I know, I know. You sign up for VIPKID because you want to MAKE money, not SPEND money. Of course. But, like any job, sometimes there is an initial investment. These are six of the items that I have purchased in the last few months that I think are really worth the expense. None are more than $25! They add value to my online classroom, and to me, are useful and practical.
I love this shirt. It fits just right, is the right shade of orange, and is long-sleeved. I’ve taught 186 classes (and counting….) and I’ve worn this shirt for about 180 of them!
At first, I did not see the need for headphones. I used my iPhone earbuds for the first three months, with no problems at all. In the end, it was the allure of the “mute button” that made me bite the bullet and buy these. I had a small cold, and wanted a mute to hide my sniffles and sneezes. Now that I have one, I love that mute for the beginning and end of classes.
I know there are cheaper headphones out there, but I liked the look of these and I wanted the color white, not black. They’ve worked very well.
Again, at first, I thought this kind of purchase was completely unnecessary. Many teacher create their own reward systems, or creatively draw things, or find an app on their phone that is free. I saw this on Amazon suggested products after I bought my headphones, and I have to say that it is the EASIEST, most LOVED reward for all ages and levels (well, I teach only levels 1-3). It is great for counting scoops, practicing colors, and there are two cones, so you can do a scoop for student and one for teacher. Very fun!
This alphabet puzzle, and coordinating number puzzle, have replaced my letter flashcards. They make it super easy to find the letter you’re looking for immediately. I love the bright colors. There’s a picture of almost the exact same puzzle in one of the trial class slides for Level 2, which made it fun to pull it out and show them the whole puzzle. I linked a similar one to this, but this exact puzzle set was at Walmart around Christmas for $3 each!
Another super useful puzzle! My girls got this for a gift, so it doesn’t qualify for an actual purchase. But if I had known how much I’d be using a farm puzzle, I would have bought one anyway. I love having all these animals right in one place, with the farm scene in the background.
These are totally unnecessary, but I really enjoy using them as a prop and a conversation starter. I have them set for my time zone (Central Standard) and Beijing time. It is such a clear visual of what time it is here and there. For my more advanced students, they understand that it is morning here and evening there. For my younger students, they at least understand that it’s a clock and I use it to say “It’s TIME to say goodbye” at the end of lessons.
To see a short YouTube video I made about ZERO-COST props, check out this link. Thanks for reading!