Classroom Hacks make me so dang happy because they’re efficient and make sense. I love (probably way more than I should) when I figure out a clever way to implement an idea. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that efficiency makes me giddy. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one, right?! I love clever tricks to help with management and organization. Anything to make my life easier!
Today I want to share some of my classroom hacks that you can use in your classroom tomorrow.
1. Table Points
My favorite classroom hack helps with classroom management and table points. I have very high ceilings this year so I can’t hang table point signs from the ceiling. This year, I bought place card holders (like you see at weddings) and made cute table point signs. Yes, I have 5 tables that are vowels! When kiddos are being awesome, they get a table point. Super easy because they know to come grab a clothespin and clip it. It’s also a great visual if kiddos are being too chatty and you need to take a point away. I’ve found this system is so much more powerful than tallying table points on the whiteboard. Try it and let me know how much you love it!
2. Sit Spots
Sit Spots are THE best because they give kiddos personal space and there are no more cases of friends sitting in the wrong spot. Since I don’t have carpet this year, I’m using my sit spots in sitting areas like this one, our listening center. I don’t want to hear kiddos argue about where they sit, so I plop these down and have eliminated a potential problem. Time saver and super cute!
3. Center Organization
Over the years, I’ve organized my center area a bazillioin gazillion ways and this is what works best. I promise! The clear boxes on the left are our “may-do” centers. Kiddos take the box to their seat and work on it independently. No more lost items or kiddos asking, “I’m through, what to do?” I stock this area with games and activities from this pack! Want to know more?
This has truly kept me sane. During my 3rd year of teaching, I was blessed with a copy mom. Week after week, I would put post-its with directions on everything that need to be copied. It finally dawned on me that I was writing the same thing, every week! So, I started using clothes pins to write my instructions. I just clip them to the papers that need to be copied and we’re good to go. Eight years later, I haven’t looked back!
5. Turn-in basket
I saw this idea last year on Instagram and knew I had to make it work in my class. When friends turn their work in, they find their file folder with their number and simply place their work inside. (See how it works.) Now, if a kiddo forgets to writer their name, because they always do, I know who it belongs to! Plus, it makes filing papers in cubbies so much easier! See where I grabbed the bin.
Speaking of cubbies, I sold mine a few years ago when I moved to Hawaii. Last year, I bought a shoe organizer and it has worked perfectly. I label the cubbies by number so I don’t have to change them out every year.
Kids need responsibility. My class is well-run because everyone has a place and a job to do. This easy chart lists jobs with a stick with each kiddos’ photo and student number. Jobs are changed weekly! See how I organize the jobs in this video.
8. Differentiate work
I don’t have time to pass out 5 different sets of Word Study words. These magnetic pockets from Lakeshore have been a lifesaver. I just place the work inside and students come find their folder and grab their work!
Use bins from The Dollar Tree or Big Lots to organize your books in your library. The bins hold up well and are a lot less expensive than in some of the teacher supply stores. I made a video for you to see some different options you can use. No more messy libraries. I promise! Learn how to level your library here.
10. Focus Board
Use washi tape to create a focus board in your classroom.
11. Memory Book
I love using this bulletin board display that turns into a memory book. I especially love that the students are in charge of hanging up their own work! I’ve talked about creating these memory books here for you. Get the writing and art activities for the entire year here!
I hope these ideas can help you get organized. I’d love to hear your favorite organizing tips!
Kristen of TpT store Easy Teaching Tools is a 2nd grade teacher in San Diego who thrives in an organized and efficient classroom. She’s a big believer in teacher-wellness, balance, and being honest about her teaching successes and challenges in the classroom.