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5 Teaching Aids Worth Having

When we are in our classroom, it’s “us against the world.” There are times in the classroom when we have too many questions to answer, but if we have a good teaching aid to reference, the number of students who need help might go down. Teaching aids are great to have around the room, in special binders, in centers, and on the walls.  In addition to the students needing help, the teacher might need a little help behind the scenes as well. What do you do when there’s so much to be answered and done and there’s not enough time to do it all? Find teaching aids to help you and your students. Here are five teaching aids worth having in your classroom. 

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#1 Anchor Charts

One of the simplest teaching aids you can have your classroom is an anchor chart. An anchor chart has need to know information on it about the lesson you are currently talking about. For example, if you are talking about the water cycle, you might have the diagram on an anchor chart next to an experiment you are working on. 

Anchor charts can be a great reference for students who just need an extra boost. Not only will this give you more time with students who need more help, it will also boost your students’ problem solving skills. 

There are several different types of anchor charts out there including: 

  • Formula posters
  • Word walls 
  • Diagrams 
  • Word Parts
  • Reading comprehension strategies 

While all of these are great anchor chart options, there are no limits to what you can put on your walls as a reference for your students. These references can be simple for you to point students in the direction of so they can learn to grapple with problems for a while before you come to the rescue. 

#2 Student “Boxes” 

Another great tool in the classroom to have are student boxes. These boxes can take several different forms including: 

  • “Stuff” box: This is a pencil box that all students have that contain the basic needs for day to day tasks such as a pencil, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, a highlighter, a small calculator, and maybe some scrap paper. While this can be a little spendy to start off with, it could help cut down on disruptions during instruction. If you’re worried about students holding onto their pencils, try staring a pencil war to see who wins. 
  • “I’m done” box: The “I’m done” box is there for your fast finishers can be found in your literacy center. By having all the pieces for a literacy center in a box, your students can go straight to work with minimal guidance from you. 

By having boxes that contain much needed items and maybe some extra work, you are eliminated disruptions in the classroom. 

#3 Early Finisher Binder

Beyond having center boxes available to your students, you can also have an “early finisher” binder around that includes activities to do to enhance skills your currently working on or to keep up on past skills. Some activities you could have in your binder might include: 

Having something for students to do right away will stop them from asking you what to do next repeatedly. 

#4 Login Locations 

One of the big frustrations of teaching is keeping track of not only all of your logins, but all of your student’s logins as well. To help make your life easier, create a simple student login “cheat” to help your students remember their logins or having a location they can get to them. 

Having this login checker around will be really helpful if your fast finisher activity is online or if you are trying to get several students logged on for testing, a survey, or some other reason. 

#5 Mini Time Savers

Finally, one of the best teaching aids you can have in the classroom is a little extra time. In order to give yourself a little extra time throughout the school year or even the school day, find little ways to lessen the load. For example, you can: 

  • Purchase pre-made borders
  • Find stencils or pre-cut letters online 
  • Explore TpT for fast finisher ideas, review games, and more 

TpT as well as other online resources can be a huge help in the long run. Not only do you get great content by looking at these sources, you also won’t have to reinvent the wheel. 

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When teaching, time is always of the essence especially when it’s you against your students. Make sure you are doing everything you can to save yourself some time, and save your students from a life of dependency. Having aids around the room as helpers, can transform your students into problem solvers. 

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