Twelve (mostly cheap) teacher tricks that work in an elementary library

Learning practical teaching tips and tricks is one of my favorite forms of professional development. I love when others share simple things that can be applied quickly and easily to my teaching and improve learning for my students.

Here are twelve tips and tricks that work in my library:

  1. A Magic Wand – This can truly be magic! This wand is used to dismiss students from the rug to move to other activities. It prevents the mob mentality that happens when everyone goes at the same time. Plus, when you touch a three-year-old on the head with a magic wand they think the library is magical too!
  2. A Mystery Box – Yes, this was once an ordinary tissue box, but now holds questions, vocabulary words, objects, or letters. This box can be filled with topics that relate to what we are reading or learning about. Just reach inside and let the discussion begin!
  3. Give Me Five – This was a dollar store find! It works great for encouragement as well as grabbing the attention of the room.
  4. Sit Spots – These are not as cheap as the other tips in this list, but they are totally worth the price! If you have carpet, these securely hook to the floor. Since each spot has a Velcro backing, it can be easily removed and repositioned. I use them mainly to help students line up, but have brought more to allow me to make a circle in the middle of the library and to determine the number of people who can work in certain groups.  There are even teachers who use them for learning games. The possibilities are endless. Check out their website at:

Read the remaining tips online here.