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15 Essential Items Every Classroom Needs

Basic School Supplies

You should always make sure to keep a collection of pens, pencils, notebook paper, highlighters, scissors, and pretty much anything else students will inevitably forget to bring to class. 

Art Supplies

Stock some construction paper, markers, crayons, and watercolors for when a student gets a homework assignment done early or if you want to have a spontaneous arts and crafts hour.

Homework Trays

Students need a clear place to turn in their homework, so if you designate some trays for that purpose, they won’t disturb you at your desk over and over again, trying to hand it to you.

Boxes & Filing Cabinets

Adequate storage is a necessity for any classroom because you’ll need a place to keep holiday decor, art projects, and other various supplies. Be sure to label these boxes so you can easily find what you need.


While a store-bought small calendar is great for your desk, you should also have a large calendar displayed in the classroom for your students to use as a reference. You can DIY or purchase a poster-sized one. 


Having a reading corner will hopefully inspire your students to develop their reading skills, as well as a passion for books, so keep a variety of genres in your mini library. 

Grade Book

This an oldie, but a goody. Technology isn’t always reliable, so it’s a smart idea to keep track of all of your grades and assignments in one physical book.

Substitute Teacher Packet

You never know when you’ll have to take a sick day on short notice, so plan ahead and have a folder prepared for your substitute teacher with lesson plans, class lists, seating charts, and class rules. 


Not only do maps of your state, country, and world provide an interesting aesthetic, but they can help your students pick up some geography. 

Trash Cans

Yes, several of them. Spending a little extra money is worth having accessible trash cans for your students (instead of them just leaving trash on the floor).

Hand Sanitizer

It’s no secret: Kids are germy. Teach them good hygiene habits and encourage them to sanitize their hands frequently. Then hopefully they won’t catch as many colds. 

Attendance Binder

Whenever a student misses a day or two, you can make it easier on yourself and them by keeping all of the missed assignments in one binder for them to look at. 

Wet and Dry Erase Markers

For when you want to write something temporary on the board, dry erase is great, and when you want something a little more permanent, wet erase is your go-to.

Deck of Cards

Cards can be used for more than just games. You can use them to form random groups (by whatever suit/number they pick), if you need a random number for something, or you can glue different writing prompts or activities to the back & have your students pick one during activity periods. 

Educational Games

Games like Trivial Pursuit Junior and Scrabble Junior will keep the kiddos entertained when your lesson plan runs a little shorter than you thought it would. They’re still learning, so you don’t even have to feel guilty!