Setting up your self-contained classroom can be somewhat of a headache. Knowing what to buy for your classroom can make some people lose their minds! That is why I wanted to write a blog post for all of my Amazon must-haves so that you don't have to scour the internet wondering what the best things are for your classroom.
I have been teaching in the self-contained setting for over 15 years. I have wasted so much of my own money on things that I thought would be great for my classroom that ended up being a total fail. Don't be like me!
Read all of my must-haves and see if you have any of these things in your classroom now!
This post contains affiliate links
Swingline Paper Cutter (15 inch)
SPED prepping takes a lot of work when you are a special education teacher! Many of the materials that you will be prepping over the years, you will be cutting. Not having to leave my room to do all of the paper cutting has saved me and my paraprofessionals so much time. I can cut so much faster using this paper cutter! It is definitely an Amazon must-have!
Washi Tape (colored masking tape)
I love using washi tape as a visual boundary around my classroom. I divide spaces on my classroom whiteboards, I create a calendar on my wall, I divide student tables and desks and I have even used washi tape to create visual boundaries on the floors. There are so many great uses for washi tape.
Task Boxes Storage Container (photo and craft keeper)
When you have lots of task boxes to keep organized you are going to need a storage container to keep them all in. I usually find mine at Michaels on sale, but I found this dupe on Amazon, that would work the same. I could not live without at least 15 of these in my classroom! In my classroom, I have over 500 different task boxes that we use all year long. If you are looking for task boxes to use in your special education classrooms, you can check out my Life Skills Task boxes or even my Academic Task Boxes which will help you supplement your instruction all year long.
Scotch 13″ Thermal Laminator (the extra large one)
Now, I'm not gonna lie, I have like 4 different laminators that I use. I have two at school and two at home, but I use the big one 90% of the time. This Scotch Laminator I have had for years and have run so much through it. I really thought it would have died by now, but it is still going strong. We use it in my classroom almost every single day! However, I will tell you that I do not purchase the Scotch laminating pouches that go with it. I use the Amazon Basics laminating pouches and they work the exact same and are WAY cheaper!
Dry Erase Pockets (wipeable, clear sheet protector)
Don't feel like laminating? No problem. These dry-erase pockets are a great alternative! If I am working with a student I can easily slip the worksheet into this pocket and give them a dry erase marker, to make marks on the page. It's a super simple solution if you want to reuse the page!
Fidget Toys (for busy hands)
I love to start out the year with brand new fidgets. Amazon always has all of my must-haves when it comes to fidgets for special education teachers. I like getting them new every year because the ones that I have all year are very loved and they are always coming out with new types, so I like to make sure that I have new items as well! This pack of fidget toys, must students have loved!
Hook and Loop dots (adhesive velcro)
Although, I can't make an Amazon must-have post without mentioning velcro!! We live by this stuff in my classroom. We can never have enough. When I was first starting out, I would never buy the dots (or coins) because they were more expensive, but now this is all that I buy because it saves so much time and I don't have to throw away scissors! These hook and Loop dots are worth every single penny!
Additionally, when you are setting up your special education classroom this year, remember that there are a few Amazon must-haves that should go on that list! Let me know in the comments if you think I forgot something! If you are looking for more blog posts about how to set up your classroom, try reading 10 TIPS FOR SETTING UP YOUR AUTISM CLASSROOM!