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Classroom Essentials for an ELA Teacher




Are you looking for classroom essentials for your ELA classroom? We are rolling right through August, and it’s time for us to get ready for back to school! As you walk the aisles of your favorite teacher store (or you scroll through Amazon), there are going to be so many things screaming that you need them. But let’s be real, you don’t need everything. So, what do you need? These six essential items for an ELA Classroom. 


WRITE About This Classroom Essential

Even though we live in a digital world and many of us do a majority of things online, there are times when the old-fashioned pen and pencil are what you need. Therefore, having extra pencils in your classroom for students ready to go can save you a ton of headaches. I actually make sure I have any writing utensils my students might need. From pencils, pens, to highlighters, having these go-to tools on hand is an essential item for your classroom to keep everything moving. What is my favorite? Check these classroom essential writing tools below (affiliate links).



Have you tried the Frixion Erasable Pens? They are amazing! Trust me!

Frixion Erasable Pens

Mark Your Spot!

Whenever I give out books to students whether it’s a class novel or reading textbook, I always get asked, “What page are we on?” about 10,000 times a day. This gets so frustrating which is why I like to hand out bookmarks. Now, you can buy bookmarks on Amazon in bulk or you can make it more personal. I like to just cut off slices of paper, have students write their name on it and then decorate it as well. This way students like their bookmark and it doesn’t cost any money. You can also do this with sticky notes. This essential item for an ELA classroom will help you keep your sanity when your students need to find their place. 



Read All About this Classroom Essential for the ELA Classroom 


Since you’re going to have bookmarks, you want to make sure you have books that go with them! Even if you are reading in class, having a small classroom library for students to check out books is an essential classroom item because it encourages reading. Whenever my students finish an assessment early, I tell them to read something. However, I don’t want my students going to the library by themselves. Therefore, having a small student library is an essential ELA item. 


Organize the Essential Lists! 


An essential item for your ELA classroom that pertains more to you than your students are file folders. Having file folders for papers to grade, lists for attendance, or simple fast finisher activities is an essential item. Having file folders in your classroom will help keep you organized. You can also use these for students so they know where to put things. When I was teaching multiple grade levels, I had a designed folder for each grade level which made my life so much easier. 

Colorful File Folders


Keep It All Together 

Beyond using file folders for organizing, having bins or even a cell phone holder can be an essential item for the ELA classroom. You want to know where things are when you need them. Therefore, if you are using organizing bins or drawers, you should label them so your students know where to go if needed. Having a specific place for pencils, highlighters, fast finisher activities, and more can be a huge help. You can also have a place for passwords which can be helpful, especially with middle school students. 


The Essential Sub Binder 

Finally, the essential item for any classroom is a sub-binder. Creating a sub-binder for any time you might be gone can be a complete lifesaver. In your sub binder, you can have a schedule, class lists, and any seating charts. You might also want to include a list of classroom rules or policies the school has in an easy-to-read list. In my sub binder, I like to include some fast finisher work or activities students can do if they finish things early. 

Other Back to School Ideas

There are about a thousand different things you could get for your classroom. However, if you focus on the essentials, then you’ll have a classroom that is organized and easy to navigate. Happy start of the school year! 



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