Do you ever find something that just CHANGES your teaching. Dare I say, revolutionizes it?? Well, I don't know that I've found that, but this year I did try something new that I really like and use all the time . . . SHEET PROTECTORS!
Let me back up. This year, I have a projector in my room, but no SMARTBoard. I know, I know, first world problems, but I still had to stop and think about my regular routines. I was so used to demonstrating things for the students so easily on the SMARTBoard, that it took me a second to think of how I could still do it, without wasting paper. It took me a few seconds, but then it occurred to me - hadn't I seen sheet protectors used a ton of times in all those fabulous pins I had pinned on Pinterest?
So, I went to Staples, picked up ten sheet protectors and tried it out. I initially wanted to use them just when I was demonstrating how to complete a worksheet to the whole group, but I soon found out there were SO many more uses for them.
In that completely out-of-season picture above (from Halloween), I used the protectors to house a fun roll-a-monster game (found for free HERE) for the students to use. They kept the papers from getting creased, dirty, etc. and they are still in perfect shape for next year.
I don't know about you, but at this time of year, the school is running low on paper, so tons of copies are kind of frowned upon. Don't get me wrong, I try to save paper whenever and wherever possible, but it's beginning to be less of a choice, and more of a necessity. So instead of printing off worksheets, printables or activities for each student, I can now print off one or a few copies and place them in a center for rotation. Students can use whiteboard markers to complete the activity and wipe it clean for the next student. And these do wipe completely clean; I have seen no evidence yet of stubborn marker sticking around.
Long story short, I have now bought about 100 of them (it probably only cost me $10!) and I use them all the time. Not only that, it is nearing the end of the school year and they are still in perfect shape, so I'm hoping I'll be able to reuse them next year.
So that's my little, unoriginal tip for the day - sheet protectors, go get some for yourself! Unless of course, you already know about the awesomeness of them and use them all the time, then just disregard this post, as you could probably give me some tips on how to use them!