Saving time with classroom hacks can be a game-changer for teachers. While not all ideas are perfect for every school, there are some classroom hacks that you just can’t live without.
If you’re looking for ways to break out of the rut you are in, these ideas will help save you time and energy so that you can do more of what you love to do – teach!
Let us know which of the classroom hacks work best for you and, if there are some that you use that are not on the list below, tell us what has been a game-changer for you in the classroom!
Must-Try Classroom Hacks
1 – Make Calm Down Bottles
Not sure what to do with all of those plastic water bottles? Turn them into calm-down bottles for your students!
To make them, pour 1/4 teaspoon of glitter into an empty plastic bottle with the label removed. Add any small erasers or other objects to the bottle for interest. Then, fill the bottle 3/4 of the way with hair gel. Use super glue to glue the lid on the bottle.
Use them in your Calm Down or Zen Space to help your students calm down.
2 – Checklist Bracelets
Does your student need more than a simple checklist to help him complete assignments? Turn those reminders into bracelets! Use construction or copier paper to cut strips that will easily fit around your student’s wrist. On each bracelet write one assignment or task that needs to be completed that day. When the assignment is done, he can rip off the bracelet!
3 – Stop Soap Overuse
If your students are going through hand soap like it’s going out of style, it’s time to control the overuse. How? It’s easy! Simply slip a thick rubberband over the pump and wrap it around the pump stem several times. This limits how much soap comes out of the container with each pump!
4 – Wash Plastic Manipulatives in the Washing Machine
Have your students been passing around germs all month? It’s time to wash those plastic manipulatives with this quick classroom hack! Dump cubes and other water-safe manipulatives into a mesh lingerie bag and toss them in the washing machine! It’s an easy way to clean them that does not take a lot of time!
5 – DIY Ice Packs
Forget about investing in expensive ice packs to keep in the classroom, use a baggie filled with mini marshmallows instead! They are inexpensive, soft to the touch even when cold, and perfect for those times when your students need a quick ice pack before going to the school nurse.
6 – Use Clear Bins for Storage
Those colorful bins are awfully cute and I am a lover of all things color-coded, but sometimes, clear bins are best for storage. One of the best classroom hacks I learned when I first started teaching was to use clear bins to organize my manipulatives and supplies. Labeling is important, but being able to quickly glance at a container and see if it has what I need is time-saving and stress-reducing!
7 – Rotate Manipulatives
In addition to storing manipulatives in a way that you can see them, another of my favorite classroom hacks is to rotate them throughout the school year. Instead of using the same materials all year long, switch them out! Not only does it create interest in the new materials, but it helps to keep your students engaged in lessons!
Making life easier as a teacher in the classroom is all about taking advantage of any and all classroom hacks that you can find that make sense for your situation. What tips and tricks have made a difference in your class? Share them with us below!