I don't have very many "Must Haves". I don't get any money for my classroom from my admin or PTA, so everything in my room has to come from my wallet...and with 5 kids and a military husband, that wallet doesn't have a lot of extra change in it lol!
A few things that I do spend my pennies on are:
Felt puppets from Art Felt. I spent so much time at their booth at I Teach K last year in Vegas! I think I spent more time there than all the other booths combined lol! I love to do finger plays and songs with my students, and love having these puppets to go along with my favorite songs! This is great for phonemic awareness! The best thing about Art Felt is that they include a print out of tons of different songs with each animal you order - so if you get a squirrel you get a sheet with a bunch of rhymes and finger plays that you can use that squirrel in!
My other "Must Have" is a comfy reading corner:
Kohl's Cares line) and those plushies serve a secondary purpose as manipulatives when we talk about positional words and as a way to calm upset friends - it's amazing how quickly kids calm down when holding my "special monkey". I spent some money on a rug and pillows so that the kids and myself are comfortable when reading. The canopy is from Oriental Trading Co. and is still in perfect shape after a year of hanging in our classroom! When parents and admin walk in and see this reading corner, they are always impressed and its one of the things that helps make our room super cozy.
My final "Must Have" are sticky Velcro dots! I use these to attach just about everything to my walls and cupboards! At the end of each year we have to take everything down, except for those little dots. So I leave them up and the next year its easy to slap my posters back up!
Ten Frame cards, I can just put up a new set without having to worry about whether the posters are level or running out and getting more tape. I just make sure that I always put the female side on the wall, and the male side on the cards, so that no matter what set of posters I want to put up, I can just slap them on without worrying if the Velcro is going to match up!
EDIT: I forgot a "Must Have"! Many of my students need to use the small pencils because they need help with the correct grasp and don't have the fine motor skills to control a longer pencil. I usually buy a big box because I give some to parents to use at home and inevitably pencils break or get lost, so a big box is a must. I usually get my box at Staples or Office Depot, but rarely find them on sale. The other day though, I found them on Amazon, AND they have erasers! The ones I usually get don't have erasers, so this is a major plus! I bought this pack of 72 half pencils with erasers- they even come pre-sharpened! This is a deal!
Those are my Must Haves, head back over to the linky to see what other teachers consider theirs!