Every profession has tools of the trade and being a learner is no different. Just as professionals each have their own set of tools and no two tool bags look exactly alike, each learner needs their own personal tool kit.

Example of Tools for Younger Students
– Number Line
– 100s Chart
– Sound Spelling Chart
– Letter Formation Chart
– Ruler
– Letter Cards
– Number Cards

Example of Tools for Upper Elementary
– Cursive Letter Formation Chart
– Word Lists (strong verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc.)
– Writing Model Charts
– Multiplication Chart
– Ruler
– Compass
– Protractor

Example of Tools for Middle Grades
– Word Lists (strong verbs, adjectives, transition words, adverbs, etc.)
– Writing Model charts
– Graphic Organizer Examples
– Thesaurus
– Prime Number List
– Ruler
– Compass
– Protractor

While some materials do require a box or a pencil bag, most of the things above can be put into folders or into page protectors before putting them into a small binder. In our house, each child has a blue folder – math charts go on the left, language arts in page protectors in the center and handwriting charts in the right pocket. The beauty of each child having tools at his disposal is that he can turn to those tools prior to asking for help from me. This gives him autonomy and builds self-confidence and it frees me up to do other teaching and home tasks. Having personal tools is one way to keep things smart and keep things simple.