When you step foot in my classroom you’ll see supplies everywhere. Anything from recycled toilet paper rolls to the high tech robots that students can code. But as a STEAM teacher I’ve found that these are the top 5 products that I cannot live without.
As I discussed in Learning with LEGO, they are such a versatile manipulative that you need them in your classroom. Students of all grade levels use them as we use them for team building activities, as a math manipulative, and a tool to build with for a STEAM challenge. They’re the perfect tool to get students thinking like an engineer and I always use them to start off the school year.
My second love, Keva Planks! Not sure what they are? Read more about them in Krazy About Keva. But in short, they’re the perfect stripped-down building tool. Students really put on their architect hats when they build with these wooden planks and just like LEGO, students of all ages love them.
Yes, you read that correctly - TRASH! I tell parents, family, and friends all the time - “I will take your trash!” It is part of my job to get students to think creatively. What better way to do that than using recyclables? Students are given a challenge a bucket of recyclables and told GO! I’ve had students build catapults, board games, carnival games, and more with random recyclables that are laying around my room. And the best part - they’re free! So go gather all the trash you can find!
What are these exactly? A pen that prints in 3D! Yes, you read that correctly. The pen actually prints with plastic filament as students draw with it. They’re perfect for getting students to build replicas, to go from 2D drawings to 3D prototypes, and it’s a stepping stone to 3D printing. You can read more about my experience with them in my classroom by checking out my 3Doodler Teacher Spotlight and their website.
Let’s be real - no teacher can ever have enough storage, but this is compounded even more for a STEAM teacher. I have stuff everywhere! I remember when I moved classrooms and colleagues were stopping by in disbelief about how many boxes I had and that there was just no way it was all going to fit. Well it did and that’s all thanks to good storage. Organize everything! Separate your craft supplies, building materials, and technology. Use bins to organize lessons and label, label, label. It can be time consuming, but you’ll thank yourself later. Not sure where to start? Check out my blog about Classroom organization.
Now that you have my top 5 things, think about yours. What can you not live without? Maybe one of mine will soon make your list! If you want one of these products, but don’t have the funding then check out my Donors Choose post to read about how you can secure funding and products for you classroom!
Some links may be affiliate links which means if you click through and buy the products I get a kickback but it does not, in any way, effect your experience. I only recommend things that I either have and use or that I fully believe in.