Saturday, 18 July 2015

My "Must Have" Supplies for Back To School: Binder Clips

It is that time of year again.  Time for back to school shopping!  As a mother to two daughters I will be heading to our local office supply store soon, list in hand to buy the supplies they will need for their up coming school year.  This got me thinking about, as a teacher, what my “must have” school supplies were.  I have made a list of supplies that I like to stock up on for the beginning of the year. 

Binder Clips
This may seem like an odd first choice.  But binder clips are my thing…  My paper clips are now relegated to unjamming the pencil sharpener and for my unit on non-standard measurement.  Binder clips are just so amazing at holding papers together and as teachers we have more papers than we know what to do with.  With binder clips the papers don’t slide out, get stabbed by sharp edges and they can hold together a lot more papers than the average paperclip.  Ok… I know, not really a necessity but as my collection grew I started to find other uses for them.

Use binder clips to hold the page in student notebooks.  Left to their own devices students will do their work on any old random page in their notebook.  Even with explicit directions to go to the next empty page there are some kids who are all over the place.   To make this a non-issue I simply started clipping their notebook to the next empty page.   Some years I have done this for only the kids that needed it and other years did it for the whole group (believe me they will all want a clip!).  This also works great for centers where students will be working in their notebook independently. 

Use binder clips to hold cards together in centers.  During my kindergarten intervention group one year I had these little number cards held together with binder clips.  After working with the cards I clipped most of them back together myself but I had a few kids who wanted to do it themselves.  They oh so neatly stacked those cards together and worked their little finger muscles getting those clips open and maneuvered around the pile of cards.  Not one of them asked for help and were so determined to do it by themselves.   After that I started clipping all my center cards together (I had them loose in baggies before this) and teaching the kids how to stack the cards neatly and clip them together.   It was a total win-win situation.  My kids were getting “real life” fine motor control practice and my centers were neater than ever before.

Use a binder clip to hold your computer cord.  I found this little tip on pinterest and it totally works.  My computer cord would never stay put on my desk.  I even bought a fancy little cord holder that would just fall behind my desk with my cord in it!  Now I just stick a binder clip on my desk organizer and thread my cord through it.  No more crawling around with the dust bunnies under my desk to find my computer cord!
Use a binder clip in place of a safety pins.    A little more “safe” than a pin, a clip works in a pinch if a student loses a button on their pants, their pants are too big and keep falling down (yes this happens more frequently than you would think!) or the seam comes out on your skirt etc… 

The fun thing about binder clips is that they come in all sizes, colors and patterns. And the plain old black ones can be dressed up with some simple labels.  Click below to download my free binder clip labels.


Wow!  I did not know I had so much to say about binder clips!  This post was originally going to be a list of all my favourite back to school classroom supplies but it looks like it is going to turn into a bit of a series.  Next week: Sentence Strips!!


  1. Love your blog design, Jill! I love binder clips too, especially "pretty" ones. I have a stash of those in my desk that are just for me, and I only give out paperwork that's going other places with the boring black ones. Ha!

    Fun in Fourth

  2. Thanks, Angela! I have thing for the "pretty" binder clips too:) I would always find at least one in my pocket everyday when I got home from school!