Classroom Organization: Paperwork

Cheap Journals
With journals being used more and more for all subjects, we’ve been on the lookout for inexpensive ways to make them. One way is to buy cheap spiral notebooks (these can usually be had for around 10 cents each on sale) and cut them in half. Use wire cutters to cut the spiral wire in the middle, then use a paper cutter to cut the book in half. You’ll end up with two spiral notebooks about 8 by 5 inches, still large enough for most grade schoolers to use a page a day.

Not cheap enough? Use the cardboard back as a cover and have two subjects going at the same time from different directions.

Organize Those Stacks of Paper
You’ve got bunches of papers held together with those giant sized paper clips, and the stack is so thick the clip is all twisted out of shape? Use spring-type clothespins instead. They stick out to the side when you have all the stacks piled up on your desk, and you can tape scraps of paper to the clothespins to identify what’s in the stack.

A Super Clipboard
If you rely on a clipboard for notes and lists, try using a legal size clipboard (8.5×14″) with standard letter sized paper. It will give you an extra few inches at the bottom to attach a post-it pad, a pen with velcro, and a small stick-on clock/stopwatch.

Make Your Own Scratch Pads
You can recycle paper by making scratch or note pads. The trick is not in finding the paper, but the right adhesive. Use what the printers use – stuff called padding adhesive, which you might buy from an office supply company or a printer may give you some. The key is to (1) jog your paper so there is a side where all the edges of the sheets are squared together, (2) carefully stack the sheets without disturbing that nice square edge and (3) weight down the edge you are gluing with a brick or other weight. Then you can paint on a couple of coats of the adhesive, letting it dry between coats, and slice the pads apart when dry with a table knife.

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