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25 Dollar Store Teacher Tips You Prob Haven't Seen Yet

Helpful ideas no matter what grade you teach!

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2. Or if you feel fancy, hang a shoe organizer on the wall with a bunch of power strips (safely connected, of course) to make a cell-phone daycare., Jennifer Jantz /

Read more about the rules that make this work here. If you want all of the phones turned in at the beginning of each class, use this system of counting each student as "present" only if their phone is in their assigned pocket.

3. Cover bulletin boards in plastic tablecloths for quick and bright backgrounds.

Of course, they are thin and may rip a little if students are always pinning and unpinning papers, so you could use two layers of the plastic tablecloths if you wanted. Read more about this dollar-store high school board here.


5. Use oversize dice and a set of wide popsicle sticks for daily journal prompts and reading questions.

6. Cut tri-fold board displays in half and reinforce with patterned duct tape to make privacy folders.

Spray painting is totally optional — you could even let your class decorate the outside of their own folders. Get the full tutorial here.

7. Cut sponges in half to make cheap board erasers (and use clear sheet protectors to make cheap dry-erase boards).

Wait, this is so brilliant. If you wanted to make the sheet protector stiffer, you could insert a piece of 8x10 cardboard behind the computer paper. Read more here.


9. Use $10 worth of cookie sheets to make a stackable, easy-to-access art drying rack.

If you're worried about how stable they'll be, just put some small self-adhesive rubber nubs (like the ones you'd use to keep furniture from scooting around) on the bottom of each tray where it would touch other trays. Read more about it and get more ideas here.

11. Then trim another cookie sheet in duct tape, and use glass gems and small magnets to make a class tracker.

Not that you'd ever really lose a student, but you might appreciate this come a particularly busy day. Read more about it here.


14. Make bathroom passes out of name tag pouches, key rings, and stretchy coiled bracelets.

It could potentially help the passes get a little less germy, because they can easily roll up on a student's arm. Read more about them here.


17. Sort individual math counters in plastic bags or small plastic containers so they're easy to hand out.

Then of course keep each collection in plastic bins, so it's super quick to grab everything you need. Read more classroom organizing tips here.

19. Make an absent work bin to make it simple for students who have been out to catch up on what they missed.

Learn more about how it works here. Although (coming from a former student whose teachers had these), it might be helpful to remind students when they're back in class to go check the bin!


20. Sort papers for your own sanity using binder clips as changeable labels for bins and stacks of papers.

At the end of the day, it's easy to use that clip to bring the stack of papers in that bin home, if you need to. Get more classroom organizing ideas here.

21. Stack a couple of cheap crates at each group of desks to use as shelves.

Instagram: @courtney_dinwiddie

They're a great spot to stash supplies. From here.

23. Designate a bin for students to drop their library books in when they're done with them.

Instagram: @theclassroomcreative

It keeps the date in clear view and gives students a chance to turn in their books when they're done reading, before they forget. From here.