37 Insanely Smart School Teacher Hacks

Start the year out right.

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1. Glad Press ‘n Seal is a cheaper way to stencil vinyl than transfer paper.


Because in order to be organized this year, you’ll need a foolproof labeling system. Follow the directions here.

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2. Put up a QR code at Open House so the parents can easily pull up all of your contact info on their phones.


[source: Reddit]

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3. Make inexpensive inspirational quotation posters with

They’ve got tons of stylish templates to choose from that you can easily print out with a color printer and laminate as inexpensive wall hangings.

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4. Use double-sided tape or hot glue OVER painter’s tape to keep from ruining the walls.

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5. Use outdoor mounting tape for heavy things like bulletin boards.

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6. Use colored dots to make groups easy.

Put a different colored dot on each desk in a group. When you need to have a student from each table do something, you can simply ask for all the green dots to bring you the papers from their group.

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7. Instead of giving students bathroom passes, give them hand sanitizer bottles to ensure clean hands.


Don’t forget to tie a rubber band around the neck so you get child-sized squirts every time.

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8. Plastic tablecloths from the dollar store make durable bulletin board coverings.

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As does an inexpensive flat sheet.

Way cheaper than buying fabric.

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9. Put your colored paper in hanging filing folders to keep them neat.

No more messy stacks of paper.

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10. Here’s how you keep your markers lasting as long as possible:

Velcro ensures that they don’t walk.

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11. Need to seal in some marker? Use clear nail polish!

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12. Use an app like Noise Down, which will automatically sound an alarm when the decibel level gets too high.

Now you have an objective way of setting a general volume in the classroom.

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13. Designate one student as the “Ask Me” student who can answer the questions of other students while you’re busy assisting others.

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14. Leftover Easter egg dye can be used to color clothespins.

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15. Make pocket wallets out of regular folders to store index cards and the like.


See how this teacher made these here.

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16. If you’ve got clogged glue caps, soak them in vegetable oil.


The oil will keep the glue from clogging.

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17. Have kids practice their fine motor skills by painting with water on chalkboard.

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18. Velcro on carpet creates seating positions for your kids.

And it’s an easy way to make groups. All the pinks can go together to form a team!

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19. Get cheap whiteboards by buying melamine or shower board panels from a hardware store.


They work just as well as whiteboards and cost way less.

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Or use old DVD cases.

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20. Make an “I’m Done!” cup so that early finishers aren’t bored.

Have the student pick a stick with a given activity on it.

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21. Give kids a visual way to represent their status as they work independently.

You can use Post-its or colored index cards.

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22. When a student is working extra hard, give them a set of smart beads to wear.

Mardi Gras beads are an inexpensive way to make kids feel extra special.

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23. Make your student a reminder bracelet when you really want them to remember something.

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24. Easily swap out categories for shelves by using binder clips.

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25. Use painter’s tape on a chalkboard or whiteboard as a place for students to practice their penmanship.

Penmanship is not dead! The great thing about painter’s tape is that it doesn’t leave a residue.

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26. Use cardboard magazine holders to create individual storage units for each student.

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Boxes from the post office are perfect for this.

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27. Stick pompoms to the end of your dry-erase markers for an instant eraser.

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28. A straw dispenser makes the perfect pencil dispenser.

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29. Create a turn-in bin with clothespins that are labeled with each student’s name.

When a student turns in their assignment, they can turn the clothespin over, giving you an easy way to keep track of who has completed their work.

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30. Easily get the wrappers off crayons by soaking them in water.

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31. Have a self-service spot for kids who were absent.

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32. Create a system of silent hand signals that don’t disrupt the class.

Download the free poster here.

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33. For kids who can’t help but have an awkward grip on their writing utensils, have them hold a cotton ball or small rubber ball between ring and pinky fingers.

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34. A roasting pan is a cheap and easy way to make a homework tray.

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35. Make your paintbrushes last longer by washing them with conditioner.

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36. Snack Tupperware containers are great for rolling dice and making sure they don’t get lost or fly across the room.

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37. Make your own homemade glue dots for hanging things on your windows.

Get the tutorial here.

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