You either will be familiar or shocked to hear this, but some programs DO get money to spend each year on materials and curriculum. If you are one of those lucky teachers, this list is for you!
You think… “wouldn’t it be nice to have some money for things in the classroom”… but then when you have that money, it’s hard to come up with things! This is a frequently asked question in my community Facebook group, Simply Special Community, so I thought I would create a list to refer to. You may need curriculum, or you may need storage…. or you may need to think outside the box!
This post will contain affiliate links. You don’t pay any more, but if you purchase from my link I get a small commission. This allows me to try everything out that I recommend to you and keep my blog running smoothly. (so thanks for clicking my links!))
You CANNOT go wrong with prep materials. As a special education teacher getting new students of varying abilities each year, you will most likely be prepping materials for your entire career. These supplies WILL be utilized by your students and ARE worth it for you to get funds for. This shouldn’t be placed solely on the teacher to supply, and if it has been coming out of your own pocket, and you have the chance to get some money…. start here.
- 13 inch laminator (the one that does file folders)
- Lamination sheets– my favorite are NOT scotch
- File Folder sized laminating sheets
- Rubicoil Coil Binding Machine (tutorial here) – $$$ and so worth it.
- Rainbow File Folders
- My favorite 3 hole punch for lamination
- Binding coils
- Velcro dots, favorite bulk website here, favorite amazon brand here
- Easy action scissors
- The best paper cutter, easy to carry back and forth to school
- Packing tape
- Astrobrights paper, bright colored cardstock
Storage is another great use for this money! We have tons of materials, we need to store them so we can access them quickly! Here is a list of my favorite storage items!
- Task Boxes
- Monthly material bins (great for theme file folders)
- Small tasks storage
- Crayon storage
- File Folder storage
- Task Storage
Do I think teachers should have to buy cleaning supplies? No …. but as a special ed teacher having what you need may feel like a luxury.
Sensory items are an AWESOME luxury to have if you have some money to spend. Kids benefit from these items greatly! Take this opportunity to buy some awesome tools that you can use for years. Some of these items are highly priced, if you can only spend money on one item, look here ($$).
- Body Sock
- Therapy Swing, check with your school on this one.
- Platform swing
- Peapod, MY TOP CHOICE $$
- Crash Mat, $$
- Bubble tube floor lamp, $$
- Foot bands
- Fluorescent Light Filters, HIGHLY EFFECTIVE!
- Ball chairs with back and floor support
- Wobble stools
- Sensory Table $$
These toys and games are great for language development, lunch bunch groups, working on turn taking, and can even be used with inclusion!
- egg matching
- 1:1 puzzles
- Nuts and Bolts
- Conversation Cubes
- Sandpaper tracing letters
- Yoga pretzels cards, we did these everyday after lunch
- Zingo, bingo with visuals
- Pancake Pile Up
- Sneaky, Snacky, Squirrel– student favorite
BOOKS! We can never have enough books! I highly suggest getting some books with children with disabilities as a character. I used these so that my students could see themselves in our classroom library. These books are also great to have in a school library or to use for Autism acceptance month and let general ed teachers borrow. You can use these with my FREE autism acceptance library materials.
- Ben’s Adventures
- My Brother Charlie
- 47 Strings
- My Friend Suhana
- What Should Danny Do?
- Lucas the Lion
There are some great programs and curriculum out there that you may not have access to yet! Check out this list below!
- Smarty Symbols
- News-2- You
- Handwriting without Tears
- Unique Learning System
- Social Thinking
Technology is another BIG $ one. If you have money to spend on technology, here is what would be at the top of my list. (Keep in mind these are $$$)
I hope that this list was helpful to you! If you have some money to spend, you are very lucky! Make sure to make the most out of it for your awesome students! If you don’t have classroom money, these are great wishlist items for Donor’s Choose! If you have any more suggestions for me to add to this list, comment below!
This post DID contain affiliate links. You don’t pay any more, but if you purchase from my link I get a small commission. This allows me to try everything out that I recommend to you and keep my blog running smoothly. (so thanks for clicking my links!))
You can find more awesome links on my Amazon Story Page (all my tried and true suggestions are here)