We respectfully interrupt your summer relaxation to bring you a supply list for your middle school math classroom (feel free to bookmark and review at a later date if it’s just too soon). From student supplies to classroom decor, we’ve got you covered (when you’re ready) with these middle school math supplies.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. Thank you for your support!)
I use individual whiteboards ALL the time. They are great for quick checks during a lesson, for students to work out problems during independent practice, and for working together to complete complex word problems. Be prepared, however, with lots of dry erase markers. The caps seem to have minds of their own and inevitably end up on the ground, leaving your markers dried out before you can say linear expressions.
The holy grail of middle school math supplies… dry erase markers. Get five times as many as you think you need. I purchase four packs of 36 at the start of the year to (hopefully) sustain my two groups of students until Winter Break. I prefer the black color, but using different colors is a great way to show combining like terms, isolating steps, etc.
When I was in school, we brought old socks to use as whiteboard erasers. Effective as that was, these individual whiteboard erasers are much nicer to look at. Sure, Kleenex works fine as well, but these last much longer and are way less wasteful.
My students take notes daily during our math lessons. We write down formulas, examples, vocabulary, but there’s also likely some doodlings and notes to friends! These notebooks are simple and straightforward, and students can use them to study before tests.
Ticonderoga boasts “world’s best pencil,” and I fully believe that’s true. Yes, there are cheaper ones, but these pencils hold up better and longer. Buying ones that come pre-sharpened is the life changer I didn’t know I needed: who wants to spend valuable time sharpening pencils? Not I.
Here is my stance on using calculators in middle school: if students are, for example, working through a two-step equation and they need to divide decimals, they can use a calculator. By middle school, our students (hopefully) know the gist of dividing decimals, and that’s not the concept I am teaching anyway. Calculators are also great for checking work while solving problems.
My classroom feels better to me when things are organized. I use these magazine holders for individual student supplies. I print out and laminate numbers, then attach them to the front of these. Because I teach two classes of 7th grade math, each magazine holder contains supplies for two students (pre-COVID). My students come into class and bring their supplies to their desks for the day.
Though Dixon Ticonderoga pencils are truly wonderful, all pencils need sharpening every once in a while. If you are interested in other options, check out our list of teacher-recommended pencil sharpeners!
These sticky Post-Its are fantastic for making anchor charts. While I am teaching, I write formulas, vocabulary, examples, and models on these. Then, I can leave them up around the room for the entirety of the unit. Try these fun-smelling markers for your charts.
10. Teacher Planner
Some of us are digital planners, and others like to write plans with a pencil and a paper planner. This beauty has all kinds of great organizational sections, including a communication log and sticker sheets (because even middle schoolers like stickers).
11. Privacy Shields
Privacy shields, offices… whatever you want to call them. When we have a test, I will set these up on desks before the students come into the classroom. I think it creates a sense of focus and purpose. Plus, students can take as long as they need to complete a task and not feel the pressure of hurrying when they see their classmates finish.
These classroom norms posters are SO cute and colorful. Throw little sprinkles of motivation around your classroom. Want to match the colors in these posters to other items you create? Use the ColorZilla Chrome extension.
If there’s one thing I love more than pre-sharpened pencils, it’s string lights. I bought several of these and draped them around the perimeter (see what I did there…) of my whiteboards. Oftentimes I will turn our harsh fluorescent classroom lights down and have these create a calm and focused mood. Check out our other favorite string lights here!
Snacks are vital, and popcorn is my favorite. When we welcomed students back to school in person in late March, our grade level placed a bag of popcorn on each student’s desk. Everyone appreciates snacks (be privy to your school’s policy on food, of course).
15. A Sense of Humor
As a middle school math teacher, maintaining your sense of humor is important to you surviving the school year. Laugh at yourself, make jokes that incite eye rolls and perfunctory chuckles, and just have fun with your students.
What middle school math supplies do you buy? Share in the comments below! And, as you begin to prepare your lessons for the upcoming year, try these strategies in teaching mathematics.
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