissue with lotion (LINK 8).

7. Highlighters

This is a supply that I am not picky about. First graders LOVE using highlighters! Something to underline? Highlight it! Something to circle? Highlight it! Something to box? …you get my point! There are many colors of highlighters. Personally, I prefer the yellow one. Through many trials and errors, it is the only one you can photocopy and the mark won’t show up. Who knew?! Apparently the highlighter guys did… (LINK 7) Anyway, this is one very simple supply to get students engaged in a lesson. Win-win for everyone!

6. Baby Wipes

Baby wipes you say? Oh yes! I had a mom one year tell me that her son doesn’t need baby wipes because he knows how to use the bathroom. That is great, and by First Grade, I expect him to. However, what first comes to mind when you hear baby wipes, is the last thing on my list. There are a million and one ways baby wipes can be used in a classroom – especially a classroom without a sink. Shall I begin? We use them for wiping faces and clothes on breakfast days with syrup. We use them for birthday cupcakes with the frosting that ends up looking like blue, green and red lipstick. We use them for hands that just devoured an apple and are all kinds of juicy.

We use them for desks that have dried juice on them. We use them for faces with white toothpaste marks. (Yay, they brushed their teeth!) We use them for new shoes that played hard and got dirty on the playground. We use them for cleaning up any gluey messes. We use them to clean up just about anything and everything in our classroom. Bonus…our room smells as fresh as a baby’s bottom! Fun Fact: Huggies baby wipes are washable and when dry, can be reused as dry dust cloths. (LINK 6) Huh!

5. Expo Dry Erase Markers

It took me a few years of using various kinds of dry erase markers to be sold on this one. Wet and dry erase markers replaced chalk due to allergies because of the dust when erasing (LINK 5). A dry erase marker is a dry erase marker, no? No! Expo markers have a wide tip, not a pointy one. There’s always a student in the back of my classroom who can read the board when I use a thin, pointy tip marker.

Wide is the way to go. Expo markers have bright, solid colors. I know the students in the back will be able to see and judge the dog that I just (tried) to draw on the board. My heart really skips a beat when I pull out the package that isn’t just 4 black markers, or a red, blue, green and black, but the pack with the brown, pink, purple, and orange! Those are the way to a teacher’s heart, trust me! You may even see a quick happy dance.

4. Crayola Markers

I have not met a child that has turned down coloring with Crayola markers. There are options to please anyone looking for a marker – from markers designed for toddlers, to thin tip, wide tip, poster tip, different color combinations, skinny markers to fat markers, smelly markers… you’d be hard fought to not find something you’re looking for. Plus, the lid ALWAYS goes on the first time. With other brands, once you get the lid off, you can never get it back on. No lid = dried up marker = unhappy kids = annoyed teachers

Did you know that washable markers have been around for 32 years? That’s right! Crayola came out with washable markers in 1987. Regular markers
had been introduced 9 years earlier in 1978 (LINK 4).

3. Crayola Crayons

Are Crayola crayons worth the higher price than their generic counterparts? This teacher thinks so! Crayola crayons are the real deal when it comes to true colors. Looking for red? Crayola has it! The other brands say they are red, but really, it’s that weird reddish, pinkish, purple. When color by number pages ask for red, give the kid a red!

One incredible thing I learned is the Crayola crayon is the 3rd most recognizable smell right behind peanut butter and coffee (LINK 3)! Who can look away from this mesmerizing video of crayons being made? This is somehow evidence that Crayola crayons are the best! (LINK 3)

2. Pink Pearl Erasers

Pink Pearl erasers are another favorite of mine! When I see this included in supply bags, I want to save them for myself. But don’t worry, I share! The reason these erasers are so amazing is that they erase everything, completely. They do not leave weird pinkish marks on the paper or smear pencil marks around leaving a mess like all the others do. Pink Pearl erasers do their job. They erase the pencil marks so students can learn from that mistake and move on. Teachers love this! Fun fact: Eberhard Faber was in charge of not only creating this fabulous eraser, but he also was the first to put an eraser on the top of a pencil (LINK 2)!

1. Ticonderoga Pencils

This is my personal #1 school supply that literally puts a smile on my face! When I pull out a box of pencils and see green and yellow stripes by the eraser, I know I’ve hit the jackpot! Ticonderoga pencils are the best because the lead is always centered in the wood. When the pencil is sharpened, you always get a nice, sharp point of lead. Other brands of pencils are not always centered and when you sharpen them, often you get one half lead and the other half wood.

Equally frustrating are the packages of pencils with the lead broken in them. Students get frustrated because the lead continues to fall out of the pencil. Teachers get frustrated because students need new pencils way more often than they should. I hope you can see where I am going with this… With Ticonderoga pencils, this is hardly ever the case. Great Pencils = Happy Teachers!

About the Author

Professional reader. Hipster-friendly alcohol lover. Extreme writer. Creator. Lifelong bacon junkie. Avid gamer. Passionate organizer.

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