Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sharing the Planet: Teacher Tips!

As we learned about sharing the planet and the kids were starting to make choices based on what they learned, I did some reflecting on the amount of paper I was using. My life sometimes feels overwhelmed with paper and I hate it! And sometimes its not about the planet... Do you all have copy limits? Limited budgets? All those things can make planning a little difficult.

But there is a way to:
Save Paper, Save Money, Save the Planet...  and Save our Sanity!

So here are some things we can all do to feel like we are doing our part!

Whether it is basic sheet protectors or dry erase pockets, these things are a LIFE SAVER! Instead of having to print a class set, you can print one or two sheets, slip them in a pocket and you are good to go! Groupon has had deals on the pockets so I have a set of 20 and we use them ALL the time, small groups, workshop stations, sometimes even whole group. I LOVE them!

This is a new one for me. We have always been good at recycling paper when we are done, but now if there is a blank side, we fill it up!! The first couple of times the kids were so confused about what side to work on, but they quickly figured it out.

We have all bought those great packets on TPT that end up taking up a TON of paper... but sometimes there is extra space on the page. Did you know that you can print two pages to a page on PDFs?

My printer/PDF viewer at school looks like this:
Just go to page scaling and pick multiple pages per sheet. Click on two pages and it will scale it down!

My PDF view is, for some reason, different at home. I guess they may be different versions.
Anyways. If I only want one page for a station I will choose the pages I want to print (blue arrow) mark the same page twice, choose the multiple page option and I get a half size sheet. A lot of times shrinking it down to half size still gives them enough space to write!

Just a couple clicks, but it can help save lots of paper!

This is easiest to do on our laser printer at school, because you don't have to feed the paper through again, so check to see if your printer will do it too!

Go to preferences when you click print and the screen that is special to your printer will come up. Choose to print on both sides. Ink Jet printers might have special directions, but no extra work is needed for the big printers at school!

Call me a pack rat, but certain things I know I can reuse, so I hold on to them a little bit longer. If I don't use them in the next couple months I will throw it away, but think creatively first! I used to use shelf liner for my bulletin border. When I changed up my boards I held on to the long strips for a bit, and they became perfect for number lines! I have had these for a couple of years now and the kids love them when I pull them out!

Those are 5 easy things to start doing! Start saving the planet! :)

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