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!

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

1: Bring those markers back to life

Ms. Peña is a genius. She ties a string to the end of a dried up dry erase marker, makes sure the cap is secure and swings it around her head about 25 times. This sends the remaining ink back down to the tip.

Ms. Peña brings an Expo back to life

IMPORTANT NOTE: When I shared Ms. Peña's post on Facebook, teachers commented that they experienced some mishaps with this method, including spraying students with (red) ink. So the advice is to take it a little easy at first.


2: Posters falling down?

If your posters keep falling off the wall, Amy from the blog What Happens in First Grade has a great tip in this post: Blue painter's tape and hot glue.

hot glue and painter's tape hack

Amy puts the painter's tape on the wall then uses the hot glue on the painter's tape and the poster. This keeps the posters secured to the wall. 


3: Small white glue bottles

White glue is so much cheaper than glue sticks and it lasts a lot longer. I've even had bottles of glue last into the next school year. 

small glue bottles hack

The problem is how much glue kids end up using. Chris Kesler from Kesler Science posted a solution to this dilemma a few years ago,

Small glue bottles. The smallness of the bottles sends a sort of subliminal message to kids to use less glue. 


4: Keep markers together

How about this genius hack from Goodbye Home Ec Hello FCS.

tape markers together hack
Marker hack from Goodbye Home Ec Hello FCS

Now sets of markers are more likely to stay together so that kids will always have the colors they need.


5: Super cheap whiteboard erasers

Personal whiteboards and whiteboard erasers can get expensive, but there's no reaction like a kid's reaction when those whiteboards come out.

felt for dry erase markers hack

Megan from @mathwithmeaning on Instagram has this hack for teachers.

"Another inexpensive back-to-school tip: cut up a sheet of felt as whiteboard erasers! You can get a full class set for under a dollar. Last year I got the pretty mint color, but they quickly became discolored, so I recommend going with black!" 


6: No more exploding baggies


Mandy from @mathdyal has this great hack for group work.

cut corners off baggies to keep students from inflating them hack

If your students like to inflate and pop the plastic bags you put station work in, here's Mandy's advice: 

"Sometimes cutting corners is good - like when you cut the corner off a ziplock bag filled with puzzle pieces so teenagers can’t blow it full of air and pop it."


7: Free posters

If you have a pdf that really needs to be bigger, it's easy to enlarge any pdf for free from home. 

make free posters from pdfs hack

The steps to print any pdf on multiple pages to enlarge it are found in this post.


8: Ruler storage

Hayley from @activityactermath has this great ruler storage hack.

upcycle a cereal container into ruler storage hack

She has upcycled a cereal container to hold rulers. Students can use the flip lid to take rulers out and easily slide them back in once they are done with them.


9: Shiny word wall? 

If your students can't see your laminated word wall because of the glare, there's a solution. Clear flat spray paint.

clear flat spray paint to take the shine off a laminated word wall hack

This "calculating tip" word wall reference was laminated then sprayed with clear flat spray paint. The shine is totally gone.

(If you're concerned about vapors because your word wall is already hung, modge podge also works.) 


10: Painting staples

Kacie from @mmmmkacietravis has this tip for hanging white bulletin board letters.

painting staples white hack

"Have white letters that need to be stapled onto your bulletin board? Try this pro tip! Paint them with white out or a paint pen before putting them into your stapler. Then the staples blend in with the paper better! (works with other colors, too)."


11: Keeping desks together

Cassie from @learnwithuss had posted this photo on Instagram for keeping student desks together. 

keep student desks together with a can hack

"For real, one of the few things keeping me sane this time of the year. If you are struggling to keep your desks together or to get your kids to align them, USE CANS! Seriously, not only do they save so much time and many headaches, you are also reusing something you might have otherwise gotten rid of. Also, you might make a few more crockpot meals and make your life easier."


12: Attendance trends

Jameson from @lessonswithcoffee has a great tip for tracking student attendance trends. 

tracking student attendance data hack

"I keep a second record book for attendance. Almost like a bullet journal I can start to see patterns. #iteachmiddleschool so I have around 175 students it’s hard to remember. This lets me start to see if students are always gone before a break, constantly late on “B” days, or sometimes even helps me to see if a student might need some help or guidance from the nurse. It also helps me to see does a student not perform well because they don’t know something or because they haven’t had the chance to learn. I picked up this record book at target but you could make your own. You could also record bathroom breaks, nurses office, student services or any other things! Do you track attendance?"


13: Watercolor borders

Jameson also posted on her Instagram this genius bulletin board hack. 

classroom bulletin board hack

If you have a bunch of mismatched bulletin board borders left over, you can turn them over, color them with watercolor pencils and paint with water to make this beautiful watercolor border. 


14: Gardening department

Tracee from @mrsorman posted about checking the gardening department to find classroom storage. 

gardening department for classroom storage hack

"When you are shopping for back-to-school things, don’t forget to check out the GARDEN section! Everything is usually on clearance and you can find some super cute planters that make for perfect school supply bins/holders. You can score some clearance plants for your classroom, too!"


15: Fidgety students

If you have fidgety students who have a hard time staying in their seats, Autumn from @supportsforspecialstudents has a great hack.

fidgety student hack

"Do you have a love/hate relationship with fidgets? They are a phenomenal tool for many kids, but some can end up being more of a distraction than a tool to help them focus. I make my own fidgets out of beads, key rings, and pipe cleaners. I attach them to all of my tables so that they are always within reach. They are perfect for busy fingers, but boring enough that they don’t become a distraction."


16: Mug stand scissor tree

Miss Mac from @classofmissmac posted about her scissor tree. 

mug stand scissor tree hack

"Who else is always looking for cheap and easy ideas to keep things tidy?? This “scissors tree”, as we call it in our classroom, is just a mug stand from @kmartaus and it works a treat!! I love to see other teacher organisation hacks so share if you have any sneaky tricks!!"


What's your favorite teacher hack?


Scaffolded Math and Science blog

No comments:

Post a Comment