Last week I brought you the Digital Teacher Hacks and Tips! This week I’m bringing to you physical classroom hacks and tips. Again, when asked about the best tips and tricks, I was amazed and awed by the overwhelming amount of responses I got from educators. It takes a village to really have a great pool of ideas so I’ve added links to other teachers’ social media or blog posts. So what are we waiting for?! Sit back and get ready for some awesome teacher hacks!
1. First, an absolute MUST HAVE teacher item… HOT GLUE! Don’t have it? Grab it! Don’t use it? Start now!! Check out what @alliethegypsyteacher has to say about hot glue! Want to know another MUST Have teacher item?! Two words. Packing Tape! @fifthismyjam knows ALL the love that is packing tape! If you don’t use packing tape for pretty much everything… you should check out her page to see why you should!
2. Below are some great ways to motivate students to track while they read! Witch fingers are a cheap and GREAT way to get excited, especially this time of year!
3. Teachers came through with some GREAT ideas and tips for whiteboards, their storage, and eraser! Click on each picture to read more about the specific tip and idea!
Whiteboard and eraser storage! You can also store the marker inside the socks!
An oldie but goodie! Pom poms on the tops of dry erase markers!
Another eraser type… sponges!!
4. Bookmark hack: Laminated Astrobright strips! Talk about an easy, super cute, and INEXPENSIVE idea! Thank you for this wonderful tip @all.about.the.abcs . You could even draw on them, write messages or have students decorate before laminating.
5. Hanging things on different types of walls can be frustrating. Insert wall hanging hacks: Hot glue as mentioned above is usually foolproof, but see the brilliant way @rocketdogteaching does it instead!
6. Who doesn’t love IKEA? I mean everything in there is cute and multifunctional. Here’s a cool and creative way to use the IKEA Tolbsy Frames!
7. Looking for ways for students to manage themselves? Below are some creative ways to have students help make your life a little easier by taking attendance, going to the bathroom, lunch count, and more! Click on each picture to learn more!
Another way is to have a dry erase board on the classroom door- one side kids write their name on if they leave the room & where they are going, the other side for dismissal changes that day. This helps you know where kids are at all times! Thanks! @mrsmamallama
8. Do you hate when you’re trying to laminate small pieces and when you lift the sheet to put it in the laminator, the pieces slide? Here’s a helpful tip- use a little glue from a glue stick on small pieces to keep them from sliding around! If you have not tried this yet, it helps SO much!
9. Some classrooms don’t come equipped with enough bulletin boards. Well you can no longer fret about that! You can MAKE your own bulletin boards!! Say whaaat?!! Watch this video below to learn more!
10. Have trouble hanging letters straight?! Not anymore with this AMAZING hack! Use blue painters tape to get the letters exactly how you want them before stapling them to the bulletin board. You can even step your game up if you hate seeing the staples! Pins and Colored staples to the rescue! Learn more by clicking the picture below!
Is decorating the classroom your jam? Here is a great POST all about how to hang classroom decor easily and with less trouble!
11. Task cards awesome resources and they can be used in so many different ways. Here is an innovative one from @mrs_cornetts_corner! Putting task cards in Dollar Store photo albums! All students need is their book and a marker. You can click on the link to learn even more!
12. Check out this entire YOUTUBE video full of great hacks and ideas such as printing and copying hacks, and one that helps keep desks and tables together!!
13. Face masks are a new way of life for us. Here are a few ways to make you more comfortable with them and save your voice! A face mask bracket gives you more space for comfort and a microphone can help save you from having to speak louder through your mask. I have THIS microphone from Amazon and LOVE it for me and the kids!
14. Command anything is amazing because they’re so quality and how adorable are these command clothespins to hang anchor charts?! Can we say mind blown!
15. Two words…. Trash basket. They can be used in so many ways! Here is a post that show how helpful these little baskets can be!
16. Using pins and binder clips, or clothespins and tacks, to display work on bulletin boards is a great idea! It makes changing things out so much quicker.
17. Not sure where to house with all those adorable classroom pointers?! Look how @kimsteachingcorner stores hers!
18. Another AMAZING hack that I will DEFINITELY use and never thought of… shower curtains instead of fabric on your crate seats!! This is cute and sanitary!! You could probably even get away with a clear liner over your fabric if you already have yours made!
19. This hack is PERFECT for social distancing right now! Use colored tape to help students establish their own space!
20. Word walls are essential but have you ever tried a magnetic one?! It’s a GREAT way for students to be able to interact with the word wall and easily put the words back!! I will absolutely be using this one FOR SURE! Thank you @teach.joyously
21. Trouble making your own anchor charts? Want to make them beautiful but struggle with handwriting and drawing? I know I do! Here’s a great tip for creating Pinterest worthy charts. You can create anchor charts in Google Slides or Powerpoint then project it on the board. Place a piece of anchor chart paper over the top to trace! You can also press the “freeze” button so it won’t move and trace it!
22. Here’s a great and easy way to display standards- Use page protectors to easily change and keep them displayed!
23. Does anyone cringe at the idea of busting open the paint with a classroom full of littles? I’m raising my hand here. However, there’s a great hack for making paint more manageable! Start saving cans with plastic tops, like frosting or peanut cans, and get some plastic sandwich bags. Cut a hole in the top of the frosting can lid. Place a sandwich bag inside the can with the end of the bag folded over the outside of the top. Pour the paint inside the bag and place the lid on top of the can. Kids can dip their paint brushes in the lid hole to paint. When done with painting, place the brush in the sink to be cleaned, take the sandwich bag out and discard, and close it with the top! Still paint left? Simply close the sandwich bag and store it in the paint cup for another time! Easy Peasy!!
24. If you still have virtual students but want students to still participate in think, pair, share activities, how about sending beanie babies, or other small stuff animals, home with your students so they can always have a “partner”. The “partners” can also serve as reading buddies for the year. Thanks! @kellics_firstgrade
25. Want to keep the room smelling fresh but aren’t allowed to use candles, diffusers or plug ins? Check out this wonderful hack from @thelittlelearnmaid ! Keep a cheap can of carpet fresh on hand and sprinkle a bit in the trash bag each morning. Every time a kid throws in trash, it stirs the scent and freshens the room all day!
26. One hack that I use EVERY year is numbering students. If provide students with a number, you can then use that number for just about EVERYTHING- bins, cubbies, pencil boxes, etc. The kiddos learn their numbers easily and the best part is that everything with a number can be reused year after year!
27. Hacks that simply make your life easier is essential in the educator world. HERE is a wonderful post with 10 tips and tricks to make that happen!
28. Want creative and inexpensive ways to decorate bulletin boards? Switch up the old butcher paper with materials like fabric, dollar store table cloths, or wrapping paper! These are just SOME of the many inexpensive ways so can really get creative!!
29. Want a great way to display and organize anchor charts?! HANGERS FOR THE WIN!! Teachers are so smart.
30. Need another wonderful idea to motivate students and get students excited to be called on! Check out how this teacher is using these cute little ducks to do just that!
I hope you enjoyed these teacher hacks! I know I enjoyed learning about some new great hacks and these are absolutely NOT even close to all the cool tricks out there. If you want to continue this learning, @lifebetweensummers shares a #teacherfollowfriday every Friday with a brand new teacher and a brand new idea! If YOU have any additional must know hacks to share, drop them below!
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