Work Smarter, Not Harder - A Teacher's Dream Tool

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
#SchoolYearReady #CollectiveBias

It's that time again - back to school time!  We have already been back at it for over three weeks now (and of course I am already down for the count with Bronchitis...) and my gears are turning with new activities and ideas for the school year.  This is my tenth, yes TENTH, year as a teacher and honestly it still is just as hard, if not harder than when I first started the profession.  But I believe that good teachers educate themselves with new and exciting lessons to make the learning experience a fun one.  Every year you will see that each class is different, so I have to switch things up to make sure I'm meeting the needs of everyone in my class.  But the one phrase I ultimately live by in my teaching career has been - "Work smarter, not harder."  Because let's be real here, any teacher knows that your time is precious, especially the lack of time that you are given to plan and create these fabulous lesson plans!

 The tenth year will be a memorable one as you can see.

This year I decided to switch up my math layout because I have some super high math kiddos in my class.  I have decided to incorporate more small groups so I can narrow down my focus of each of the math skills I teach to make sure each student is learning at their level.  I have always done some type of math stations but this year I have decided to make my stations leveled for the groups.  I love creating new math games but as a busy mom of two, well almost three, and with just 50 minutes of prep time a day if I'm lucky, I really need to live by my motto - "Work smarter, not harder."  So each time I make a new math station I plan on laminating it to protect it from the wear and tear of 22 (or really 44) little hands that will play it as well as preserve it for at least a few more years.

Sounds easy, right?

Well it totally would be if our school laminator wasn't on the complete other side of the building and didn't take 50 hours to warm up.  Plus it's the beginning of the year and everyone and their brother has the same idea of course.  For me it's just easier to make my activities at home, so I decided to head to Walmart to stock up on some ink and other teaching supplies for the year.  As I was browsing the stationary aisle and stocking up on more things than I really needed, my eyes caught the Scotch™ Thermal Laminator.  At a price of around $20 I could create, print and now laminate my own work at home!
Insert clapping emoji and throw in the dancing lady one too!
I was pumped!  I grabbed a pack of the Scotch™ Thermal Pouches Letter size 50 pack too so I would be well prepared for my at home laminating adventure.

We are in the process of moving rooms around and preparing for Baby #3, so my office area has been moved to the loft.   The Scotch™ Thermal Laminator is compact enough to keep out on my desk or simply put on a shelf when I'm not using it.  Plus it is super easy to use too!  I am so excited about this tool that I have decided to share one of my math stations with you too!

Here's a link to a game I created for my class to use while focusing on 10 more and 10 less.  The students will work in partners and all you need is this game, two different colored counters and a 20 sided dice.
10 More and 10 Less Partner Game with 20 Sided Dice Printable

Five Simple Steps to Creating Long Lasting Math Stations

1.  Place the Scotch™ Thermal Laminator on a flat, secure surface and turn it on.  Make sure to use the 3 mil setting since you are using standard printer paper.

2.  While the laminator is warming up, prepare your activity and insert it into the Scotch™ Thermal Pouch.  (Sidenote:  don't cut your pouch until AFTER you laminate it!  Otherwise it will jam your fabulous machine!)

3.  When the blue READY light comes come, you are ready to roll!  Adjust the input tray to the width of your pouch and insert your pouch, sealed-edge first.  Be sure to hold on to to it until the laminator pulls it forward.

4.  The Scotch™ Thermal Laminator will pull your pouch right on through.  Let it cool down and double check that it has sealed.  If it is thicker, it may need to go through twice!

5.  Cut and prepare your math station - and remember the beauty of this all is that you were able to do this at home, probably in your yoga pants!

Teaching is something I am truly passionate about and I'm excited to start back with a new group of students each and every year.  I love being able to change things up and try new activities but like everything else, of course that takes time.  This has been by far one of my most favorite teaching tools I have purchased in my career.  I'm serious.  
And teachers, never forget - "Work smarter, not harder." 

Share with me!
I've shared how I'm using Scotch™ Laminating Products to get ready for Back-to-School! What project are you planning to use them for?


1 comment:

  1. Yes!!! This is my motto too, and I love how you're using your laminator to bring it to life! :) ~ client