Classroom Must Haves For Teaching in a Pandemic

Year 13 has been quite different..... Teaching in a pandemic is no joke and definitely no walk in the park! My district chose to come back in person in August but did give students the opportunity to choose a virtual route. Occasionally this year, our entire district has gone completely virtual... teachers will report in and teach from school while students login in to our teams meeting from home. If any of our students are in quarantine then they will join us for class live virtually... so I teach both my in person students and my virtual students at the same the time. And I've also taught from home when I was in quarantine while the students were at school. So I've dipped my toes in a little bit of all of the possible scenarios for teaching in a pandemic... just trying to adjust and make the best of it and still give my students the best possible year we can have.... and trying to keep a little bit of my sanity along the way...if that is even possible!

Here are a few products I thought I'd share that have made things a bit easier this year while teaching in person and virtually in a pandemic.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission (at NO cost to you!) if you click through and make a purchase.


1. Desktop Behavior Clip Chart Bookmarks from Creative Teaching Press

In the past I have always used a large clip chart that everyone had a clip for... this year in attempt from having kids get up and wonder around the room and keep from touching everything I decided to use these personal size mini clip chart bookmarks from Creative Teaching Press. I laminated them and attached a magnet to the back and gave them a mini clip from the Target Dollar Spot. These keep these on the side of their desk. It's worked out great.  

2. Learning Tool Kits and Magnetic Hooks

Students also keep a learning tool kit on the side of their desks. They hang these tool kits on a magnetic hook. In the past I have grouped students in groups of 4 and had a shelf beside of each group and used caddies for things like this. Depending on the time of the year they may keep different things in their kits.... but I'll show you in the next pic what they keep all the time.

Inside of the kit they keep their reader, a large foam die, highlighter, ruler, dry erase paddle, dry erase marker and eraser. The paddles are great to hold up when they are virtual to answer questions so they don't have to unmute/mute constantly... they fit right inside and don't take up as much room as a board would. We use the highlighters to check work and also for our word work and the die is used for word work as well.

These have been super handy also for if/when a student goes into quarantine and has to be virtual for awhile or if our entire district goes virtual they can easily just take the kit home and have what they need. They will add their chromebook charger to it. 

3. Pencil Box Name Tags

I have used these pencil box name tags for a few years now from Stephanie Stewart and they have been super handy in the past for flexible seating and then this year were a life savor for when students go virtual they can easily take their box home and have access to their number line and alphabet at home.

4. Mini Packs of Tissues

I get these in an 8 pack from Dollar Tree and students keep these in their desk. I keep these stock piled since they are so cheap. No using the same box of tissues or students constantly getting up for a tissue with this little idea.

5. Recess Bags

Recess in a pandemic can get a little tricky when we can't all be grouped up sharing a pile of Legos and other classroom toys! So I had to get creative with how to make recess still an enjoyable time in the day that students look forward to. So I purchased some drawstring bags and added a name tags (I laminated for durability) with a binder ring. Students keep these in their cubbies and grab at recess time. You can get this tag and letter I sent home explaining the bags to families in my tpt store as a little freebie. :) 

 I know this year looks different for everyone and districts across the country are all doing things differently... but hopefully you can find something useful here that's working for me. I'd love to hear some ideas of things you are doing that's working for you!! We are all better together!

Hang in there friends and keep on being amazing! We're teachers and we always rise above whatever obstacles are handed to us and make lemonade out of lemons! I have no doubt that each of you are doing amazing things no matter what your district chose to do this school year.

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