17 Classroom Hacks That Actually Work in SPED

We have all been there. You have. I have. Every single teacher you know has been there.

And you’re probably thinking… “there? huh? where is there?

Let’s go back in time.

The kids are in bed and you have 3 minutes to yourself. You decide to hop on Pinterest… because who hasn’t done that.

You find this amazing pin that is just genius. You know it’s going to be the biggest game changer in your classroom and you’re never going to look back. How did you live before you found this pin?

You immediately order the supplies for it on Amazon (that is, if you aren’t already hoarding the supplies in your school closets).

Then the day comes where you implement this genius classroom hack…

…and it’s doesn’t work. Because that Pringles can you’re now using to store rulers in looks super cute, but it still smells like Pringles, and now your kids keep chewing on the rulers that smell like Pringles.

17 classroom hacks that actually work in a special education classroom. Blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.

But there are those times when that genius pin… that genius pin just. works. perfectly. The stars align and your life is for real forever changed.

And those are the ideas that I am going to share with you… those star aligning classroom hacks that will actually work in your special needs classroom.

Slant board hack - if you can't afford to buy a slant board, make one out of a binder and binder clip.[ Credit: Mrs. D’s Corner ]

Slant boards are expensive, but also a huge necessity in any special needs classroom. Easily make your own with a binder clip and a 3-ring binder!

Make a sign that determines and reminds teachers and paras what hook and loop goes where.

[ Credit: @simply_visual_tpt ]

Put labels by your Velcro so you never forget which end goes on what. GENIUS!

Glue sponges in special education classroom with save your sanity.

[ Credit: Mrs. D’s Corner ]

No more pushing in glue sticks… no more eating glue sticks like butter… no more chapstick glue… GLUE SPONGES will change your classroom.

GLITTER glue sponges are the best because kids will work for them. Use them as a good behavior incentive, at a VIP table, or for the Student of the Week.

Add pictures to your storage containers for how the supplies should look when they are put back. Great visual for students when cleaning up.

[ Credit: @theartofed ]

Practice putting things away in the correct order by simply taking a picture of what the put away bin should look like and taping it to the front of the bin. Best hack ever!

Print clip art in poster size to bring bulletin boards to life.

[ Credit: Mrs. D’s Corner ]

Enlarge clip art and print in poster size using Adobe.

Use command hooks to hang bulletin board borders.

[ Credit: @amodernteacher ]

I have used this classroom hack for years! Simply buy a few Command Hooks and a couple binder clips… instant bulletin board border storage (say that 3 times fast!)

Add hook and loop to the back of gloves in the bathroom.

[ Credit: Mrs. D’s Corner ]

If you have a classroom bathroom and don’t have any immediate storage for your gloves, simply Velcro the box to the wall. Change out the box when it gets emptied and you’ll never be stuck in a messy spot again.

Okay, maybe…

Add hook and loop to the bathroom spray to keep it out of hands of students.

[ Credit: Mrs. D’s Corner ]

Classroom bathrooms have the potential for… umm… a lot of different, erm, smells.

Simply Velcro your booboo spray on a high cabinet (so the kids can’t reach it), but so that it’s easily accessible for a quick spray.

Keep a wet sponge in a baggie in the fridge for when students need an ice pack.

[ Credit: @alliemagnuson ]

Dollar store sponges, slightly wet, and frozen in the freezer… instant boo boo healer. Simple and cheap!

Reuse containers for other things.

[ Credit: @alliemagnuson ]

Cut the bottom out of a Clorox container, take the lid off, Velcro it to the wall and use it for a store bag container. Great for when students have bathroom accidents and need to change clothes (…and the clothes need to be sent home).

Use a paper cup or a plastic container over the light switch to prevent students from turning the lights on and off.

[ Credit: Mrs. D’s Corner ]

Have a student who likes to turn the lights off and on? Cut a paper cup in half and tape it over the light switch.

You can also use plastic bins to cover up the switches with Velcro.

Use clips around the classroom for word work and centers.

[ Credit: @solisteachingtreasures ]

“I decided to hot glue my plastic clips to hold my write the room cards. Bye bye tape and hello plastic clip holders. They come off easily when I need to remove them and no mess.”

Use container lids for visual schedules.

[ Credit: @weteachsped ]

Use those random extra bin lids that all special ed teachers have laying around… and put them to use for visual schedules. Much sturdier than laminated paper or cardstock!

Keep timers on bracelets.

[ Credit: @tinasteachingtreasures ]

Attach your classroom timers to a bracelet… and you’ll never lose your timers again!

Keep thank you cards in your desk. You never know when you'll need one.

[ Credit: Mrs. D’s Corner ]

You know that I already know how much you frequent the Target Dollar Spot and Dollar Tree. It’s not a secret, but we can pretend.

Grab a few packs of Thank You cards and blank cards to keep in your desk. You never know when you’ll need one!

Use two folders to create progress monitoring folders.

[ Credit: @welcometofirstgraderoomfive ]

This hack changed my life during my first year of teaching. You need one folder that has prongs inside, and one or two paper folders. Flip the paper folders inside out, hole punch, and insert into the pronged folder.

Now you have lots of folder pockets to store work samples, IEP data, and everything else you need. Simple and cheap to make one for each student!

Use boxes to create book bins and storage.

[ Credit: Mrs. D’s Corner ]

Book bins for your classroom can be expensive, let me just tell you. So grab a few of the Priority USPS boxes at your local post office (they’re FREE), and make your own book boxes.

The cardboard is super sturdy, add some monkey glue to keep them together or duct tape, and then add a front label or spray paint to match your classroom.

17 hacks that work in any special education classroom and will change your teacher life. Blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.

To try out a few more classroom hacks, check out my Pinterest Board.

What’s your favorite classroom hack that works for special ed classrooms too?




  • Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner