I am updating my supplies and organization in my school room and wondering what is your favorite tool or item you highly recommend? I just learned about the Ticonderoga Pencils, but now in need of a good pencil sharpener. What about storage, arts/craft supplies, storing kids past work assignments, desk or workspace, etc. If you have limited space, any tricks/ideas to share? Thank you so much for your creative ideas/suggestions.
I used to go to the media lab at the university where DH works to laminate...very cheap ($0.25/inch x36" wide or $0.35-0.50 for 8.5x11"). Then they wanted to sell one of their laminators and gave me a great deal so now I do smaller projects at home. You could check to see if your community has a teacher supply room for similar prices and lots of other fun stuff.
We love our window markers. We do not need a chalk board or a white board.
One of my favorite things in our room is our Mason jars. I have them on top of our bookshelf filled with school stuff-paintbrushes, magnetic letters, math wraps, colored pencils, counting beans, etc.
It makes a nice decoration and keeps the manipulatives visible so I don't forget about them.
I have an inexpensive Scotch laminator and it is one of the best things ever!! I got it for Mother's Day last year and we use it all the time!!
I also use Mason jars to store a lot of supplies and they are very handy and look nice as well. :)
My wireless printer is the coolest thing ever. Me and my laptop anywhere in the house can print a sheet for the kids. Seriously awesome!!
Filing cabinets and anything with drawers are pretty fabulous in my book as well.
Last but not least is play-doh or silly putty. The kids (and I) will hold some in our non-dominant hand to sort or mush around while we work. It helps to keep your focus. I have no idea why but it totally works!
I love the big table we have in the middle of our family room - it is where the kids do most of their school work but they clear off their pencils and papers in the afternoon and it becomes a craft table. They clear away everything on the weekends and it becomes a great place for board games or to have a meal with lots of friends. It is actually two small dining tables (the same as each other) - it is so flexible.