Thursday, March 26, 2009

Scan When You Can!!

In this day and age we don't like the huge piles of paper that can surround us at times. Computers were supposed to make us into a paperless society, wasn't it? Well, computers can make a paperless society if we work on it! The computer can only do what we tell it to do, and honestly, most of the time we just tell it to print.

If we make a conscious effort, we can reduce our piles of paper and maybe even help the environment while we're at it!

First of all, don't make a zillion copies for 'just in case'. It is a good idea to have extra activities on hand, but limit yourself, especially if you don't end up using them.

Also, you don't need to print out all of your ideas, keep things digital until you need them. This is especially helpful with subjects that change and activities that can be updated later. If you have a word document of an activity you can easily personalize it to your class and print it out the week you need it to be copied on your photocopy day.

Speaking of photocopiers, it's also a good idea to lay off when possible. I know, I've done it too: there's 25 kids in the class, so I'll copy 28 because someone will lose it and someone else will rip theirs to be silly or make a paper airplane, and someone will make a mistake and want to start all over, and I need a copy for myself... I was in a 7/8 classroom and I had made just enough copies and one girl lost hers; do you know what I did? I told her she had to share with someone else and she'd get a new one the next day. I told her that I couldn't leave the room just then to make a copy and she had just received the paper, so if she couldn't keep track of it, she would have to wait. And you know what? The world did not fall apart! She was slightly miffed but when she realized that I really wasn't going to run to the photocopier at the drop of a hat she moved on, and did some work. By not having extras for 'just in case' I taught her a lesson in responsibility and consequences.

If you have papers that are worksheets for different grades or classes than the ones you have, but are great ideas, scan them! Give the paper copies to someone that can use them and move on. One less thing to handle (or several less things). Just a computer file taking up very little space.

I recommend sorting your papers by grade and then subject in elementary school, and by class in high school. Keep the current year's stuff in your classroom and/or on your person (this week's stuff only, maybe some digital and what you are currently using for long-range planning). Materials for other classes, grades, and subjects that you don't need this year should be archived out-of-the-way, yet accessible.

Please comment or send your questions to me at

Have great day!

Valerie :)