Back to School Must Haves for Elementary Teachers

It’s that time of year again! Back to school season! Whether you are a first year teacher or you’ve been at this for a while, you are probably starting to think (at least a little bit) about the new school year and how you’d like to start the year with your young students. After all, preparing a classroom and first week of school activities isn’t something you should leave for the last minute. Now is the time to review your school supplies list and ensure you’ve got all the classroom essentials you’ll need at the beginning of the year. Here are some of my absolute favorite back to school must haves for elementary teachers.

THINGS TO KEEP YOU ORGANIZED 

When it comes to back to school must haves, I’ve gotta start with organization. I don’t know about you, but I can’t function in chaos! I like plans, order, and organization. (Can you say “Type A?!”) If you can relate, then you probably understand the value of having solid systems for classroom organization, lesson planning, and parent communication so important documents, information, or plans aren’t getting lost throughout the school day. Here are a couple of my favorite teacher organization items that help me stay sane and organized throughout the school year. 

Farmhouse Teacher Binder 


This is the only teacher binder you will ever need! The purpose of this binder is to give you an organized space to keep track of your lesson plans, standards, meeting notes, IEP’s, and more! This comes in a gorgeous farmhouse theme and includes everything you could possibly need – and if it IS missing something, there are editable copies of EVERYTHING, so you can make it suit your needs! 

This binder includes the following editable pages: 

  • Student Roster
  • Safety Procedures
  • Class Schedule
  • Birthdays
  • Student Information Sheet
  • Parent Contact Sheet
  • Parent Contact Log
  • Password Saver
  • Monthly Calendar (Jan 21-July 2022 – fully editable for future years)
  • AND MORE!!

Included in this mega-set, you will also receive pages for creating a binder for substitute teachers. 

Classroom Labels 

As I mentioned, I like order. In my classroom, everything has it’s place and I prefer it that way. Not only does this help me to be a more peaceful teacher, it makes it easier for my students to have a sense of ownership and autonomy in their classroom space. They know where to find specific items they may need.

This set of classroom labels can be used for names, supplies, table numbers, etc. Each label is fully editable! Truly, the possibilities are endless!

STANDARD CLASSROOM SUPPLIES

When it comes to setting up elementary classrooms, having the right school supplies on hand can make your life SO MUCH EASIER. Most schools provide a school supply list for students to bring with them on the first day. (Things like markers, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, etc.) However, there are some additional classroom supplies that can helpful for elementary teachers to acquire before the school year begins. Things like: 

  • Binder clips
  • Chart paper 
  • Sticky notes (lots of those!!)
  • Electric pencil sharpeners
  • Dry erase pockets
  • Storage bins (think storing art supplies, learning center activities, etc.)  
  • Expo markers
  • Flair pens 
  • Paper clips 
  • Construction paper

Before purchasing these items with your own money, check with your school administrator about school or district funds for back to school shopping. Many school districts have a line item in the budget to help teachers restock on supplies. Some schools even have additional money available if you are a new teacher setting up your classroom for the first time. You may also consider creating an Amazon wishlist or setting up a school supply donation station on Meet the Teacher night. Often parents of new students are happy to contribute supplies or funds to purchase new supplies for their child’s classroom. 

GETTING YOUR CLASSROOM READY

Once you’ve collected all of the essential items you’ll need this school year, it’s time to set up your classroom! (Is it just me, or is there something so fun and exciting about prepping a classroom for a new batch of elementary students?!) So…grab your label maker, personal laminator, and staple gun (because everyone has those…right?!), and let’s get to work! Here are a few items to help make your classroom “student ready.”

Back to School Bulletin Boards 


These Back to School posters create an instant bulletin board display for the first week of school or to display for August or September. Simply print and put up with your favorite bulletin board border and presto! Your bulletin board is transformed into a gorgeous back-to-school display. These posts make a great display for open houses too! 

Interested in additional themed bulletin boards? 

I’ve got you covered! In this bulletin board bundle, you’ll receive posters for the entire school year! This package includes seasonal and holiday bulletin board themes, so you can easily “mix it up” throughout your year. 

School Supply Donation Station 

If you need classroom supply donations this is a cute way to display your wishlist. Put them out at a donation station with the cute little sign. Cut out each of the coffee cups and have your parents choose one to help with! This is a super cute and easy meet-the-teacher night station that will help you and your students get the supplies you need!

This Product Includes:

  • 30 preset coffee cups with images and supply labels
  • An editable set of coffee cups (must have PowerPoint to edit)
  • “Thanks a latte” donation sign
  • Tracking Sheet for who takes which latte!

Themed Decor

Choosing a classroom theme is a great way to create a learning environment that is cohesive, inviting, and enjoyable to be in. When it comes to choosing a theme for your classroom, it truly is a matter of personal preference! Are you a bright colors kind of person? Do you prefer calm, more neutral tones? Or would you choose  story-based themes, such as Hungry Caterpillar classroom? Not sure yet? No worries! Here are a few of my personal favorites to get your wheels turning. 

Each of these classroom decor bundles comes with several different sets of classroom posters, banners, editable classroom calendars, and so much more! 

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL ESSENTIALS

When it comes to planning the first week of school, I recommend focusing on three key priorities:

  • Establish classroom rules, routines, and expectations.
  • Get to know your new students.
  • Have fun! Make school an enjoyable place to be.

The following activities are a few of my top back to school must haves for the first week of school! Each of these resources will help you to meet those three important goals during those precious first days with your new class.

All About Me Activity 

This is a fun first-day activity for your students. Students will connect to these fun tablet-styled sheets by having each tidbit about them look like an app or a social media feed! They will enjoy filling it out and letting you get to know them, plus as a bonus they create a great first bulletin board or visual for your class!

Included in this product: 

  • 1 “owl” about me page
  • 1 iPad with 9 categories 
  • 1 blank iPad for you to add your categories 

First Day of School Ice Breaker 

What elementary student doesn’t love bingo?!  This first day of school activity is a great way to help students make friends and get used to being back in the classroom. Print out a page for each student and have them walk around the room trying to find other students who fit the squares! (Pro Tip: I usually say they can’t repeat a name to make it more challenging!) Trust me, your whole class will be going home bragging about the fun day they had!

Meet the Teacher Cards 

Hoping to make a great first impression with the parents and kids in your class? These adorable “Meet the Teacher” cards provide a fun and memorable way for you to introduce yourself to your new class (and their parents.) These can be saved as images and emailed digitally or uploaded on a class website, or they can be printed off and sent home. I recommend laminating first and maybe even putting magnets on the back so they can be stuck on a fridge.

Interested in all of these activities for your upcoming school year?

These activities really are the perfect way to start your school year off on the right foot. (Trust me…they each come with the approval of a class full of six-year-olds.) Grab the whole set (plus several additional activities) in THIS VALUE PACKED BUNDLE. In addition to the products featured above, my First Day of School Essentials bundle comes with: 

  • “Ready Confetti” Tags
  • Student Partner Cards 
  • Student Reward Coupons 

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