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Back to School Classroom Hacks

Hi, friends!  Operation back-to-school is in full swing, and I am slowly counting down these last few days of summer vacation!  As I was setting up my room, I got to thinking about a few classroom hacks that are sure to make setting up for back-to-school a little easier for you too!


If you all have lockers, you will love this first tip!  After I laminate my locker tags, I adhere them to the lockers using rubber cement.  Simply cover the back of the tag with the rubber cement.  Then, position the tag on the locker.  Easy peasy!

Great back to school tips and classroom hacks! You won't want to miss these tips for classroom organization or the back to school FREEBIE!

This is so much easier than trying to cover them with clear contact paper, and the rubber cement keeps them sticking to the locker all year long.  Plus, the tags are easy to remove.  Simply peel them off and rub the rubber cement with your hand to remove the left over residue.  I usually have the kiddos help me roll off the rubber cement at the end of the year.  They think it is just the coolest thing ever!


My second tip is for all of you (myself included) OCD teachers out there!  This tip comes from my coworker’s classroom.  She uses zip ties to keep her desks in straight rows!

Great back to school tips and classroom hacks! You won't want to miss these tips for classroom organization or the back to school FREEBIE!

No more desks that are out of order, no more straightening them a million times throughout the day, and no more marking the floor with tape!


This last tip will help save your sanity when working in your journals, writing notebooks, reading notebooks, composition books, etc.  A few years ago, my coworker showed me how she uses binder clips to help the kiddos keep track of which page they need to turn to next.

Great back to school tips and classroom hacks! You won't want to miss these tips for classroom organization or the back to school FREEBIE!

You all, this is genius!  I no longer have kiddos flipping to the middle of their journals and having their journal entries out of order.  Thank you!


Your students are sure to have fun with this “Backpack Boogie” ten frame center!  Place these ten frame cards around the room.  The students will “boogie” around the room and count the backpacks.  Then, they will color and write how many backpacks are on each ten frame.  Click below to grab this FREEBIE!

This back to school FREEBIE is sure to build number sense and keep your Kindergarten kiddos engaged during the first days of school! We love to get our

I hope you were able to find some useful classroom hacks!

Don’t forget to check out my “5 Tips for Back to School” to help save your sanity as the new year begins!

Save your sanity with these 5 back to school tips! So many great ideas for classroom management and classroom organization! Do these now to help manage your time and make your first day of school stress free!

Plus, you can find more back-to-school ideas on my “Back to School” board on Pinterest.

Happy back-to-school to all of you who have already started and to those of you just about to start!

Ashley Sharp Pos Bio Image

Ashley Sharp

As a dedicated Kindergarten teacher for nearly 20 years, I believe the words “fun, play, and creativity” can sit right alongside the words “developmentally appropriate, engaging, and rigorous.” Learning is meant to be fun and messy!

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47 responses to “Back to School Classroom Hacks”

  1. I Teach Elementary Avatar
    I Teach Elementary

    I need to use the zip tie trick! My kids desks are all over the place this year!

    1. Ashley Avatar

      My coworker swears by it! Her desks are always perfect! 🙂

  2. Susan K. Avatar
    Susan K.

    I LOVE any type of gift card as a gift!

    1. Ashley Avatar

      I am so sorry I forgot to change the question on the rafflecopter, Susan, but thanks for leaving a comment! 🙂

  3. kathy Avatar

    My favorite teacher appreciation gift is a TpT gift certificate!

    1. Ashley Avatar

      Sorry I forgot to change the question on the rafflecopter, Kathy, but YES, TpT gift certificates are definitely my favorite too!

  4. amberjo226 Avatar

    These tips were fabulous!

    1. Ashley Avatar

      Thank you! I love any kind of teacher hack that will help make back to school easier!

  5. Sarah Mcreynolds Avatar
    Sarah Mcreynolds

    My favorite tip is to use the flair pens in all your grading. It helps make grading fun!

    1. Ashley Avatar

      Flair pens are my favorite! Just bought a fresh pack for a new year!

  6. russellla63 Avatar

    You have lots of great ideas! Thanks!

    1. Ashley Avatar

      Thank you so much! My coworkers and I have been doing them for so long that they're really kind of a habit now! 🙂

  7. Beverly Vercelli Avatar
    Beverly Vercelli

    I love the use of clips on notebooks so they know exactly where to turn. You can also hot glue a bookmark to the back of the notebook. Love using both of these.

    1. Ashley Avatar

      Thanks, Beverly! I like the ribbon idea too, especially if you want to color code your notebooks with colored tape along the spine!

  8. Ms. Hoag Avatar
    Ms. Hoag

    prep as much as you can in June ,so you're ready when the laminator breaks in august!

