The Ultimate Checklist For Setting Up Your 1st Grade Classroom

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There’s so much to teach in first grade! This is the year that students are typically introduced to social studies and inquiry-based science, two subjects that require observing the world around them, asking questions, and investigating. Get ready for addition and subtraction, basic geometry and graphing. All new skills that kids will build upon throughout elementary school. You’ll need a lot of 1st grade classroom supplies to help students better understand so many new concepts.

Here is our ultimate checklist of the top 45 1st grade classroom supplies that every teacher needs for an academic year filled with lightbulb learning moments!

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1. Classroom file organizer

1st grade classroom supplies

Individual compartments for name/project tabs on each slot of this brilliant classroom file system make it easy for 1st graders to keep their own work organized.

2. Book displays

1st grade classroom supplies

Step right up to reading! You’ll need bookshelves for your reading nook, and these tiered easy-to-reach shelves, or any of our other top bookcases, are the perfect addition to any first grade classroom.

3. Books

1st grade classroom supplies

You’ve got the bookcases, now it’s time to fill them with books! We’ve gathered some of our favorite first grade books for getting students excited to read, from The Princess and the Pit Stop to Maurice the Unbeastly.

4. Paper assortment

1st grade classroom supplies

Organize your printouts by category and color with 500 sheets of out-of-this-world paper. Printing on Astrobrights gives you all the benefits of color without the high cost of printing with colored ink. Just add black ink!

5. Stapler

Keep it together with a sturdy stapler! This one is jam-resistant, making sure you’re not stuck taking it apart on repeat throughout the day.

6. Laminator

1st grade classroom supplies

Reinforce documents or make instructional items tear and spill-proof. We’ve gathered the top laminator picks so you can easily save those first grade projects to take home. Don’t forget to stock up on laminating pouches, too. 

7. 3-hole punch

Easily three-hole punch up to 12 sheets minus the usual jams. Perfect for adding papers to student portfolios!

8. Bulletin board paper

Most teachers like to back their bulletin boards with bright paper. Upgrade with write-on/wipe-off paper that cleans easily with damp cloth and doesn’t tear or show staple holes. Available in a wide range of colors.

9. Bulletin board borders

You’ve got the paper, now make it a bulletin board to remember with colorful trimmers. The scalloped edge adds a cute touch. Patterns include stars, polka dot, confetti candy sprinkles, stripes, zig-zag, and back-to-school.

10. Multicolor sticky notes

Because you can never have enough sticky notes on hand in the classroom. Check out teacher hacks for post-it notes in the classroom.

11. LEGO Bricks

1st grade classroom supplies

Nearly every first grade loves building with LEGOs. They make terrific tools in your classroom and are especially great for teaching a variety of math concepts. Check out our 30 favorite LEGO math ideas for every skill level.

12.  Math supplies

There are a variety of different math supplies for the classroom that you’ll want on hand for teaching this subject! LEGOs, manipulatives, calculators, dice, games, and more.

13. Teaching clock

Time isn’t always easy to teach, which makes this clock one of our favorite 1st grade classroom supplies. With each quarter broken down into a specific color, it’s easier than ever for your first graders to remember and retain where each minute is thanks to this analog classroom clock.

14. Stackable plastic caddies

1st grade classroom supplies

Keep centers supplied with a rainbow of 3 compartments (1 large, 2 small) caddies made of impact-resistant plastic. Plus learn the best ways to organize your turn-in bins.

15. Pencil sharpener

We have put together the best pencil sharpeners as reviewed by teachers!

16. Tape

Teachers need a variety of tape for a wide variety of surfaces. Masking tape is great to have on hand as it’s safe and easy to tear and remove. Painter’s tape is a teacher lifesaver as it removes easily from drywall and can be placed on whiteboards for helping handwriting! Clear tape  is also key for taping ripped papers and for craft projects!

17. Colorful rugs

1st grade classroom supplies

First graders still love reading time on the rug. Add some color to your room with one of these bold patterned and brightly colored rugs.

18. Stickers

Almost 5,000 stickers will carry you through a year of rewarding students for a job well done.

19. Smart Start Writing Paper

1″ spacing for little hands plus graphics in blue, green, and red helps first graders form letters correctly.

20. Dry-erase lapboards

second grade classroom supplies

Stop the paper waste madness with these durable, double-sided dry-erase boards. Students will enjoy writing and wiping away mistakes and you get to save on paper as one of your 1st grade classroom supplies! Don’t forget to stock up on colorful, dry erase markers for kids , too.

21. Magnetic whiteboard erasers

Mistakes help us learn! Erase them into history with colorful, magnetic whiteboard erasers.

