Are you obsessed with washi tape yet?
If not, you’re missing out on one of the most fun and versatile teacher supplies out there.
Equal parts crafty and delightful, trust me when I say that washi tape deserves a top spot among your teacher essentials — right up there with your flair pens and post-it notes.
Yes, this stuff is that good.
If you’ve never heard of washi tape before, it’s basically fancy masking tape that turns everything it touches into gold.
Okay, so perhaps that statement is a bit hyperbolic, but you get the point.
The power of washi tape lies in its versatility. Doubling as both functional and decorative, this little gem can be used for a variety of classroom projects and activities. And the best part: it’s one of those crafty tools that doesn’t actually require any craftiness. If you think you’re not crafty enough for washi tape, think again.
So whether you’re washi tape obsessed like me, or totally new to the idea that fancy masking tape should be your new best friend, I’ve compiled 5 simple yet creative ways you can use this magical stuff in your classroom.
1. Label your classroom library books
Keeping a classroom library organized can be a major challenge in any grade level. Without a clear indication of where each book belongs, books can quickly accumulate in all the wrong places and cause a major headache in more ways than one.
Use washi tape to help tame that mess by color coding your books according to genre, lexile level, or any other organizational method of your choosing.
Simply apply a small piece of washi tape to the spine, press firmly along the edges of the tape, and voila! — a quick and simple solution that ensures you and your students can find and return books with ease.
Now I’m not claiming that washi tape will solve all of your classroom library problems, but it certainly helps. And let’s be honest, those multi colored spines look pretty darn cool.
Another bonus of using washi tape to organize your classroom library? You and others will be able to spot one of your library books in case it accidentally winds up in another classroom or (gasp!) on the hallway floor.
2. Color code your hanging file folders
If you’re like me and inherited dozens of those ghastly avocado-green file folders, or if you’re in need of multi-colored folders but don’t want to shell out extra money for all the pretty colors, try using different colors of washi tape instead.
Since all you really see in a file cabinet are the tops of each folder, adding a strip of washi tape will help keep your files organized and add a little color into dreary world of filing.
Seriously, whoever thought those avacado colored folders were a good idea?
3. Border or partition your whiteboard
Make the most of your whiteboard space by using washi tape to border or section off important areas. Washi tape is the best choice for the job due to the fun pattern options and the fact that it’s easily repositionable and removable. No need to worry about making a mistake, and no sticky residue to deal with either.
4. Hang stuff
5. Label all the things
Being a teacher means your supplies are used by dozens, if not hundreds, of people in a day. Labeling your basic supplies, such as class pencils and highlighters, will help ensure their proper return to your supply area.
While it’s definitely not a foolproof system and your pencils will probably still disappear at some point, in my experience the washi tape serves as a great visual reminder to students who’ve borrowed the supplies.
Washi tape can also be used to label bigger supplies like staplers, tape dispensers and sharpeners.
So now that you’ve seen all the wonders washi tape can help you accomplish, you may be wondering where to acquire such magical stuff.
Recently, however, I’ve come across the free Teacher Program from NAEIR.org, which has helped feed my washi tape addiction tremendously. NAEIR works with brands such as 3M to provide teachers with low cost supplies for their students and classrooms. While the supply list is ever-changing, I’ve been able to accumulate quite a bit of washi tape over my past few orders. I highly recommend you check out their program and sign up for a free membership if you haven’t already — but beware, ultra-low cost school supplies can be addicting!
Now the only problem is… how to store it all?