Many teachers have a list of their classroom essentials: great books and stories, hands-on manipulatives, pretend play items, and classroom management tricks, charts and systems. In thirteen years of teaching, I've figured out that in addition to the more obvious items, I consider some extra goodies true teaching "necessities."
For instance: field trip badges.
I know, I know, there are lots of cute nametag stickers or stickers pre-printed with "I'm on a field trip," but I haven't met a kindergartner yet who isn't intrigued by the adhesive...not to mention the sticky-thwicky sound it makes as s/he repeatedly tears it off of a shirt over and over and *over* again! When students are told that they'll be using their field trip badges several times throughout the year, they tend to take good care of them, saving me time, money, and decreasing sticker litter.
Over the years, I've made several sets of student badges (voting, and even bee pins for a trip to a farm). Since I've moved from state to state, I've learned to NOT put the name of the school I'm teaching at on the badges. Considering stranger danger, I also prefer to not put my students' names on the badges either. Carson-Dellosa sells a cute "kid drawn" cardstock set shaped like stars but you could certainly use die cut shapes of your choosing:
I typed up "Mrs. Sommerville's Super Stars, (field trip)" on white paper and employed a trusty glue stick to adhere them to the stars. I've blogged before about the fondness I have for my table top laminator- in addition to its convenience, it also uses thicker film than most school lamination machines do, resulting in a MUCH sturdier badge:
I am a fan of metal pin backs, but this time around I used mini wooden clothes pins- easy on, easy off for students or chaperones:
The badges are attractive, sturdy, matched, clip easily to a backpack, shirt pocket or collar, and are easy to store for future field trips!