DIY Projects You Have to Try If You Teach Elementary School

Jan 12, 2024
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What teacher doesn’t love scrolling through Pinterest for awesome lesson ideas, DIY classroom decor inspiration, organizational tips, and everything in between? But, during the busy school year, it’s hard enough to find the time to eat three meals a day, let alone invest hours jumping into every project you come across online. Instead, take some time this summer to not only enjoy a little crafting but also to start getting yourself prepared for back-to-school time too! Give these handpicked DIY projects a try because, before you know it, that school bell will be ringing and it’ll be time to get back to teaching.

Build the Perfect Teacher Binders

Some lucky educators are just naturally organized. But, if you don’t possess that gift, a teacher binder can be the perfect answer to keep track of everything you’re juggling. These cool tools give you space to keep track of your calendar, lesson plans, student data, and any other info you find yourself consistently reaching for. While you’re at it, make that easy-to-use substitute binder you wish you had last year when you caught the flu and were out for three days unexpectedly.

Craft Your Way to Classroom Management

Summer is the time to do the legwork for any new class-management strategies you want to implement next school year. Try some of these free printable behavior charts for your classroom to help keep your students on track and make sure classroom rules are being followed. These eye-catching watermelon-themed flip sticks are a great way to keep track of which students you’ve called on over multiple “question sessions” so that everyone gets a turn. Or, if you’re really feeling artsy, take a spin at putting together this cool spinner wheel for brain-break exercises, picking students or groups at random, and more!

Turn Pool Noodles into Station Manipulatives

Pool and beach season means that pool noodles are practically everywhere. So, take advantage of their abundance, and get started on some crafts your classroom will lose their noodle over! Cut pool noodles into pieces to teach a lesson in fractions, or try some other pool noodle crafts including race tracks, beachball basketball, stick ponies, and more. You can also make Truffula Trees to add some Dr. Seuss sparkle to your classroom library or literacy station

Give Your Desk a Makeover

If there’s one thing that’s true about teaching, it’s that there’s always more organizing to be done at your desk. Start the decluttering by going digital and ditching your bulky paper desk calendar for a smarter online alternative with Google. If you’re one of those people who really needs a physical calendar, try making your own DIY classroom calendar. With all those pesky papers gone, you’ll have plenty of room to personalize your space with these DIY classroom projects.

Try Some DIY Flexible Seating

Next up, you can begin to tackle the delicate art of organizing your classroom seating. If you’re looking to move toward more flexible seating in your classroom, check out these DIY ideas for crate seats, or a comfy floor pillow. You’ll be amazed at how budget-friendly, fun, and easy it is to incorporate flexible seating options in your class. And, even if you’re not ready to take your class down the flexible seating route, some of these DIY seats also make great chairs for a reading nook or classroom library!

Kick Off Your DIY Classroom Decor

Get a head start on your back-to-school decorating efforts, and try your hand at upcycling with this adorable water bottle fish craft. Create a DIY border trim for your bulletin boards using wired ribbon, plastic vines, or tissue flowers to make your classroom walls stand out. Use yarn to suspend crafts from the ceiling as wacky decor, add name tags to them for a friendly “meet the class” display outside your room, or build them with your students during their first week back as a fun way to help everyone get to know one another.

Looking for more classroom management tips to help you get the school year off to a great start? Learn more about how you can build a strong community atmosphere in your classroom.

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