DIY Teacher Hacks: 4 Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

We all know teachers aren’t exactly made of money, time, and, well… energy. Thankfully, these DIY (Do-It-Yourself) teacher hacks don’t require a whole lot of any of those! Here are a few tips to make your career a little bit easier.

Looking for some cute ideas and crafts that can be used in your elementary classroom - all while saving you money? Look no further. I have a few DIY teacher hacks just for the elementary teacher!


Teacher Hack #1: Dice

I am always running out of dice, so I like to make my own! I go to Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and buy these wooden blocks and a Sharpie. Then I just write whatever facts on them that I desire! It’s nice because then I can make fractions for comparing, adding, ordering, and multiplying. I can also create dice with operations, dice for decimals, etc.

Wooden blocks that can be used as dice and a Sharpie

Teacher Hack #2: Whiteboards

Continuing on my “trying to save money” trend, I make inexpensive whiteboards. I buy white card stock, sheet protectors, washcloths (buy a pack at the dollar store!), and Expo markers. I slide a white card stock sheet inside the sheet protector. Then I cut up a washcloth into four small pieces for erasers. (I’ve heard dryer sheets work well too!) What’s nice about this idea is that when you work with students you can easily pull these teacher hacks out and slide in a worksheet to practice on. I can’t tell you how many times I have only had one copy left, and this was a lifesaver!

White card stock, sheet protectors, washcloth, and Expo marker

Teacher Hack #3: Barrel of Monkeys Game

I love to monkey around! No, really, I do. I used to love that Barrel of Monkeys game! Do you remember that? Or am I showing my age? I just can’t let kids today not experience such an amazing game! So, to make sure they enjoy something way more exciting than any electronic app, I created this cute game.

Barrel of Monkeys game with words glued to the monkeys
Just print out your desired words or numbers and glue to their belly. Then students play the game as it’s intended but looking for a match. For instance, you can glue multiplication problems on its belly (5×7) and the answer (35) on a different monkey’s belly. Students then look for the match and pick it up with the arms of the monkey only. You can use various parts of speech and have students only hook all verbs. The ideas are limitless and fun — it’s like several teacher hacks rolled into one!

Teacher Hack #4: Name Display

Just for fun, I created a name display for my door that I found on Pinterest. I don’t remember where I saw it or who did it (if it was you, please let me know so I can give you proper credit!). Either way, I loved it and decided to create it myself—with just a bit of a tweak! I bought a small 8×8 canvas and painted it pink (you guessed it — my favorite color!). I bought scrapbook solid colors and hole-punched 1-inch circles. These were then glued on randomly. Then I bought scrapbooking stickers to add the lettering, owls, and border. After decorating it my way, I added some ribbon to hang it.

Name display for door with text "Mrs. DeShaw"


While these teacher hacks may not be the fanciest around, they’re certainly cute, inexpensive, and they get the job done! They are always a hit in my classroom, and I have no doubt they will be in yours too.

Interested in more great ideas for your classroom? Click HERE to see ideas on my blog.  Also, be sure to head on over to my TpT store for engaging products that are sure to save you time as well!

~Happy Teaching!

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    This Post Has 8 Comments

      1. Tammy

        Thank you. I'm glad you like it! 🙂

    1. Mary

      I love your idea with the Barrel of Monkeys! I know I have one game, but I need more! I also use sheet protectors as white boards. Last year I used socks for erasers, but some of my students were grossed out by them- even after I showed them they were brand new socks! I will have to get some washcloths- they should be on sale with going back to college deals!

      Teaching Special Kids

      1. Tammy

        I've tried the socks too. Thanks for reading! 😉

    2. Michelle Lehan

      Love the "white board" idea with page protectors….I've seen that before in a workshop, but forgot about it until now. That would be great for when I meet with kids in small groups. I also love how you cut up cheap washcloths for erasers. Felt also works well, and is pretty inexpensive when you cut it in smaller pieces. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

      1. Tammy

        I have also tried felt, but found after a while it gets really "furry." I also saw it at a conference and have been using it for years. I just love that I can slide another sheet in for students to work on during centers, so on. 😉 Thanks for reading!

    3. elainaann

      Ummm…I love those homemade dice. I actually have a container full of those blocks tucked away in a closet upstairs. Now I have a use for them! Thank you!!

      1. Tammy

        Thank you! I use to buy dice at the dollar store, but like this method because you can tailor it more specifically to your students' needs. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

    Comments are closed.