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March 19, 2021

Things that Have Made Life Easier

Last summer I used quite a bit of time to research how to be a virtual teacher and teaching with a mask. Part of learning was finding items from Amazon that could make my life a little easier. I wanted to share what has worked well with you today.

Disclaimer- I don’t get any money for this. I just want to share.

Headset: I love this so much I bought one for both home and for the classroom so I didn’t have to haul it back and forth. I don’t use it all the time, but it’s great to use for reading picture books and for anytime that I can’t be exactly right in front of the screen. 

Phone holder: This has helped with turning my phone into a document camera at home. I can log into my Teams app and show my workbooks, or I can use it to record with my phone and then post the video. 

Laptop riser: I like how this brings both of my laptops (school and home) up to eye level. I like how my neck doesn’t hurt because it’s up higher. I got one for home and then another for school, then my husband wanted one for him too- so yes, we now own three of them. 

Xlarge TV Tray: We have an office at the house, but when all 5 of us were working/schooling from home last spring we quickly learned that I needed to be up in our bedroom since it’s quieter. At that time my middle was also doing his school on the couch, so we got one for him too. I use this tray when I’m upstairs since it can easily fold away. It can fit my laptop/riser and a clipboard next it it. 

3 Tray Cart: Just like the TV tray, I learned I’m a slob that needs to contain all the random teacher materials at home. I grabbed one of these from Michael’s last summer and then we liked it so much we picked up these from Amazon to help organize my kids as well. The Michael’s one is made from metal, while Amazon’s is made from heavy plastic. 

Folding Portable Whiteboard: When I was making my little classroom for home, I found this awesome magnetic whiteboard that stands up. I keep it on the top of my rolling cart. It is kind of awkward to hold and flip back and forth to write on and then show on screen, but it’s a great size when you need something bigger than a clipboard whiteboard. Yeah, I have those too. 

Now that kids are coming back, I have these items ready too:

Electric Whistle: I picked this up last fall when we had been told the kids were coming.. and then they didn’t come. It just requires a battery to operate and it’s loud for the entire playground to hear. I tested it the other day and it’s like a loud smoke alarm beep.

Lanyards: I've used lanyards for field trips, but I wanted a fresh pack.  I was going to use these without the label so the kids have something to clip their masks on for recess and eating their snack.  They will keep them in their desk at the end of the day.  

Voice Amplifier: I don’t like to raise my voice, so I picked up a portable microphone to help me project. Another teacher had told me that her voice hurt from talking loud in a mask. I’m hopeful that my voice won’t be sore from all the talking. This can get loud too, so could even use it outside. 

Name tag Labels: I picked up a 500 roll of labels.  You know how much I love to laminate, and I did take a class set and laminate for their desks, but the others will be easy to prep for their pencil pouches, folders, composition books, etc.  Labels, Labels, Everywhere!  

Pencil Pouches: I know the kids will probably bring items from home, but they are supposed to bring everything they bring to class back home every day.  I want to do something for them that can include items just in case they forget.  These will include a couple of pencils, a highlighter, and a mini container of play-doh.  Play-doh makes stress go away...  


Waterproof Pouches: I was going back and forth between folders vs. pouches for the sole reason of the daily disinfecting spray. These won't go home, but they will contain some sheets of copy paper and binder paper in their desks so we won't have to pass things out.  We are asking the students to have a folder to take loose papers home. When I need to refill the pouches the kids will drop into a labeled bucket. 

I have bought other things this year for the classroom and school kids.  I'll share them in other posts and why I got them.  I hope that I'm prepared for the kids to come in person next Monday. I'm getting nervous and excited, and trying to think positive.  I hope you have a great weekend!

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