Thursday, September 8, 2011

Paper, Paper, Everywhere!


Have you ever felt like you are buried in paper at school ... then you go home and your entire kitchen table is covered with it?  Yeah, me too!

All that paper has made me really start to think about what I can do to help this age old...and seemingly endless, problem.

It all started when I wanted to use colorful copies for my students to keep track of their Daily 5 activities...I just didn't want to use black and white copies...how DULL...and I knew what my school would say about too many color copies.....SOOOO, this is what I did.

I went out and bought heavy duty plastic folders that have the 3 prongs down the middle and heavy duty plastic page protectors. Since I was making these at the end of the summer when back to school supplies were on sale, I was able to afford them! 

I then made my copies of the reference guides that my kids use when they are doing Daily 5. The main page they use is a sheet I made to help the kids manage  and keep track of the stations that they have gone to during the week. I put nice color copies in the page protectors and when the kids have been to that station, they put a check mark in the box....with a dry erase marker!! At the end of the week, they wipe it off and are ready to go again! 

Since this idea worked so beautifully, I decided to put some of my other reference materials in the page protectors. Some of these items include:

  • a Daily 5 checklist
  • a Daily 5 rubric
  • an "I'm done" sheet that is used for writing
  • an editing checklist to check  writing before it is published
  • a punctuation reference sheet
  • a sheet of other ways to say something  (i.e. Instead of saying 'said' I could say 'muttered')
  • transition words
  • a sample friendly letter  
I think you get the idea! The possibilities are endless and can be used in any grade level and with just about any info your kids need.

So, now you know how I cut down the amount of paper that is flying around my classroom...now, if I could just do something about the kitchen table!

This is how the folders look and how the kids mark them.





Check out some of the items that I put in the folders. Just click on the picture to see it in my store! Everything is 15% off until Saturday, September 10. 







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