Teacher Hacks for Every Grade
Everyone loves time savers and new ideas to make life easier and more efficient. We teachers are no different and love to hear about how other teachers came up with great ideas that we can copy. So, here are some teacher hacks for every grade level.
- A plastic tablecloth from Dollar Tree makes a great bulletin board covering.
- Put colored paper in hanging file folders to keep it neat and fresh.
- The app Noise Down will sound when the noise level gets too high in the classroom. This is the signal to quiet down.
- If you are helping a group or busy with other students, choose one student to be the “Ask Me” person that the students go to with questions so you are not continually bothered.
- Shower board panels from a home store make wonderful small whiteboards to use with students during lessons.
- Priority mail boxes from the Post Office are free and make a convenient way for students to keep their things in order at tables or desks.
- Put extra assignments in a hanging file folder where the students can access them to pick up make-up assignments from days missed.
Middle School Hacks
- Store earbuds for students in a bead organizer box.
- Use TedEd lessons for added depth to concepts and lessons.
- The Teachlearnlead app is like Facebook but only for teachers to share ideas and strategies with each other.
- Make field trips and other activities that require consent forms form parents easier with the Classtree app, which allows you to attach the e-sign form right to the message.
- Motivate students with scratch-off cards for Classroom Lottery with free lunch, no homework, or small prize to reward for various things.
- Use the IKEA Rascog cart to organize the work for the day.
- The Avskild placemats from IKEA can be used to make individual bulletin boards for students to display work for the week.
High School Hacks
- Color code your PowerPoints or any other media to eliminate the “Do I need to copy this?” question.
- Scratch off Classroom lottery tickets as rewards work well for high school, too.
- When students are restless or not engaged, have a 30-second dance party or power stretch.
- Use the fun childhood game of “Heads up, Thumbs down” in many ways in the classroom, even for showing understanding of concepts.
- Increase attendance for Open House and other meetings by making it a secret game with points and prizes.
- Hand out tickets for an end of day candy (or whatever is motivational) raffle to keep the interest high during lessons.
- Assign each student a number on the first day of school. When they turn in papers, they must write their name and number on each paper so that once graded, it will be easy for you to see whose assignment is missing.
There are so many places to find great hacks that make your day more organized and less stressful. Look on Instagram, Facebook, and ask veteran teachers what their secrets are for efficient instruction.