Some of the ways I have been working to save copies is LAMINATING! Oh my goodness I have spent so much of my paychecks on lamination. But it's been totally worth it and my kids have loved it. They get to play all these different games over and over. Here are some pictures from today of my kids during their reading stations. I have many of the same types of things in their math stations and then I will also put the games into their morning work tubs that they do for morning work (saving copies!)
These girls are doing Deedee Wills' monthly Predictable Sentences. From using laminated papers so much this year, my students discovered they could also just write on the clear part of the pocket chart. So smart! I also have them write their sentences on their white boards. I do have Deedee's monthly writing station that I do use paper in because sometimes you just need paper.
For Write the Room, which I have many different things for, I laminated the pages and the kids just love going around the room over and over again just re-writing the words. This helps them with spelling the words and also with their handwriting since they are getting a lot of practice. The only thing I don't really like, I'll admit, is that using the expo pen, they don't get that drag they can need for fine motor in handwriting. But like I said before, sometimes you just need paper.
Math and Literacy Stations.
These are great and the kids love them too. We took the "I Can" cards (which are the BEST creation because I don't have to keep explaining how to do something) and I taped them to the front of the bags. This way the kids and I know which games should be in which bag. They have been able to put things away much better than in the previous 140 days (it only took me that long to think of it). This picture is how I put all of the "I Can" cards on the outside of the big bags so the kids can see what to do. There of course are smaller bags for the cards. I should have bought stock in Hefty and Glad. :)
I also use her Just Roll With It which we use with the big pocket dice (you can find them on Amazon for about $15) and these are great because they can be used over and over again and the Just Roll With It are editable! I should also mention that my students also figured out that you can write on the outside of the dice as well since they have the same clear pockets just like on the pocket chart. This group is so good at finding those little connections.
Yes I did and do spend a fair amount on expo pens and erasers. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are the very best for the expo and laminated pages. What I ended up doing is getting a few packs of erasers and I just cut them into thirds and give the kids baggies with their name on them to keep their pen and eraser in.
So now onto the freebie! One thing I know many people are using are exit tickets. I have to say that I really love this idea and have used them a bit this year but they just use a fair amount of paper and I look at them, check off what I need, and then they go in the recycle. So I was looking over Maria's site Kinder Craze where she wrote about using Astrobright paper in her room and she had posted one that said "I've got a BRIGHT idea" write and wipe card and this gave me an idea! Why not use this same idea for an exit ticket? I copied them on my astrobright blue paper and we are going to be using them. I'm going to post a question, number sentence, or whatever I need to on my SMARTboard and then have the kids write on their "I've made my mark" card to turn in for their exit ticket. I'll mark off what I need and then we'll use them again! You can grab your own I've Made My Mark card! I hope you find it useful.
I've also come up with another version that says "I Can Show What I Know!" to correspond with Common Core and all the "I Can" statements that we use. You can read about those here and snag the free copy!
Graphics are from Whimsy Clips