The longer I teach, the more situations I encounter. Here is a list of some random items I recommend having in your classroom.
1. Vaseline and q-tips - To use with students that have really chapped lips. Some of my students look like they are in severe pain. It saves both the time and hassle of sending the child to the nurse.
2. Cheerios and bathroom cups - Our school serves the students both breakfast and lunch. Sometimes that still is not enough. I like the cups because they are small enough to not give too much but large enough to satisfy any hunger. I keep the cereal in a plastic cereal dispenser.
3. Hats and gloves - Many of my students do not have adequate protection for the outdoors. I keep a container with these for outdoor recess times. I have students throw them in a bag when done that I take home and wash.
4. Thank you cards - I can't get over the number of times my students give me a little treat out of the blue. I like to have the cards so I can give a quick thank you. I notice that my students really cherish these cards. I usually get a thank you from them for the thank you card.
5. Stress balls - You never know who will need to work out their anger.
6. Yarn - It's strange that there is always a use for it. It could be as simple as a new name tag string to who knows what else. I use yarn at least once a week.
7. Sweaters/Sweatshirts - Sometimes my students are just so cold. Last year, after no one claimed a couple of these from our classroom lost and found, I took them home and washed them. We have used them a lot this year - especially because it is the first year our school has been air conditioned.
These few items have made a difference in my classroom. Each year, I realize there is one more thing that should be added. I wonder what that will be this year.