Best Hacks We’ve Learned from Teachers in 2020

Best Hacks We've Learned from Teachers in 2020

Most teachers would agree that there’s a lot about 2020 that we just don’t want to remember. Our careers were turned upside down by the global pandemic, but in the end our love for our students never ceased. Similarly, Covid-19 has not cancelled our appreciation for and pure obsession with teacher hacks!

Here are the best teacher hacks to come out of 2020.

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1. Add a clothing rack to your Amazon wishlist to store your anchor charts

No more wrinkled, ripped-up anchor charts! Use a clothing rack for long term storage so that you can reuse those beautiful anchor charts.

2. Store decks of cards for math in snap containers or travel soap boxes

Card storage teacher hacks
Source: Teacher Mate

We love a good storage hack! Throw out the cardboard boxes and store cards in containers for math centers or partner games.

3. Use this Hobby Lobby gumball machine to store small class rewards

Many teachers have shared that they found one at Hobby Lobby, but you can also add this gumball machine to your Amazon wish list.

4. Project and trace anchor charts

If you haven’t tried this yet, what are you waiting for?! Tape anchor chart paper to your whiteboard and project the design you’d like on to it. Trace away!

Repurpose k-cup carousels as play-doh storage in your classroom!

6. Use (fresh) socks as erasers and storage for markers

@Theuniqueclassroom likes to tell her students to “sock their markers” when it’s time to clean up!

7. Use an iPad stand for teaching virtually

Many teachers have figured out how to use two screens during Zooms or Google Meets to optimize academic learning time. The iPad is used for presenting to the meet and laptops are used for seeing the kids on screen. Having the iPad stand makes everything easier! Grab this iPad stand for under $20.

8. Use alphabet sponge cutouts for primary sound and letter learning activities

These cutouts can be used as stamps with paint.

9. Transform socially distant desks into Jeeps

At this point, it’s still unclear what the future looks like for our classrooms, which is why many teachers transformed their students’ desks into fun stationary work spots. You will need cardboard, colored paper, plexiglass and some patience to make these desk Jeeps!

10. Make signs for your door so that other adults don’t disrupt virtual teaching

This is a 2020 hack if we’ve ever seen one! Many teachers have gotten tired of their pre-recorded lessons being interrupted, so no one is shocked that this hack came to be.

11. Use dry erase pockets and command hooks to store papers needed for the day

This hack was created with social distancing in mind. Rather than the teacher needing to hand out papers throughout the day, he/she can place all needed papers in the dry erase pockets ahead of time. At the end of the day, students stuff the dry erase pockets with any work they need collected by the teacher.

12. Cut up a shoe rack and zip tie pockets to desks for water bottle storage

Find a cheap shoe rack and cut it apart so that each student gets one pocket. Students will love having a designated place for their water bottles!

13. Provide comprehensive math tool kits for individual students

Many hacks from 2020 involve finding ways to keep students safe, like providing individual materials.

14. Use cut up fabric to make banners

Here’s a decorating hack to love! Use leftover fabric or ask your local fabric store, like JoAnne’s or Michaels, for scraps. Rip the scraps into strips. Knot them together over rope or string to make your own hanging banner.

15. Soak sponges in glue for students to use instead of straight from the bottle

This hack saves you from the mess of glue overload! If sponges are kept in sealed containers, they will stay moist with glue for students to use when in need of a dab of glue.

16. Use Dollar Tree facial pads as erasers

This hack is a sure favorite of 2020 as teachers have been able to rid of old socks used as erasers and de-clutter from bulky traditional dry erasers.

17. Make salt and pepper glitter shakers from the Dollar Tree materials

Minimize the glitter explosion by filtering glitter through salt and pepper shakers from the Dollar Tree.

18. Store board games in zip bags to eliminate box clutter

Board games storage hack_Bored TEachers
Source: Hello Fifth

Replace flimsy old cardboard boxes with clean, sturdy zip bags. Never mix up game pieces again with this super simple storage hack!

19. Use stickers to keep track of glue sticks

Color code glue sticks with stickers, and then give one color to each group of students. Color coding glue sticks ensures that you know which table the cap on the floor belongs to. If you see a blue sticker on a cap on the floor, turn to the blue table and ask who is missing a glue cap.

20. Use Dollar Tree trays as whiteboards

This hack is a fun alternative to scrap paper. The tray can also be used as a crafting surface for students!

21. Use a rubber band to prevent hand sanitizer leaks

Put a rubber band around hand sanitizer to prevent too much sanitizer from leaking out. Oh 2020, you have taught us so much!

With so much change in the last year, one thing that will never change is how teachers hold up one another. Sharing hacks to make each other’s lives easier is just one of the many things that we love about our colleagues!

Also Check Out:

Best Hacks We've Learned from Teachers in 2020

Like it? Share with your friends!

Jenna Marcal

Veteran Legend

Jenna is a 5th grade teacher in Upstate New York! She loves to cook, dance, and dance while cooking! When she's not taking care of her succulent babies, Jenna can be found grading a stack of papers with one hand and holding a chilled glass of white wine in the other.

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