Being an online English teacher is so rewarding. Waking up to those smiling faces every morning is a wonderful way to start your day. When you first become a teacher, you may be overwhelmed trying to set up your classroom and find props and rewards for your students. There are a few props that I would highly recommend to get you started and that are used frequently in the lessons. Anything you decide to add to this list would just be an added bonus depending on how creative you want to be.
If you have kids of your own at home, I would check out their bedrooms first! I have found so many props in my kids’ rooms (stuffed animals, toys to use as rewards, vehicles to show during the transportation units, etc.) The great thing is that even when I buy props, my kids end up playing with those, too. So I’m definitely getting my money’s worth between using the props in teaching and my kids playing with them.
Here are my most used props:
Puppet: A puppet is a great way to connect with the younger students because it helps them laugh and feel more comfortable with you. Learning from a complete stranger online can be hard for some students the first few times, and having a puppet helps to ease that transition for them. I use the one below which I found on Amazon. The kids love it! Find a puppet here.
Microphone: This is another great one to have for the younger kids. You can use it to sing songs with them, as well as to point it towards them when you want them to speak. I use this Mickey Mouse microphone pictured below in my classroom. Find a microphone here.
Flashcards: Perfect for learning the English alphabet. A great visual to help students learn their letters and sounds. Find some here.
Small Whiteboard: My whiteboard is one of the props that I use for EVERY class no matter what the level of my student is. You can use it for so many things: drawing rewards, showing verb conjugations, showing math equations, writing out letters and sentences, etc. Pick up a whiteboard on Amazon here.
Food toy set: This is another prop that I use frequently. It comes in handy when learning about foods to help students see a visual to each English word. Pick up a set here.
Laminator: One of the best investments I made was buying a laminator. I find 2d props and rewards online, print them out, then laminate them with my laminator. I also use it for laminating papers for homeschooling for my kids. The one I purchased is under $25 on Amazon and works great. This is definitely one of the things I couldn’t have done without. Pick up a laminator on Amazon here. You can also get the laminating sheets on Amazon, as well.
Minnie Mouse ears: The kids absolutely love to open their camera to a teacher who not only has a fun teaching environment, but adds a little spark to their class by wearing fun headbands like Mickey or Minnie ears. There are so many great ones to choose from here.
Star wand: This is perfect to pull out when your students get a star. Find one here.
Mr. Potato Head: Mr. Potato Head is a popular reward for my students. They absolutely love it when I mismatch his body parts and laugh their heads off. He also comes in handy when teaching the English names for body parts. Find one here.
Ice cream: Another popular reward is the ice cream scoops. Each time they get a new scoop. You can also review the colors with this reward. Get yours here.
There are a variety of other props you can find at the local dollar store, Target, or Walmart. But these are the ones that I frequently use on a routine basis and recommend purchasing.
Hope this list helps you get started. Happy teaching!
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