Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The Best Pencils for the Classroom

Pencils are probably the single most used tools in the classroom. For something that is mostly bought in bulk, isn't funny that we can't seem to ever have enough! Students can really go through your pencil supply! I've found that depending on the brands you choose, some pencils actually do last much longer than most.

I have to warn you to stay away from the cutesy pencils that might match your classroom theme or the ones with cool messages on them - no matter how cute they are. By the way, if you know of any like these that are of good quality, please let me know!

Here are the best Pencils for the Classroom:

Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Graphite Pencils: These are best choice. They hardly ever break and the erasers are sturdy. Most other teachers love this brand too. They are also safe for classroom use: PMA certified non-toxic. Note: if you live in a third world country like me, there is risk involved if you buy them locally. True story: I bought some in bulk locally and those were terrible. I thought they were expired. After doing some research I learned that the company uses different wood sources and some are made in Mexico whereas some are made in China. Also, as a general rule, always choose the ones that say '100% American Cedar Wood' on the box. When I order them on Amazon, I get the best quality, no problems, because I get the choose the exact type I want.

This second option is also a good choice. The AmazonBasics pre-sharpened wood cased #2 HB pencils are presharpened. That would save you some time when you're filling pencil boxes for back to school.

If I come across any more pencils worth mentioning, I'll be adding them to the list.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Picture Books for Kids to Manage their Emotions and Behavior

I recently found picture books that teach character building. I wish that books like these existed when I was growing up. Children need guidance and support from their parents or guardians, from their teachers, and from media. Media would range from books and television to game apps. Anything that they are exposed to that informs them, whether they realize it or not, can be media. This is why it is so important to have the right information available for kids right at their fingertips. Many classrooms, homes and libraries now have books that cater to the socio-emotional needs of a child and it gives me hope that they can lead to great conversations about mindset and self control for children who read them. Topics like managing negative emotions and communicating them in the right way are found in the books below. Each book teaches a different value and they are simplified for young children to understand and I love the way that the books are books are illustrated for kids to want to read them. They are available on Amazon.




I hope that you have found this blog post helpful and if you love similar books to these, you can share those with the rest of us by typing it in the comment section below!

Friday, 7 June 2019

10 Ways to Use Storage Envelopes in the Classroom

This is a handy list of ten ways to use storage envelopes in the classroom. Each item and function is a little different but they all help you to have classroom systems that promote order and neatness.  You can call them pouches, sleeves, envelopes, or cases. Some are used for active learning while others work behind the scenes to keep things organized.

Use lots of dry erase pockets to show your students' work for each subject on a large wall area or bulletin board display.
These pockets can hold a lot of work.

Storing technology supplies: Just attach a number system to each bag for your technology stations and you're good to go. Store earphones and splitters, computer mouse stuff and connecting chords.


Pockets for storing classroom puzzles: They keep out the dust and students can see what's inside without having to go digging up through boxes to find them.

Use them everyday for classroom centersColor coded tranlucent pockets are great for daily use in centers. Everything needed for a particular skill/game is one pouch and the enclosure ensures that the pieces do not get lost.

Clear Pockets for Handwriting Worksheets: These can be used for any worksheet that you want students to do over and over again for practice. Handwriting is the number one skill that takes a lot of repitition to get it mastered. These clear pockets are perfect for this.

Clear zipper bags for classroom storage: These are actually travel storage bags that you can use to file away important student folders or subject are work in durable zipper bags that allow for easy sorting.

Storing student's supplies: These can be kept in bins or hang on a door as in the pictures above. They have a transparent mesh on the front and a solid color on the back. I love that the colors are so bright and they are durable too.

To save on space, clear pockets on a classroom door make a handy center for early finishers.

Reading packets: Have reading bags with selected books for each reading group.

The most common use is for student work. Note that some sleeves are matte while others are shiny. The shiny ones are best because the dry erase markers wipe off clean on those.

I am sure that they can have many other uses. What is the most unique way that you can use pouches?

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Joke Books for Kids

If you need clean and really funny joke books for kids, then these books will be just right for you. After struggling to find picture books with jokes that have pictures, I made it my mission to work on creating the most ideal sets of joke books for children.  The themes include, farm jokes, superhero jokes, animal jokes, etc, to keep students reading throughout the school year. 

What is unique about these books is that each and every riddle joke, knock-knock joke, or tongue twister, is beautifully illustrated in color.  All are available exclusively on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format. Just click on each picture here to use the Look Inside feature on Amazon to see more.

If you have Kindle Unlimited, the ebooks are free on your Kindle app and your students can read them right away.


Gross Joke Book for Kids                 Joke Book for Boys                   Joke Book for Girls

Jokes about Bugs                   Jokes about Money                      Royal Jokes

There is also a series of seasonal joke books. 
Each book below is based on a season, special day, or holiday.

 Valentine's Day Jokes                        Presidents' Day Jokes                         Winter Jokes for Kids

End of Year Picture Book for Kids jokes

 Fall themed Joke Book for Kids 


More books are on the way! You can follow me on my Amazon author's page so that you don't miss any of the upcoming books.

About Me

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As a Caribbean primary school teacher, I share my unique classroom with the world through this blog. Readers step into my class through the pictures, articles and classroom samples of games and lessons used in my class. I have been teaching since 2005 at the std. 4 primary level in Trinidad and Tobago. I am particularly interested in sharing my own personal lesson plans, tests and activities. Teachers need to share ideas and support each other because in doing so, we help to educate our students and develop ourselves as teachers. Technology is ever evolving and we as teachers should get on board with it, collaborate and keep up to date with this new age that we live in. Our students belong to this technological era and we must embrace opportunities to learn from each other in this global community. I also love to express my creativity in the classroom. I am a bit of a craftster . So I'm always cutting, gluing or making something... a game, a chart, a learning center, etc. So, teachers and parents, feel free to stop by and see what's new at Nyla's Crafty Teaching!