Low-Cost Classroom Hacks for Teachers

Without a doubt, teachers are some of the most resourceful and creative people. After all, when you’re tasked with the education of the youth—of the future—there is no other way to go but to rise to the challenge and get it done. As a teacher, you would not want the lack of resources compromising the quality of your students’ learning experience. Because of this, more and more teachers use “hacks” to provide low-cost everyday teaching solutions.

Whether it’s an organizational hack or an idea for a new tool or technique, hacks provide simple-yet-genius ways to maximize learning among students.

Some life hacks courtesy of Mrs. M

Samantha McBurney, a first-grade teacher in Rhode Island, shared some of her school hacks in hopes of helping her fellow educators. Here are some school hacks that Mrs. M has use.

No computers? No problem

Using the keyboard is one of the fundamentals in computer education. However, if your school lacks the resources to provide adequate computer units for everyone, you can use just a keyboard instead. Learning the placement of keys, their functions, and other information doesn’t always require a computer (although, of course, that would be better). For first graders, a keyboard is already enough (and extremely exciting!).

Organization pouches/aprons

For grade school teachers, one of the biggest challenges is keeping classroom tools neat and organized. Supplies may get mixed up and lost especially in younger grade levels. For this dilemma, you can attach pocketed aprons on the back of every chair. This makes the important items easy to access, and it also keeps the tables and floor clutter-free.

Exercise breaks

It’s a known fact that children have significantly shorter attention spans. This is why expecting your students just to sit all day and listen is just asking for trouble. As an adult, you find it hard to stay focused on one thing for a long time. Why would you think your students can do the same?

Exercise breaks are helpful as they reenergize the kids. Their minds are also less prone to wandering off when you schedule regular blocks that are solely for some stretching/light motion. If you incorporate movement into the lessons themselves, that’s even better! Try using dances or other forms of movement to reinforce lessons. This is also extra beneficial for motor learners.

Other hacks that you can use

Additionally, here are other simple hacks that you may want to try!

  •  Use colored dots, taped on desks, to make grouping easier.
  •  Cheap, plastic tablecloths are perfect to use as bulletin board covers.
  •  Use Velcro to attach your markers, facing downwards on the board, to help extend their usability.
  •  Put plastic cups in a muffin tin to use as a supplies organizer.
  • Old shoe racks can easily add more storage space when placed on top of tables.
  • Use paint stirrers to divide or label books (you can usually get these dirt-cheap).

So, there you have it. If you have other school hacks, make sure to share them with your colleagues. Don’t be afraid to experiment and adopt others’ school hacks as your own!

Maria Dublin
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Maria is a writer, an editor, and a law student. She plays for the Philippine national touch football team, and does a lot of travelling during the holidays.