ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Teaching Materials to Purchase for Your Elementary School Classroom

Updated on October 4, 2016
randomcreative profile image

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

Source

If you have read any of my other education articles, you most likely already know that I'm a huge advocate of making teaching materials myself. As a special education teacher, I had a limited budget, both at school and on a personal level, so this strategy worked well for me. I devoted and will continue to devote a number of hubs to these materials that I created myself. I also wanted to detail some of the best materials that I have bought during my 4 years of teaching special education or that I inherited in my classroom when I took my special education position. You may be able to get funding from your school to purchase some of the more expensive items.

Source

Silent and Group Reading Books

Classroom books for silent reading/read to self and class read alouds are priceless. Look for deals on books at Scholastic, garage sales, and library weed outs. You can also find lots of used bulk sets on eBay. Books make wonderful presents, too. Don't be afraid to include a few titles on your next Christmas or birthday list.

Read Me a Story, The Reading Lady....Tips on reading stories for the young

Books on Tape or CD

I purchased most of my book on CD sets from Scholastic. I also got a number of sets as gifts. There are lots of complete children's book sets with CDs on Amazon as well. Generally it's cheaper to buy the sets than to collect them individually. Typically my students listen to the CDs so much that they wore them out, but you may find used sets as well.

Free Audio Book for Children: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Chapter 1

Interactive Reading Book Series

I had 4 books from this set and was been pleased with all of them. I originally ordered them from PCI. Their products are now available through Pro Ed. I've provided a link on the right. Typically I make books like this myself because it's difficult to find them. These are well made and worth the money if they address the skill sets that you need to work on with your students. It's cheaper to buy the sets than the individual books.

Bingo Chips

Bingo is a great material for reviewing numerous concepts. You can use the same set of bingo chips with limitless bingo games that you create for your students.

Board Games

Board games that work on matching, numbers, counting, reading, and/or colors are great tools for the classroom. You can use board games for breaks, centers, and indoor recess. Some of my favorite classroom games include Parcheesi, Trouble, Sorry!, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Connect Four, Boggle, Memory, and Chutes and Ladders. Some of my students were also big fans of the Name It game.

2012 Christmas Shopping Guide - Children's Board Games

Source

Teaching Created Resources

I picked up a few Teacher Created books at random from a teacher supply store the summer before I started my special education position. I had no idea then how valuable they would be. I have over a dozen of them now. They provide wonderful supplemental materials for a wide variety of grades and academic subjects. This was wonderful for many of my students who needed lots of repetition with the same skill sets and thus needed more than the general education curriculum provides. Their web site offers other products as well as free lesson plans and printable pages. Many of their books are available through Amazon here with free shipping eligibility.

The Mailbox Magazine

Many school districts subscribe to various grade levels of The Mailbox magazine. Most schools store their back issues in the library or book room. Check if your school has it before shelling out the money for your own subscription. As a special education teacher, one advantage of being in a district with multiple subscriptions is that I can access materials for a range of grade levels. It's a wonderful resource with lesson plans and printable worksheets that cover a wide variety of subjects. They also have a lot of writing prompts and craft projects that are related to seasons or holidays. Check out additional resources on their web site.

Source

Math Manipulatives

I was very fortunate to inherit a number of manipulatives when I got my special education classroom including Unifex snap cubes, pattern blocks, and plastic clocks. If your classroom doesn't already have these sort of materials and your district is not willing to purchase them for you, buy what you need when you need it. You don't need to buy everything all at once. They will be useful for a wide variety of math lessons for a wide variety of ages. I also got a set of overhead manipulatives from an ETA/Cuisenaire kit that I purchased for an undergraduate course. If you teach general education and/or have a large number of special education students for your math lessons, these are a wonderful tool.

I purchased these foam alphabet blocks at Wal-Mart for a couple dollars.
I purchased these foam alphabet blocks at Wal-Mart for a couple dollars. | Source

Puzzles and Additional Fine Motor Skills Materials

I wrote a fine motor skills article, so I won't go into too much detail about this topic here. I purchased the majority of my fine motor materials myself. Prioritize and decide what would be the most useful in your classroom right now. Continue to add to your collection of materials as you can.

Boardmaker

Boardmaker is a wonderful software program that your school should purchase for you. If you can only have one software program (which is how many I had when I taught special education), it's the one to have. If you've read any of my article about materials that I created for my classroom, you know how many different functions Boardmaker can have for stand alone materials, accommodations, and modifications. In addition to being a valuable tool for special education students, it's beneficial for any and all students who are low or non-readers.

Touch Math

I first learned about the Touch Math program 4 years ago. I have used their computation materials as well as some of their clocks and money kits. I inherited a couple computation kits with my classroom. I was able to check out the other kits from my local AEA. I also used the Touch Point numbers in some of my adapted materials for additional practice. You can see an example of this here.

Reading A-Z Series

I had printed versions of Levels AA-E as well as the alphabet books in my classroom. I don't know who printed these for my room, but I didn't have my own subscription. There are lots of other materials for members on the web site. The Title Reading room in my building had a number of the readers, too. If you don't have any or your own subscription, I would check with Title Reading before talking to administration. These readers are great for beginning readers who aren't ready for general education materials or who need supplemental materials for further reinforcement. I made concentration/matching games for a number of the Reading A-Z readers with vocabulary from them, which a number of my students have enjoyed. You can also create vocabulary bingo games.

© 2011 Rose Clearfield

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, DDE! I believe that it's so important for kids to still have exposure to those classic toys and educational materials.

      Thanks, Joan! You're right that these ideas are applicable to home school environments as well.

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 

      5 years ago

      Great ideas for the school classroom as well as the home-schooling classroom.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Good choices for elementary school so many useful ideas for children with modern technology board games are fading away, but you are keeping these choices alive thanks for this one.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks! There is so much out there that it can be really tough to know what is and isn't worth purchasing. As most teachers have limited budgets, it's best to make all of your purchases really worthwhile.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      These are great resources for educators! Sometimes new teachers really don't know where to turn for tips and ideas, and you've pointed them in the right directions. Voted up!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thank you so much! I will!

    • glowingrocks profile image

      glowingrocks 

      7 years ago from New York

      Fantastic write.Up vote.Keep on writing.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks! I'm so glad!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Very useful information.

      JSMatthew~

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)