    1. Ashley Avatar

      AMEN! It either breaks or runs out of laminating film every year!

  9. lindsy Avatar

    Hot gluing tacks onto clothespins is an easy way to switch out artwork or anchor charts an keep your bulletin board looking new.

    1. Ashley Avatar

      I have been wanting to do this for years! I am still trying to find a big enough space to fit a "Wow Work" board. I wondered if they would hold an anchor chart. Thanks for the tip!

  10. Lori Raines Avatar
    Lori Raines

    I hot glue my kid's pictures onto old rectangular magnets ( the kind you get from insurance companies) and I hang up their work with their author photo. The kids love it!

    1. Ashley Avatar

      This sounds so cute! What a perfect use for all of those rectangular magnets! I'll have to start collecting them now!

  11. tll6601 Avatar

    I go in early, one week before preplanning starts, to get a head start on setting up my room. This works great, as my school encourages it & it makes preplanning go so much more smoothly.

    1. Ashley Avatar

      I totally agree! I spend most of August getting my room ready just so I can spend one day planning the first week of school. It's amazing how much work goes into getting your classroom ready for another year!

  12. Triple the Love In Grade 1 Avatar
    Triple the Love In Grade 1

    Use felt as an easy dry erase eraser for kiddos dry erase boards!

    1. Ashley Avatar

      I haven't tried felt, but I've seen tons of other teachers use it for dry erase erasers! I will definitely be giving them a try once my regular erasers go bad!

  13. Sarah Larson Avatar
    Sarah Larson

    I know it's pretty common knowledge but I have one folder for homework and one folder for classwork! Keeps desks tidy and communicates with parents what the child is doing and what the school is doing! I also use hand signals for basic necessities so that I cut down on the number of interruptions while I'm teaching.

    1. Ashley Avatar

      I will be incorporating hand signals this year! I can't wait to see how much they improve classroom management and transitions!

  14. Melinda Avatar

    Use hot glue on painter's tape if you need to cover cabinets or walls.

    1. Ashley Avatar

      Great idea! I'll have to remember that one! Thanks!

  15. Jenelle Malone Avatar
    Jenelle Malone

    I also zip tie my desks!!

    1. Ashley Avatar

      They are an OCD teacher's dream! 🙂

  16. Rachel Rosado Avatar
    Rachel Rosado

    What an exciting blog hop!! My back to school tip would be to have "Scrap Baskets" at your tables. This way when the kids are doing cutting activities, the scraps of paper don't go all over the floor or the table. It's like a mini garbage can for the table where the kids put all of their cutting scraps into. Then my table captain (the person responsible for the table supplies and collecting papers for the table) will empty out the basket at the end of the activity and put the basket away. Happy back to school time everyone:-)

  17. hsease Avatar

    Clips on the notebook are amazing!! Thanks for the tips! Do you use the rubber cement on desk tags too?

  18. Laurie Chvatal Avatar
    Laurie Chvatal

    I use the binder clips and they make life so much easier

  19. Ellen Avatar

    I use binder clips with students names on them to label their cubbies.

  20. Stephanie Avatar

    Our school color codes subjects (black is Math, blue is Language Arts, etc.) from 1-8 to help students stay organized. Everyone uses these colors for notebooks, folders, and book covers.

  21. Donna Allsworth Avatar
    Donna Allsworth

    I love to use glue sponges so students don't overuse the amount of glue.

  22. Brittney Ellis Avatar
    Brittney Ellis

    I love paper clips on a calendar! Great tool when dont have a pocket chart.

  23. Lisa Marshall Avatar
    Lisa Marshall

    Color coding papers to keep organize!

  24. Michelle Avatar

    Love the binder clip tip!! I will for sure be trying that out!

  25. Tonya Lambert Avatar
    Tonya Lambert

    Keep a positive attitude!

  26. lisa Avatar

    using notebook rings to hang up smocks

  27. Samantha Rigby Avatar
    Samantha Rigby

    Teacher Hack: Having a "New Student" bag ready to go with all the necessary forms and information needed to be sent their way.

  28. Amy M Avatar
    Amy M

    I really need to try the zip ties- it drives me crazy when my kids' desks are scattered! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  29. Alicia Avatar

    Great ideas! Where did you find the spiral notebook with the picture box on top and lines on the bottom? Thank you!

  30. Charlie Avatar

    Zip ties or tie wraps as we electricians call them can be very sharp where cut if not trimmed as closely as possible or twisted with lineman’s pliers to remove excess! Kids in your classroom could suffer nasty cuts when they contact these items.

  31. Fredro Avatar

    Nice post!

  32. Corey Kobel Avatar
    Corey Kobel

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