Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Oughta Know About...SAVING ON COPIES!!!!!

Happy Saturday!  I am so excited to link up with Jasmine from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for a You Oughta Know Blog Hop!!!

Ok, so this is my FIRST year since I have been teaching (11 years!!!) that I have a COPY LIMIT!!! This is ALSO the first year that I am teaching middle school (math AND science), and I have 27 MORE students than I am used needless to say I've been STRESSING about the amounts of copies I can make (interactive notebook, classwork, homework....) that could equate to hundreds of copies a WEEK.  However, I have come up with a few ideas this year that are saving me on a LOT of copies!  I thought that you all "oughta know" about them!!

First, all of my bell work, some classwork, and ALL formative assessments are done on students personal dry erase boards:
I love being able to quick check classwork, and they LOVE using their markers to make it colorful and fun!!!  All I did was use a sheet protector that the students clip into their binders.  I let them pick what color paper they want as their "board", and they keep a little tissue and their marker in their binder so they are ready to go when needed! :)

The second thing this year that I LOVE is my homework!!!!!  I was stressing before school even STARTED about how I was going to NOT go over my copy limit, yet still be able to assign homework!  That's when I thought of a solution!  Homework NOTEBOOKS!!!!  I had the students decorate them all cute (it's amazing what kids can do with duct tape now!), and then each day they post a STRIP into their notebooks to do that night for homework!  
 I encourage them to make it fun, colorful, etc.  I don't care if they do it in marker, pen, etc.  I want them to ENJOY their homework, and whatever it takes to keep them engaged I'm game.  :)  

Essentially, I can fit 4 days worth of homework on one sheet, so in the course of a week, I only make the 60 or so copies that I need for the week ONCE.  I just cut the strips as  I go each day, and they just glue them into the notebook that day.  Here is ONE example of a strip for the week:

I love this because I can use story problems, differentiate, etc.  I have put these strips in one bundle for SUPER cheap! 

It would work well for grades 6-8 (as a spiral review or as a new concept).  You could use this as your bell work, classwork, quizzes OR homework! Remember you can print ONE sheet/student/week!!!! :)  I'll continue to grow the units as the year progresses, so if you're a 6th grade math teacher, this could be the idea for YOU!  I will post them by standard group, starting with part of Number Systems first. :)

This is 15 letter sized worksheets worth of work condensed onto 5 pages!  So instead of making one copy for one student, you are essentially making one copy for one students ONCE A WEEK!
I am in the process of adding some Number Systems spiral review strips (50 more questions-5 strips) into this packet, so be sure to get it while the price is LOW, and then you can upload the file again when new strips are added! :)

I also have a Interactive Notebook Practice Strips for Ratios and Proportions, too! :)

 The third thing that I do to save on copies is to do a LOT of group work/pair work.  I can thank my Kagan training for this one! :)  I use Rally Coach a LOT, and my students know if their name is on a paper with another students, they BETTER agree with the answer that is on that paper.  If not, they need to talk to out and figure out what they agree on.  This took some practice, and MODELING to get it they way I want it, and with a new class and a new grade it is still a work in progress, but you need to stay persistent to what your expectations are. :)  I used this recently with my marshmallow lab & flower dissection lab (which I will blog about sometime this weekend!):
Students had ONE paper for the group to make their recordings, but they ALL needed to agree on the answers.  

If you like THIS Oughta Know tip, you will LOVE the tips from my other bloggy friends!!!!  Head on over and check them out!!! :)


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Jen! They had a ball with it!

  2. Great tips, Lori! I teach 3rd grade departmentalized Language Arts and it seems like I always hit my copy limit in the 3rd week of the month. What am I supposed to do for week four?! You have some great tips here that I will definitely start utilizing to save copies! Thanks for the ideas!

    Mrs. Cain's Creations

  3. Only other teachers would understand the stress of a copy count, lol. I love your solutions though! The homework notebooks are a fabulous idea! I love that everything stays in one place too, no papers to hand back out to students after they are corrected, that probably go right in the trash. They will have a nice record to go back and reference all year.

    1. You're definitely right about the papers going into the trash!! Thank you for the sweet comment!

  4. I'm having the same problem this year! It's my 11th year of teaching and now I have a copy limit of 5000 per quarter. It seemed like plenty before school started, but after the 3rd week I've already used almost 2000! I've kind-of solved the problem by requiring a composition book for each subject and having students copy off the Smart Board. I love your homework strips...make a set for 5th grade standards and I'll buy it!

    1. Natalie! I just might consider that! My plan for the 6th grade is to maybe release each packet by standard. Would that help you for 5th grade?

  5. Gosh, there are tons of awesome ideas here. I've had a copy limit for the past three years at my current school and I do stress about having enough copies for my kids. I love your homework idea the most! Thanks again for linking up :-)

    Buzzing With Mrs. McClain

  6. I have a copy limit too, I love the pair/group work idea! Thanks for sharing.
    Learning to be awesome

  7. Great tips Lori! Love the Homework Notebook idea!

    The Purple Teacher


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