best of classroom suppliesContributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

School is back in session. And if you’re a teacher, that means it’s time to look over the classroom supplies and project materials, and see what you need to make this year the best one yet.

After all who wants a bare classroom? If you’re overwhelmed by the choices, we want to help. Here are a few of the best class room supplies we’ve heard about so far this year.


Books, Books, Books

Classroom books that fit into a teacher’s salary


Books on shelf

Along with cutbacks in staffing, equipment and project materials, funding for books has also been slashed in many school districts. If yours is one of them, Dover Publications is a way to keep your classroom bookshelves full without spending a fortune at the big chain bookstores. They carry everything from books for a kindergarten classroom to adult reading level books for middle school and high school class rooms, often with as much as a 90% discount. (Seriously, they have books as low as $2!) Pass this hint along to your school librarian, too!

Cooking Up Art!

A classroom kiln for under $250

Cutbacks in art funding have made it difficult to offer students a chance to try mediums beyond paper and paint. But with an enameling kiln , your students can make jewelry, small bowls and other fired enamels right in the classroom using ordinary household current. Enameling supplies are available at most larger craft stores, or you can start with a basics kit which includes the tools your students will need to get started.

“Stan the Man”

Guaranteed to never ask for a bathroom pass or miss a test

How cool would it be for your students to learn anatomy from a life-sized skeleton instead of a tiny picture in a text book? This bony guy is ready to be your classroom mascot, as well as the most effective teaching tool available for making all the names of those bones and joints into something real and memorable. Pair Stan with a unisex torso from 3B Scientific to teach organ placement and interaction in a way your students will understand and remember well beyond the final exam.

After your students meet Stan, you’ll never hear complaints about how BORING science class is! In fact, you’ll probably have to chase the kids out of your room after class.

Make it a Game

Classroom games that make learning into play


There is only so much kids can learn from lectures and books. Study after study has shown that active learning is more effective in teaching complex concepts. And kids who learn using classroom games and toys retain the information longer, too. The game show model is especially effective in getting even the most quiet students involved in learning. Prize wheels that let you customize (and change) the content are a great tool for bringing that experience into your classroom. You may not command the salary of Vanna White, but your students will remember what they learned in your class … priceless!

Encourage imagination

Props and classroom gear to spark make-believe


One of the greatest gifts a teacher can give their students is to encourage an active imagination. And a great collection of dramatic play and make-believe classroom supplies for preschool and elementary school classrooms is essential. Whether you just want a toy cash register to set up a pretend store, a mirror to encourage movement or a complete preschool play kitchen, they have all of that and more. And best of all, it’s at prices that won’t send fear into a principal’s budget review or teacher’s wallet!