51 Genius Hacks Teachers Actually Swear By

    Get the most out of your school year with these ideas that will save money, time, and patience.

    1. Attach a stapler to the wall — keeps your stapler from getting lost and is easier for students to use.

    2. An under-the-shelf tissue dispenser keeps germy hands off the tissue boxes.

    3. Wedge a roll of toilet paper into a candle holder and take out the cardboard so you don't have to buy your own tissue box.

    4. Label a shoe organizer to store their headphones, water bottles, or school supplies.

    5. A pipe cleaner with a bead can be a helpful learning tool for any activity that requires multiple steps, like long division.

    6. Make reading guides out of laminate strips and highlighter tape to help students who are easily distracted.

    7. Bring their scissors home so you can give them a rinse in the dishwasher.

    8. Bottle caps + plastic lid = art palette!

    9. Or repurpose a drink holder tray to hold paints.

    10. Glad Press 'n Seal is a cheaper way to stencil vinyl than transfer paper.

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

    11. Keep your stickers neat and organized with a binder ring.

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

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

    14. Use colored dots to make groups easy.

    15. 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.

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

    As does an inexpensive flat sheet.

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

    18. Store glitter in salt shakers for easier, cleaner use and storage.

    19. Use nail polish to label any items that go together, like computer mice + Chromebooks.

    20. Here's how you keep your markers lasting as long as possible:

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

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

    23. Designate one student as the "Ask Me" student who can answer the questions of other students while you're busy assisting others.

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

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

    See how this teacher made these here.

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

    27. Colored velcro on carpet creates seating positions for your kids.

    28. Repurpose an old K-cup holder to organize Play-Doh instead.

    29. 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.

    Or use old DVD cases.

    30. Save paper by using dry-erase paper covers that make exercises reusable.

    31. Make an "I'm Done!" cup so that early finishers aren't bored.

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

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

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

    Boxes from the post office are also perfect for this.

    35. Got some old fuzzy socks lying around? They make fun, colorful whiteboard erasers.

    36. A straw dispenser makes the perfect pencil dispenser.

    37. Bunch up tissue paper and staple it to create a decorative border for bulletin boards.

    38. Struggling with lost pencils? Make your students responsible for their own pencils using toothbrush cases.

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

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

    41. Put up a QR code at open house so the parents can easily pull up all of your contact info on their phones.

    42. Create a system of silent hand signals that don't disrupt the class.

    43. Turn crates on their side for storage if you have limited tabletop space.

    44. 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.

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

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

    47. Here are 10 clean, kid-friendly Spotify playlists that you can use in your classroom.

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

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

    50. Use duct tape to keep marker sets together.

    51. Hanging a mirror in your classroom (this teacher used sticky hooks and thick string) lets you have "eyes in the back of your head."