George Lucas Educational Foundation
Classroom Management

Classroom Hacks: The Rubber Band Control Valve and the Duct Tape Anti-Clicker

November 13, 2015

The Rubber Band Control Valve

On the third day of school during pack-up, a usually stressful, loud adventure, I spied a student across the room taking a Purrell bath. He squirted a healthy glob of hand sani into his palm and then proceeded to moisturize his face and arms. To make a long story short, (ouch) he didn’t exactly enjoy (burn) the classroom cleanse for obvious reasons (sizzle). I had a long talk with him and then with his mom. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t happen again with him, but what about other students? I definitely didn’t want another “event.”

Sanitizer with rubber band control valve

What should I do? I didn’t have to think long. That day after school I went into a friend’s classroom and noticed she had a rubber band wrapped around the hand sanitizer-pumping dispenser. Bingo! The rubber band stops the pump from pumping all the way down, which gives a nice little smidge of sanitizing goodness –– a little droplet.  She didn’t create this idea. I think she credited Pinterest. Genius!

The Duct Tape Anti-Clicker 

This idea is for the student who cannot resist the temptation to click pencils. It’s like he’s constantly counting off the encore song at a Van Halen concert. He’s the kid that I like to call “reminder-proof.” Reminders just bounce off. He’s also a magician because no matter how many pencils I might take from him, he always has more. Perhaps up his sleeve. Clicking, clicking, clicking. And when you think he’s not paying attention and zing him with a question mid-click –– he knows the answer.

He’s hyperactive?


He needs to click?

Of course.

Does it mess with his learning?

Not really.

Does it mess with his peers?


Two duct taped pencils
Photo Credit: Gaetan Pappalardo

That’s why I needed to silence the click. I called upon the most versatile Macgyver-like substance on earth. Duct Tape. Yes, I duct taped his pencils, which allows the clicker to click without the click. Muted. Silenced. It’s working for now. We’re all happy.

Share your ideas that help all students succeed. 

This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. Due to audience interest, we’ve preserved it. The opinions expressed here are the writer’s own.

Share This Story

  • email icon

Filed Under

  • Classroom Management
  • New Teachers
  • 3-5 Upper Elementary

Follow Edutopia

  • facebook icon
  • twitter icon
  • instagram icon
  • youtube icon
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use

George Lucas Educational Foundation

Edutopia is a free source of information, inspiration, and practical strategies for learning and teaching in preK-12 education. We are published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.
Edutopia®, the EDU Logo™ and Lucas Education Research Logo® are trademarks or registered trademarks of the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries.