Early in the school year, I was lucky enough to test out some products from Oriental Trading Company. Honestly, I never really thought to look through their website for back to school supplies before, and never even knew it was something they carried. When browsing the selection I was blown away by the products I
wanted needed in my classroom. As a ten-year teacher, I didn't think I needed too much, but to my surprise, my cart filled up quickly. I am always up for trying something new and in all honesty, if I can do something fun and positive to motivate my fourth graders, I am all for it!
A few of my favorite items I chose were jumbo lollipops, mini stamp pens, owl magnets, and planet stress balls.
I love the planet stress balls as much as my students do! Believe it or not it is mid-October and they are holding up great. I allow my students to borrow a planet if they feel the need to use one, but they must return it before leaving my classroom. Sometimes, students just need to have something in their hands to fidget with while they listen or read and I found these planets perfect for this occasion. Not only are they the perfect size for a child's hand, but are adorable. I can see these being used to create a model of the solar system or even being hung with string from the ceiling for a decoration. Next year, I will order these again, but get a class set.
The stampers are super fun for correcting papers. At first I was going to use them for Valentine gifts, but I decided to whip them out for motivation on quizzes. The students are allowed to stamp their paper if they score a 3 (standardized grading over here) and they LOVE these stamps. They look like the little conversation hearts that are eaten as candy and even have fun sayings. The stamps come in green, orange, purple, blue, and yellow and are self inking. We have used them A LOT and they are not even running low. I love the ease of these stamps, but do wish they were a little larger!
Have you seen these magnet owls? They are AMAZING for graphing opinions on a white board. Sometimes for morning work I ask the students a survey question and they have to decide, choose, and vote. Most of the time the first students create the graph and work as a team to make it make sense to the rest of the class (like in our current vote pictured below). Sometimes, I have the students use dry erase markers to write their names on the owl, but other times, I like them to vote autonomously so I can get honest answers. I've had LOADS of compliments on these adorable owls and many teachers have also ordered them for similar ideas. My fourth graders love them and I love that they are working on their graphing skills and interpreting data while having fun!
My favorite item ordered were the JUMBO lollipops. Look at the smile on this sweet face and that alone could sell the product. I made rainbow birthday tags for each of my students and taped them onto the lollipops. The students receive this lollipop on their birthday or in June (if they have a summer bday). I did get enough for everyone and believe it or not they were all in perfect shape when they arrived. Not ONE crack! I originally wanted to make a giant lollipop bouquet for a decoration, but our school is mouse infested and I didn't think that was a good idea. I have them in a box, in a plastic sealed container, in a closet and they seem to be safe! I will definitely be purchasing these again next year. I love giving away a special birthday treat and the students really look forward to it!
So these are some of my great items from Oriental Trading Educator's Catalog and like I said, everything arrived fast and in perfect condition. I will definitely be ordering from them again in the future! I am already scouting out the Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts and gifts for my students!