Summer has flown by and believe it or not, it’s back to school time already! As you prep and plan for the new year ahead, you’re no doubt loading up on fun new goodies for your kiddos and classroom. Check out these teacher tried and student favorite products to kick your year off on the right foot!
Botley the Coding Robot
If you’re an educator who either loves coding or is even just a tiny bit curious…meet your NEW coding bestie: Botley, the code to classroom fun! Botley is a 77-Piece screen-free coding robot set – the only full robot activity set on the market for ages 5+.
Sure he’s cute and coding is a major buzzword, but what value does Botley bring to your classroom coding experience? Below are my top 5 reasons Botley is a MUST for your back to school list, and you can read more HERE in my post all about this adorable little bot!
- Ready to go
- No coding experience needed
- 100% screen-free coding
- Challenge & grow
- Advance coding features
Code & Go Robot Mouse
Your students will love this adorable little mouse-bot named Colby that gives students both open-ended and guided challenge cards for creating different mazes with obstacles and the end reward of catching the cheese! I love this set because it has all of the benefits of screen-free coding in a fun and exciting way.
Watch the videos below to see how Code & Go Robot Mouse works and see it in use in a classroom setting. Your students will love it so much…they’ll SQUEAL (just like Colby does when he captures the cheese)! See this cute coding robot in action HERE.
DRAMATIC PLAY & EXPLORATION STATION
Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register
Set your students up with opportunities to experience and explore money play. We all remember playing with fake cash registers, imagining we were working at a store or restaurant. Those experiences are important for so many reasons, so make sure they are hands-on money opportunities for your littles, as well.
The Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register is always a hit because it fits perfectly in both money math centers and dramatic play stations for PreK through second grade. To learn more about money math play for engaged learning in the classroom, check out my previous post HERE.
New Sprouts Classroom Play Food Set
We know as teachers how important play is for developing so many skills in our young learners. From teamwork, to oral language development, and from problem-solving to math skills, the ripple effects of dramatic play in early elementary classrooms cannot be underestimated. I absolutely love this Classroom Play Food Set by Learning Resources!
In this super handy, portable tote, you receive all the yummy food (100 pc) you need for dramatic play centers and early nutrition lessons. Invite early imaginative play, build vocabulary, and reinforce healthy eating. Partner this kit with the Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register above to blend pretend play with nutrition and money math skills!
Jumbo Magnifier Set of 12
Bring out the budding scientists and explorers in your classroom with these awesome jumbo magnifiers.
Your students can experience observations in a BIG way with these oversized magnifying lenses. With both hand-held and hands-free (flip-out stand feature) options, these magnifiers are perfect to let your students look more closely at items from nature, fabric, and any of the goodies you typically feature in your sensory tubs, bins, and tubes!
Makerspaces are all the rage, but how and where do you get started? Kick off maker magic this school year with these favorites from Learning Resources!
Start simple by stocking your makerspace with familiar math manipulatives to design and build with.
These Mathlink Cubes are perfect for your students to use their imaginations to build imaginative creations using a familiar material/tool. Using something simple combined with genius ideas from your students means the possibilities are endless!
Gears Super Set
Challenge your budding engineers to build more with this 150-piece gears super set. The giant storage tub of colorful, spinning gears will put creativity, motor skills, and hands-on construction play to the test. I love this for my students because unlike typical building materials for makerspaces, these work together and create movement.
This gives your kiddos a new experience with STEM concepts and potential creations. Check out these gears in action by watching this video!
Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run
Get critical thinking skills rolling with your students during makerspace time! Turn your magnetic whiteboards into a world of marble run wonders. Students create their own unique marble run with long, short, and curved magnetic pieces—then, drop the marble from the highest point to see your design come to life!
Encourage your students to take the challenge to the next level by building the designs pictured on the activity cards. Endless combinations of designs provide open-ended exploration and multiple levels of learning for all students, making problem-solving and engineering engaging and fun! See Tumble Trax in action in this video!
Classroom management tools are an absolute must each year at back to school time. Teachers know that in order to kick off a great school year, you need excellent classroom management. We are always up for new, exciting, teacher-tested-and-approved tools to help us get off on the right foot. Check out two of my top picks for back to school management miracles.
Magnetic Ten Frame Boards
Whether you use these Magnetic Ten Frame Boards during whole group math carpet time or small group instruction, these hand-held boards increase participation, make learning/reviewing hands-on, and give you as the teacher instant formative assessment on how well your students are understanding number sense skills.
Students feel confidence in showing what they know using magnetic foam counters on these write-on-wipe-off tools that feature both ten frames and twenty frames for differentiated use.
Get students actively engaged as they practice skills or you assess them! These “game show buzzers” turn any lesson into a game. Four different colors with fun sounds spice up daily routines, participation, and quick assessment. You’ll find endless ways to utilize these tools throughout your day, in whole group, small group, and times of transition.
Hip, hip, hooray for back to school! I hope these top ten picks of my classroom favorites give you some new ideas for your new year! We’d love for you to share your favorite classroom ways to use these materials in the comments or on social media!