15+ Classroom Hacks to Save Time, Money and to Keep Things Running Smoothly

15+ classroom hacks to save you time, money and to help make your teaching job a little easier.

Who doesn't love a great teacher hack? Anything to save a minute of time or to make the job easier is a win. Below are a bunch of teacher hacks I've collected from social media because they are fun, helpful or just really cool!

A hands-on prime vs. composite numbers investigation

If your students struggle with the idea of prime vs. composite numbers, this hands-on investigation activity into prime numbers may be helpful, especially to the kinesthetic learners in your classroom.

If your students struggle with the idea of prime vs. composite numbers, this hands-on investigation activity into prime numbers may be helpful, especially to the kinesthetic learners in your classroom.

"I Know I Can" classroom poster

I know I can motivational classroom poster based on the lyrics of I Can from Nas, 2002. Kids need to know that with hard work and a growth mindset, their dreams can come true. This poster is meant to remind them of that.

There are so many great messages buried in the music of the 1990s to early 2000s. And so much of it is completely unknown to kids in our classrooms! I know I sound like my parents about "the good old days of music" here, but back then music had a message and a meaning. It was meant to better us as a society and to bring us together. 

How to Use Algebra Tiles to Multiply Polynomials: with pictures!

Algebra tiles are perfect for making abstract concepts more concrete for our hands-on and visual learners. In this post are 2 examples with pictures for using algebra tiles to multiply polynomials.

I set a pretty average goal for myself a couple months ago to blog about all the ways to use algebra tiles. But then of course life got in the way and here I am only on post #3-- how to use algebra tiles to multiply polynomials. I'll get there, but it may take more time than anticipated!

My favorite use of algebra tiles is for factoring quadratics, especially where the A value is greater than 1. Using the tiles makes this process so much more concrete than any other method (in my opinion). Because it's my favorite, I jumped to blog about it first. But before we even get to factoring, we learn how to multiply the binomials, which is what this post is about.

But first! If you don't have a set of algebra tiles, here is a free set of printable paper algebra tiles. If you print on 2-sided card stock (like Astrobrights) it'll mimic the positive and negative sides of the plastic tiles.

Here we go!

How to Enlarge a PDF into a Multi-Page Poster for FREE! 3 Simple Steps

Are you looking for a free way to enlarge a pdf to print on multiple pages? To make a classroom poster for your bulletin board from a pdf?  In this post are 3 simple steps to make this happen. You will be able to enlarge any pdf into a multi-page poster to hang in your classroom.

When I first started hanging math word walls on my classroom bulletin boards, I figured out a super roundabout way to enlarge a pdf to print on multiple pages. There were multiple conversions involved and the whole thing took entirely too long. So I enlarged a few things, put them up in my classroom and moved on. 

But I recently revisited this whole free poster thing because there had to be an easier way. And my "revisiting", I mean I asked in our Facebook group and got an answer in 3.2 seconds from a super helpful teacher Ms. Potter. And yes, I had been doing things the hard way!

I could very well be the very last person on Earth to know how to do this but like we tell students, "Always ask your question because guaranteed there is someone else in the room who is wondering the same thing." So if you are like me, here are 3 super-simple steps to enlarge a pdf into a multi-page poster. 

How to Eliminate Glare on a Laminated Classroom Word Wall

Are you looking for an easy way to get rid of the glare coming off your laminated classroom word wall and bulletin board references? I searched and searched for matte laminating pouches but came up empty! In this post is a simple - and even better - solution to eliminating glare from lamination so that your word walls can be easily read by students anywhere in your classroom!

That glare from a shiny, laminated word wall is killer. Between the florescent lights and the windows, there's always somewhere in the room where the glare coming off the lamination blocks sight of the references underneath it.

Are you looking for an easy way to get rid of the glare coming off your laminated classroom word wall and bulletin board references? I searched and searched for matte laminating pouches but came up empty! In this post is a simple - and even better - solution to eliminating glare from lamination so that your word walls can be easily read by students anywhere in your classroom!

I've been on the search for flat lamination pouches for a while now. I even tweeted Staples, who replied that they'd send the idea to their corporate office. To date, there are no flat laminating pouches at Staples. Or anywhere else. 

But there is an easy solution! I finally figured this one out today and I want to share it with you! 

So what's the solution?

Clear, flat spray paint!

How to Use Google Forms to Streamline Homework Data Collection

Are you drowning in math homework assignments to grade and wish there was a better way? There is with Google Forms! In this post, math teacher Danielle Fulbright teaches us all how to use Google Forms to streamline the homework data collection process.

I absolutely love our math Facebook group! There are so many wonderful, caring, thoughtful, intelligent, sharing teachers in there always willing to help each other. The community has grown way past what I had ever imagined when I opened it in 2017. At that time I had added my husband as the first member because I was so afraid no one would join! 

One of the awesome math teachers in the group is Danielle Fulbright. Danielle posted about the way she uses Google Forms to streamline homework data collection and so many wanted to know more. Danielle doesn't (currently:) blog, so I asked if she would want to write a guest post. And she accepted! So below is Danielle's post.