Happy 2023, teachers! Whatever your classroom needs most this year, it can be yours! Turn your new year’s resolution for your classroom into your next project today!
Resolution #1: This year, I’ll stop straining my eyes at screens (and help my students do the same).
Mrs. Phipps, a high school teacher in Twin Falls, Idaho wants her students to be able to “escape the indoors without leaving their desks”. She (and lots of other teachers!) have figured out the solution: fluorescent light covers to provide a reprieve from the constant bombardment of harsh lighting in school. With their treetop and cloud designs, teachers are turning fluorescent overhead panels into window-like natural lighting.
“Being in a room with no windows all day is a difficult task. These light covers give my students a chance to see nature without having windows. It also gives some students something to focus on when they need a moment to relax, calm down, or re-center themselves. It also helps soften the room and cover the ugly old yellow dingy lighting we have. I often catch students just looking up for a moment and enjoying a moment of peace imagining they are in that location, then they are able to come back to their learning with a fresh start.” – Ms. Hansen, “A Breath of Fresh Air”
“The light covers are amazing. They filter the lights enough that children are able to see the board or TV in the front of the room when they are sitting in their carpet spots. The light covers have also helped reduce the glare on papers and work when students are sitting at their desks. The reduced glare of the lights has also helped me develop a calming atmosphere in the classroom.” – Ms. Moon, “Reducing the Glare”
As one supportive donor from Wilkesboro, North Carolina noted on this project for light covers, let’s “make your New Year a little easier on your eyes!”
Resolution #2: This year, I won’t reinvent the wheel.
DonorsChoose teachers tell us TPT gift cards (formerly Teachers Pay Teachers) are a shopping spree in the world's largest catalog of educator-created learning content. Or, as Mrs. Chudnofsky puts it, TPT is the best way to “spend less time creating lessons by purchasing already beautifully made resources and more time teaching the content and working with students.”
High school teachers, Ms. Bates (Human Anatomy and Physiology teacher) requested gift cards with her project, saying::
“Teachers Pay Teachers is a wonderful site in which teachers share their resources with one another. The luxury of having a gift card is that when I come across something, or go looking for something that would benefit my students, I have the ability to purchase right away. This is especially helpful with students that may need a little extra help on a specific topic. I am able to find supplemental materials that help them to master the topic and not fall behind.”
Middle school teachers, Ms. Siebers explained:
“TPT gift cards are especially helpful for social emotional learning, math intervention, reading comprehension, and growth mindset lessons that can keep my students on track for high school.”
And for you elementary school teachers, Ms. Peterson tried it out for you:
“Activities available on TPT often contain strong visuals, leveled versions of the same task, and cross-curricular connections. It is for these reasons that activities found on TPT are a perfect resource for my group of diverse students!”
TPT gift cards give you access to materials for every student and every unit, including core curriculum lessons in Spanish, Black History Month projects, science experiments, animal research projects, Women in History projects, and activities for students with autism spectrum disorder or specific learning needs, and much more.
Resolution #3: This year, I won’t waste time digging for a pencil.
Last fall, Ms. Mulhall posted her project 2022-2023 Organization Tools. Thanks to the DonorsChoose community of donors and partners, she received post-it pads, a new bookcase, pencil cases, and command hooks to get her classroom neat, clean, and organized. Here’s how it went:
“These organization tools have been a life-changer in this classroom. Students are taking care of all of their materials and they have a safe place for all materials. In the morning, students come into the classroom and their room is clean and organized and they know where to access the supplies they need. This project also is helping students stay accountable for their things and teaches them great life skills.”
For your next project, build a bundle of supplies that will get your classroom ready for the months ahead. Take a look at these projects for inspiration. (On DonorsChoose, copying is never cheating!), then copy and paste the cart of your most organized dreams!
- Little Things Make a Big Difference
“[My students] were thrilled to see all the educational games, white boards, and flexible seating, along with triangular shaped pencils, a laminator, big money, and other new learning tools. They wanted to get started using everything right away!”
- Supplies to Help Students Shoot for the Stars!
“Making sure that my classroom is inviting and well equipped with the proper materials will help students perform better and lessen the stress on parents for certain materials throughout the school year.”
- Tidy Tigers!
“My students’ reactions were priceless when the boxes and supplies arrived. They were excited to see the big boxes. They actually started unpacking the boxes before I could. The students started sorting and situating where the items would go and what they would use. They made space for the items and placed them in what they saw as the most useful spots in the room.”
But the best resolution of all? The one that gets you started!