Whether it’s a genius repurposing of an everyday item, another dollar-store find, or a perfectly affordable way to organize your classroom, there’s nothing like proven teacher hacks to save you time and money. Thanks to social media, it is now easier than ever to find inspiration for your classroom. Some hacks help you organize, some help you clean, and some encourage student sharing and learning. Here is a roundup of some of our favorite Instagram-worthy teacher hacks straight from the source: teachers like you.
1. Store paint in old soap dispensers
Make art time a little less messy.
2. Try out a mystery reward
Want to switch up your classroom reward? Here’s a fun way to incentivize students.
3. Save those book jackets
How awesome is this rainbow book display? Save book jackets (or even print out book covers) to make this come to life!
4. Socks for markers and erasers
Socks make the perfect pocket to store students’ dry-erase markers! Plus, they are such an inexpensive solution for erasers.
5. We all need a secret stash
How genius is this? Your students will never find your Twix now!
6. For those early finishers
We’re loving this display! If you’re tired of hearing “I’m done, now what can I do?” put some options on the wall!
7. Color-coding works every time
It’s so simple but oh-so genius at the same time.
8. A “Do Not Disturb” light switch
For when you are working with small groups or helping an individual student, this is a great idea! Let students know you need a few minutes before getting to their questions.
9. Use a star student instead of classroom jobs
Doling out a variety of classroom jobs can be so time-consuming. Try using a star student instead. Just pick one student each day who will be the helper for all your little classroom jobs.
10. Write on pencils for encouragement
Is there a big unit test coming up? Or state testing? This piece of encouragement is easy to make and sure to make your students smile!
11. Make a pool noodle rainbow
How adorable is this? Grab some dollar-store pool noodles and get to creating. And check out our big list of other pool noodle hacks!
12. The nothing-note strategy
Have you tried this strategy? Send a student on a walk to help them refresh and return to the classroom ready to learn. Read more on the nothing-note tactic here.
13. Flashlight Fridays are so fun
Spark some reading love with this idea! Students get so excited to read a book with the lights dimmed during Flashlight Friday.
14. Turn scrap paper into confetti
Save colored scrap paper and turn it into confetti with a hole punch. Use it for celebrations or art projects.
15. Display student work with clothespins and tacks
You can stop leaving holes in students’ work with this hack!
16. Use pouches to separate papers
Keep things organized with mesh pouches such as these. Use them for transporting papers to and from home or for staying organized in the classroom.
17. DIY play dough
Just use cornstarch, lotion, and food coloring for a DIY you can do with your students.
18. Communicate with your teacher team
No need to rely on your phones!
19. Color-code your printables
One for each day of the week!
20. Make master notes with yellow highlighter
Did you know that yellow highlighter won’t come through when you make copies? This is a game changer for making notes to yourself! Check out this Instagram reel showing the hack in action.
21. Implement a calming caddy
Give students a place to take a break if needed. You might end up using these items too!
22. Create a voice-o-meter
All you need are tap lights and signs. Now all your students will know the appropriate noise level.
23. Create desk holders
All you need are zip ties and plastic cups!
24. Turn your collaboration desk into a dry-erase board
The best Instagram-worthy teacher hacks are creative and affordable. This teacher says, “It’s amazing what $5 can do,” and we definitely agree!
25. Use colorful lead pencils
These are so genius. Now you can have erasable colors in pencil, not just pen.
26. It’s an A+ for organized learning
This teacher uses photo boxes you can buy from Michaels to store and organize her task cards.
27. Use a fun screen saver to keep track of your devices
Avoid numbering your devices with stickers that can leave an icky residue. Photos of yourself or your students make a fun alternative.
28. Make turning in homework a game
Homeworkopoly might be one of the most genius things we’ve seen this year. It’s from Le Teacher Chronicles and demonstrated here by A Love for Teaching.
29. It’s coffee that lasts all day
This will get you through those long days—iced coffee to the rescue.
30. Run a sticker store
Reward good behavior with a trip to the sticker store!
31. Use microfiber cloths to clean your whiteboards
With minimal sewing skills, you can make mitts that are extra kid-friendly.
32. Give your mini easel a new life
This teacher said her mini easel was always getting in the way—until she figured out this genius use for it.
33. Create a cozy vibe
Instagram-worthy teacher hacks that make the classroom more inviting are some of our favorites. Create a realistic fireplace in your room courtesy of a diffuser that looks like a flame and some paper and cardboard.
34. Try a drying rack for student art
A laundry drying rack is a cheap and space-saving way to dry glued or painted projects.
35. Make a review game from dry-erase dice
For one buck, these dry-erase dice are the perfect learning activity for any subject.
36. Color-code your hall passes
And hang them in a handy place that only you can access.
37. Get their attention with a doorbell
This teacher swears by her wireless doorbell. She says it’s just the thing she needs to get students’ attention.
