My essentials for effective teaching and learning!

Sand timers

I use sand timers all of the time! My classroom would not run smoothly without sand timers! This is because a sand timer visually supports the children’s understanding of time and that a transition is coming. When used consistently, the visual support of the sand going through the timer, really enables independence. A child can see that the timer is finished and this prepares them to finish the activity.


Laminators are essential to make visual resources that last. After going through quite a few laminators myself, I’d definitely recommend having a good quality, A3 laminator to ensure you can make resources of different sizes (and that the laminator will last daily usage). I’d be lost without my laminator! 

Velcro and magnetic tape

Another essential resource to make learning and communication supports that can be adapted and made to last. Velcro allows you to attach resources to different places in your classroom aswell as ensures you can make choice and communication supports where parts can be removed and stuck back. Magnetic tape is great for using on whiteboards.

Coloured card

Coloured card is essential to make necessary visual and transition resources to support the children’s understanding. I like to have a good stock of A4 and A3 sized card to make different sized resources.

Paper trimmer

Easily cut down any resources with a durable paper trimmer. Using one will ensure all edges are straight and without any jagged edges – and it’s such a time saver!

Permanent markers

Permanent markers are a great help in naming clothing or labelling resources that you don’t want to be wipeable (do not get your wipeable and permanent pens mixed up!).

Retractable keyrings

These keyrings are a great way for you to keep essential communication photos and symbols on you at all times. Easy access and at hand whenever is needed. 

Display folders to make personalised books

Display folders with clear wallets inside enable you to make personalised books catered towards the child’s interests and learning outcomes. I love making books with photos of the children. The children often take such an interest in them because they feature photos of themselves and familiar people!

White shower curtain for messy activities

Place it on the floor before doing a messy activity. This can protect the floor whilst making cleaning up very quick!

A4 whiteboard and wipeable pens

These small whiteboards are great to support students either by writing on them or drawing on them. For example, it could be used to break down the tasks of a lesson in a list format helping a student to know what to expect and complete. It could be used to draw pictures to visually support a child’s understanding of the conversation or upcoming event.