Simple Hacks for Your Classroom

I scoped today on Periscoped (@VoraciousTeacher) about three super easy teaching hacks to make YOUR life easier. 

My first is tech related and they are headphone splitters. 

I can't even claim this hack which is kind of embarrassing because I'm a tech teacher. But that's the power of collaboration! Because one morning I stopped in my coworkers classroom and she showed me some headphone splitters she had bought so two students could use an iPad at the same time. 

Um genius! 

This way students can share an iPad and it doesn't have to be noisy! 

The other way to use them is during research! I'm going to blog on Friday about how my second graders are doing their research projects. We use databases like PebbleGo, BrainPop Jr. and World Book Kids during research and they all read to the students or have an audio component. With the splitters, students can work at one computer listening at the same time.  

Sharing a computer opens up conversations about the information and they absorb so much more of the content. I know it sounds weird by just having them share a computer this would happen but it's true. 

It's also helpful if you have a limited number of computers or iPads, that way students can more easily share the technology. I bought the splitters from Amazon here

My second hack are these SUPER cute golf pencils I bought from Amazon. The main reason I love them is because its really hard for kids to use a two inch pencil as a sword. 

Wait, just kidding. That's just one reason I love them. 

I really love them because I was going through SO MANY pencils since the beginning of the year, I HATE sharpening pencils, the kids were chewing on the pencils and the erasers were gone day one. They end up looking pretty beat up after just a week or two (I teach 500 students). 

These golf pencils are cute, have an eraser, MATCH MY DECOR, are harder to chew on because they are so short, and are pretty hard to use as an improvised sword.  I bought them from Amazon here

My third hack connects to pencils. 

Despite all the pluses of the golf pencils, the erasers do wear down. Instead of buying eraser caps, I buy large erasers at the store and rip them in half. I store them in a cup behind my easel and I hand out three per class. 

I'll admit, they do "wander and get lost" sometimes and sometimes students have a hard time knowing the right time to ASK for an eraser (Need to work on developing hand signals!) but it makes my life easier because I don't need to worry about every pencil being perfect.

 I buy the erasers in town but they are similar to these erasers on Amazon (Can you tell I love Amazon?? When I had to tally teacher expenses for my taxes, I just went to My Orders on Amazon and started my list from there!). 

I hope these ideas are helpful and I would love to hear your ideas!

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