38. Rolling carts are game changers
We’ve heard it again and again: A teacher can never have too many rolling carts.
39. It’s a new kind of classroom pet
This idea proves that Instagram-worthy teacher hacks can keep things tidy and teach about STEM.
40. Use a shoe rack to distribute work
Save time on passing out assignments by giving your students a teacher- and student-friendly cubby where they can find their work.
41. Bring life to a number line
Best of all, it doesn’t take up much space at all.
42. Bring new meaning to the dab
How do you use bingo dabbers in your classroom?
43. Learn a little something from your students
Instagram-worthy teacher hacks that encourage students to share are the best!
44. Use pom-poms for your markers
This one circulates around from time to time, but it’s worth showing again because it’s so easy!
45. Use clothespins for pencil grippers
This teacher hack is a cheap and simple way to help kids grasp their fine motor skills.
46. Put a mark on borrowed pencils
Now you can easily keep track of them.
47. Bring life to clothespins
How great are these for holding papers?! We love them.
48. Store paintbrushes in toothbrush holders
You can get them at the dollar store for a great organization hack.
49. Bottle caps offer good learning opportunities
You can use this idea for letters, math, and so much more.
50. Use Popsicle sticks to call on students
A colorful way to ensure every student gets a turn.
51. Practice makes perfect
All you need is plastic plates and you have a math manipulative that you can write on with a dry-erase marker.
52. Make glue sponges
Instead of going through a ton of glue sticks, dump a bottle of Elmer’s Glue onto a sponge. Every few weeks, flip them and give them a spritz of water, and they’ll be good to go all school year.
53. Make your own classroom lighting
Create a calming atmosphere in your classroom by putting an inexpensive string of fairy lights in a glass jar.
54. Color-code your art supplies
For a truly Instagram-worthy teacher hack, grab free paint chips from a hardware store and get creative. We’ve also seen several teachers use paint samples for curriculum review.
55. Create a pencil-sharpening station
Now you won’t have students always asking to go to the pencil sharpener. They can just grab a new pencil and keep working. Then the sharpening can be done at a later time!
56. Make a simple dry-erase board
With a plastic sleeve protector, your students have the freedom to try multiple times.
57. Glue decor to your desk. Yes, really.
You can scrape it off at the end of the year, and all of your breakables will (finally) still be intact.
58. Put bag hooks on the backs of student chairs
Finally clear up the clutter on the floor.
59. Make yourself an “invisibility cloak”
For this teacher, it’s her kitty ears. Putting them on reminds students to try to problem-solve on their own.
60. Use a pool noodle for a doorstop
No more slamming doors!
61. Organize papers with magazine racks
These are so helpful to stay organized!
62. Put matched stickers on glue sticks and caps
Never lose caps again!
63. Use shower curtains as decor
Decorative shower curtains can be a cute and inexpensive way to spruce up any classroom wall.
64. Don’t let markers go dry
Tape together markers in sets for students to use so you never find miscellaneous caps!
65. Doodle on the tabletops
Get some holiday-themed tablecloths for your littles to color while they learn.
66. Easily store anchor charts
Use hangers with clips and a clothing hack (or wall hooks) to keep anchor charts neat.
67. Save time by using the dishwasher
Clean and disinfect classroom supplies such as these in the dishwasher for a fast solution to dirty items.
68. Teach the alphabet and spelling with clothespins
Glue or even write letters on clothespins for kids to find alphabet letters or spell out words.
69. Start a writing station suitcase
Have everything you need in one place to get students writing with this suitcase station and ideas.
70. Share your screen
We love a good screen share! Did you know you can connect your computer to a TV?
71. Try out chalk markers
Use chalk markers for brighter, more vibrant colors without the chalky mess.
72. Have a sub-survival kit ready
You never know when you will have to call in a sub last-minute. A setup like this makes it so easy to be ready to go at the drop of a hat.
73. Use all of the classroom
Ran out of desk space? Use the floor!
74. Ask parents for toys
Students bored during indoor recess? Have parents send in a few small toys to keep them happy and occupied.
75. Use an apron
Hand sanitizer? Check. Scissors? Check. Pens? Check!
76. Store Play-Doh in a creative way
Put a K-cup organizer to good use while keeping Play-Doh clutter to a minimum!
77. Clean up quickly with tidy tubs
Hand out these tidy tubs so kids can help with cleaning up paper scraps and more.
78. Organize with plastic crates
Help your students take initiative by creating bins for extra copies of lost work, papers from when they were absent, and bonus work for early finishers.
79. Learn shapes with painter’s tape
Some Instagram-worthy teacher hacks are too simple not to try! Pick up some painter’s tape in different colors and then create and label difficult-to-learn shapes on the floor.
80. Get creative with a magnetic curtain rod
A magnetic curtain rod, some curtain rings, and a hole punch will really jazz up your morning board.