22. Calendar pocket chart

Keep your year on track for learning with a classroom-sized calendar pocket chart featuring 45 clear pockets for holding headliners and days. 68 calendar pieces help you plan out the days and weeks for maximum fun and learning.

23. Daily schedule chart

kindergarten classroom supplies

Along with a calendar, it’s best to have a classroom schedule so students know the plan for the day. This pocket chart comes complete with 10 write-on/wipe-off schedule cards, 5 blank cards, and 1 title card.

24. Clipboards

Clipboards encourage independent and group learning. Easy to stack and organize, these letter-size clipboards also feature rounded edges to protect students’ hands.  

25. Classroom pocket chart

second grade classroom supplies

Place sentence strips, flashcards, calendar pieces, library pockets, class jobs, daily schedules in this useful 34″×44″ chart featuring a total of 10 see-through pockets.

26. Sentence Strips

Showcase sentences with 3 x 24-inch, colorful sentence strips.

27. Alphabet wall

Make letter recognition happen all day long in your 1st grade classroom with this bold, 15-foot long alphabet poster. Plus it’s printed on thick card stock to last.

28. Number line

Post this number line on your wall or bulletin board to help 1st graders visualize the number line throughout the year, and make sure to check out our activities for number lines!

29. 100s Chart

Make numbers, skip counting, and odds/evens easy to see with this 100s chart with clear pockets. Fill it yourself to hang on the wall, or use it for an activity to get students sorting their numbers.

30. Magnetic money

Yes, we wish it were real, too. But this big money is second best. Teach kids to instantly identify coins and bills with these large, realistically-detailed images on the fronts and backs. Plus they adhere to any magnetic-receptive surface, such as your whiteboard, to attract student attention.

31. Reading posters

Free Reading Posters for the Classroom

We love reading and your first-grade students will too! This set of reading posters is great for bulletin boards or your class library corner.

32. Kindness posters

Kindness is key, especially for first grade students, which is why we love these free kindness posters. All eight are free to save and print!

33. Acrylic push pin magnets

There are so many ways to use magnets in the classroom. These ones serve as pushpins and can hold up to 6 sheets of printer paper!

34. Headphones

first grade classroom supplies

A classroom set of these colorful, resistant headphones makes integrating iPad and other technology in first grade a little easier on the ears, thanks to plush circular cups and an adjustable headband. If you opt to use earbuds, we have a wealth of storage ideas!

35. Wide-rule notebooks

first grade classroom supplies

The wide-ruled format (11/32-inch) of these 1st grade ready composition books makes it easier for early writers to share their thoughts and begin journaling on paper.

36. Board games

first grade classroom supplies

Board games are perfect for supplemental learning. Not only do students learn how to get along and take turns, but they can also reinforce math and literacy skills! Check out our favorite board games, including Sorry and Hedbanz.

37. String light sets

If you’re creating a theme for your classroom, or just want to brighten that reading corner, why not consider string lights as a way to add a pop of light? Here are our top string light sets!

38. Safety scissors

1st grade classroom supplies

1st grade calls for honing those paper-cutting skills. Softgrip, cushioned handles and a textured non-slip surface helps guide the little hands toward correct handle use.

39. Crayola large crayon classpack

Coloring fun continues in 1st grade. Crayons are separated into individual sections by color in the storage box, keeping coloring time better organized.

40. Wide, washable markers classpack

Keep color where it belongs and easily remove it where it doesn’t with washable and non-toxic broad line markers. This classpack features storage sections, each separated by color, to keep markers organized for first-grade creatives.

41. Glue sticks 30 pack

1st grade classroom supplies

Put two and two together with a classroom set of giant, all-purpose sticks.

42. Easel with paper roll

Little artists will love this masterpiece-worthy art easel. Teachers will love that it’s not only height adjustable but also features a magnetic whiteboard on one side, chalkboard on the other.

43. Sanitizer wipes

No teacher wants sticky messes or viruses floating around the room. These dual action wipes feature two sides, one for scrubbing and one for wiping. Plus they promise to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. And check out our top list of cleaning supplies for the classroom.

44. Tissues

Runny noses happen. Make it easier by having tissues on hand for any situation!

45. Desk organizer and phone/laptop charger

Keep your teacher desk organized and your phone or laptop charged and ready to go with this combo desk organizer and charger.

First graders love it when you implement a theme in the classroom! Why not check out our space theme, jungle theme, sports theme, emoji theme , donut theme, and camping theme pages! 

Are we missing one of your favorite 1st grade classroom supplies? Head over to our WeAreTeachers Facebook Deals page to share your faves!

The Ultimate Checklist For Setting Up Your 1st Grade Classroom

Posted by Amy Bizzarri

A 20+ year public high school teacher, Amy is also a freelance writer focused on education, women's history and travel.

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