Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thrifty Thursday ~ Saving Paper



Does your school have rules, procedures, and/or limitations on your classroom copies?





Over the last few years, in an effort to save on paper costs, we've gone from being able to run whatever we wanted without keeping any real count going to having to have our copies approved by an Instructional Coach and using an ID number if we need to run our own copies to being limited on the number of copies per day to having our copies approved by the principal...and in some cases justifying why we need that specific sheet copied...and in some cases being turned down.


It's a necessary sign of the times.  I know that.

It's also much better for our planet. I know that.

Is it an inconvenience?  I'd be lying if I said no.

Does it sometimes feel like we're begin treated like children?  Again, the answer has to be yes.



It's one of those deals where a few who try to get away with too much and work around the system keep getting the system tightened and tightened for the rest of us.



If it means less furlough days and fewer lost jobs for my teaching pals, then I'm all for it!

However, I think these procedures have made me and my curriculum partners really think about what we are choosing to give our students.




Is if really something they need a copy of?  OR can they create a Thinking Map on their own to serve the same, or maybe even better, purpose?

Do they need everything on the copy we've given them in the past?  OR can we edit or recreate something more concise?

For example, in the past we ran off writing prompts with lines for students to use for their paragraphs.

Why?  They have their own paper {or at least they are supposed to}.

I've edited the prompts to fit two per page and then only printed six or eight copies.  Once cut in half, this has been plenty for writing prompts that students typically do after quizzes or tests, or as a station.  They're not all needing the prompts at the same time.  My paper use was cut from 125 copies to eight.  Then add in the cost of toner, etc., and it does add it rather quickly!

We've also done a few things in class sets where the copies are placed in sheet protectors for practice problems.  At the end of class, the sheet protector is wiped clean and ready for use in the next class period.

In the end, we have been able to drastically cut down on the amount of paper we are using for copies this year.

What's the copy procedure like at your school?  What are some creative ways you've found to cut down on the number of copies you need?

I'd LOVE to hear your ideas!

Enjoy :)




18 comments:

  1. Thankfully I teach in a district where we are able to still freely run copies. We have cut positions and honestly copy budget hasn't really been an issue.

    We do have each student bring one ream of copy paper at the beginning of the year and they turn it into their 2nd period teacher. This allows that teacher to have "extra" paper when needed if the supply runs low near the end of the month before the new shipment is in.

    I for one use Interactive Notebooks for everything we do in math. This means that there is always something to put in our books. I try hard to conserve as much paper as possible when doing this and putting as many on a page as I can. I have shrunk things before to put up to 6 per page and still have it able to be read. This really helps when you have 120 kiddos doing the same thing each day.

    http://www.LiveTeachCreate.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great idea to have a ream of paper on the BTS list! We're a Title 1 school so I don't think it would fly, but if it could be done, that would surely help!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      ~Michelle

      Delete
  2. I teach 7th and 8th grade English and all of my students writing is done online. We use a program called Moodle. It's a free program but you have to have your own server. The kids all have their own log-in and password. It's really too detailed to type out here, but I don't use paper much at all. Plus, it's so much easier to grade typed text! I can give you more info if you have questions about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure that does save tons of paper! I've used Moodle myself for an online class I took and really enjoyed it. Plus, for today's students, digital writing is their future.

      Thanks for the great suggestion! Hopefully some more English/writing teachers can check out Moodle as well.

      ~Michelle

      Delete
  3. Students' writing I mean. Yes, I teach English. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jan, Moodle sounds awesome. Is that similar at all the turnitin.com?

    Michelle, I love this post. I've been thinking a lot about ways to be a bit more green in the classroom lately.

    I teach 7th and 8th as well and our students all have an email account that is run by gmail (but it isn't actually gmail, not sure how that works), and I have them do a ton of stuff on google docs! We work on collaborative reviews that way - I can post the questions and they can team up to answer and revise other's answers. That definitely helps save some paper!

    Another Day in the Silver Mines
    Luci

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Luci!

      Being green is something we all need to consider as often as possible.

      I LOVE Google Docs! I even had my students vote for our new class turtle's name and suggest rules they thought would be good for him in our classroom on 2 separate forms last year! So many endless options.

      Thanks for coming by!

      ~Michelle

      Delete
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