Saturday, September 2, 2017

#SundayFunday: Teacher Hacks

This is week five of the Sunday Funday blogging initiative.  It's never too late to join in!  You can read more about the challenge here if you like.  This week's challenge is to write about teacher hacks.

I had some trouble thinking of hacks that I use, so I went around my room, looking for creative ideas that I have learned over the years.

Hack 1: Never buy a stylus!  Pick them up for free at conferences :)

Hack 2: Buy a $20 electric tea kettle.  It's perfect for Millie's Sipping Broth and tea during study hall or a planning period. 

Hack 3: Tony Riehl  posted this idea to twitter awhile back and then shared it again at #TMC17.  Phones are not the only distraction, so have something large enough to hold, say yearbooks, in May.  I also keep a pad of post-it notes in the box so kids can label their distraction with their name before putting it in the box.

Hack 4:  Label all the things! I have never taught in the same classroom for more than 3 years in a row.  So I'm always packing all of my stuff up to move.  I got smart awhile back and stopped unpacking fully.  I just keep most things in their labeled box.


Hack 5:  Buy more storage to house all the extra classroom supplies you splurge on.  Seriously, this has become a bigger issue since Sarah Carter introduced me to NAEIR.

Hack 6:  Shoe polishing mitts are great for dry erase pocket erasers and calculator tape is great for making manipulative number lines.

Hack 7:  Business cards and half-sized index cards are great for making task cards and cards for review games.

Hack 8:  You can buy giant rolls of graphing paper.  I used this for an Ozobot project.

Hack 9:  I give _____ of the month memberships as gifts sometimes.  The boxes can be spray painted turned used in the classroom.  I've used them for station supplies and general storage.


Hack 10:  I've used my old legos (from Santa if you notice) as game pieces for review games.

Hack 11:  Group work and be turned in and returned in laminated, numbered folders.  They last all year.

Hack 12:  Phone accessories make great prize box items, as does candy.

Hack 13:  You can revive dried out markers (one time only) with pliers, an eye dropper, and rubbing alcohol.


Hack 14:  An iPad stand and an app like Reflector or Stage can turn your iPad into a document camera.  This is great for teaching topics like geometric constructions.

That's all for now.  Be sure to check out the other #SundayFunday posts!


  1. On your rolls of graph paper, I had some learners show me this. You absolutely can buy rolls of graph paper dirt cheap! It is called the back of Christmas paper in January! Many types of christmas paper have grids on the back, and you can use the back for math. What an awesome idea!

    1. Omg! That is an amazing tip! Thank you so much. Now I have plans for the day after Christmas shopping :)