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MrsBG83 MrsBG83 is offline
 
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What to do with all those papers
Old 09-14-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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Hello fellow teachers!

I am teaching first grade at a Catholic school after 2 years of public school and 2 years of stay-at-home-Mommydom. We've been in school for almost a month. I have 10 students (how wonderful!) and most of them are on track. Even my worst student is a sweetheart.

We have the core subjects and then religion. We either don't have workbooks (funding issues) or the workbooks we have cannot be written in so I do a lot of copies. (Hallelujah! We got math books today!). They get something like 10 papers a day, with the reading workbook and the math workbook, the social studies worksheets, the science lab manual, the Bible Primer. So now I have massive stacks of paper on my desk. And at home. I've started to brass-brad them together into workbook form so that they'll at least be together.

In my other teaching experiences, we had workbooks so there wasn't as much loose paper. After it's graded, do I send this stuff home? Keep it in their portfolio? Throw it away (shutter)?

Seriously, how many "Jesus Loves Me" pictures can those parents keep? lol


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Can Relate
Old 09-14-2011, 06:40 PM
 
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I'm also at a small Catholic school. I understand the funding issues. I just send all completed work home in the Friday folder. I thinks parents appreciate knowing what you have done the last week. I get tired of the 'smeary' fingers from all the copies we make too We do have math books, and I have a mom come in to tear out the chapters ahead. I also try to see how I can teach without using a worksheet to make less paper to push for me.
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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I understand exactly where you are coming from. I too, also teach in a catholic school. I understand the no workbooks and copying what you have! Yes there are tons of papers! Grade what you need, keep what you need, then send the rest of them home. The parents can do what they want with them. My kids tell me there parents do a variety , throw, keep, sort and do both. Don't worry about it. Just wait until your children come home with all their papers. What will you do with them? You will probably throw plenty out!!

Now that I have been teaching for a while, I try very hard to use manipulatives and papers with a plastic covering. It does cut down on the piles. Good luck!
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teachBrooklyn teachBrooklyn is offline
 
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Don't torture yourself!
Old 09-14-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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Last year I felt extremely guilty throwing anything away, and the result was bins and bins of papers that I couldn't figure out what to do with. Some of it wasn't even the student's academic work- they would color in coloring book pages at lunch, and show up with stacks of pictures I was supposed to take care of. I would save anything portfolio worthy from their work sessions and then send the rest home in the "Leave at Home" side of their parent folders, and they would come back, so whenever the folder became too full, I would pull them out and stick them in a bin...

Before long, papers I needed were getting mixed in with these papers, and I realized the amount of time I was wasting trying to do the right thing with papers was taking time away from what I could be doing for the class. It wasn't worth it- this year I throw out as much as possible.

With papers that are great throughout the class, but not "portfolio worthy," I sometimes made a class book. I would have each student work on the same topic, bind their work together, and make a nice cover. The library has a bin of books they authored.
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Coyote8 Coyote8 is offline
 
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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Maybe you could cut down on the number of sheets that you do in a day. I also teach 1st, and you would be hard pressed to find us doing anymore than 4 sheets in a day, and most days it is only 3. I also do not have any work books. We do a lot of hands on activities to practice, math tubs, Daily 5 activities for language arts, journals, story writing, small group practice with slates, ect. When I use a worksheet, it is for more for assessment than anything. My scores are consistently good, so I don't think that doing less worksheets, has impacted them. Today, we only did 2: a handwriting practice sheet, and a math practice.


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Old 09-14-2011, 08:33 PM
 
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I agree with Coyote. I'd cut back on the number of worksheets. Check out Daily 5 for reading. No worksheets involved. My students typically have one math worksheet a day from their workbooks (we haven't started this part of the math yet (and an occasional worksheet in social studies or science. Don't feel guilty throwing things away. Keep what's important.
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Rockin1stgrad Rockin1stgrad is offline
 
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Grading ARG!
Old 09-18-2011, 03:58 PM
 
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I am not the biggest fan of grading. I believe in assessments- YES but the simple practice sheets- they just add up!

I send home all graded work on Friday. I attach an effort sheet for all subjects and homework so that parents will know how hard that they tried during the week. I simply grade it with a check mark, star or smiley face.

I use to do a lot of centers therefore had a lot of work to grade daily.

I started investing my money in the fancy heavy duty plastic page pockets(nice but expensive) or the clear page protectors and dry erase markers.

You might want to consider putting the worksheets into the page protectors- not only will you save money making copies next year but you won't have to grade them! Just an informal observation could definitely work. At the end of the week you can just send the important papers with an effort sheet. Also an occasional I Love Jesus coloring sheet couldn't hurt!

Just an idea! I also agree to look into the Daily 5, it will make planning super easy and little to no paperwork needed!
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Papers took over my life
Old 09-19-2011, 04:20 PM
 
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Papers took over my life last year. I felt like I had to grade very little thing and therefore I found myself drowning in them! After school was over, I took months of misc. stuff and put it all in the recycle bin.

So...this year I am either grading it same day and sending it home asap or having them place it in their folder to take home that day. I told them some things I just won't take up. And that they can carry it home and explain to mom and dad what they did.

As a team, we are also trying to scale back on worksheets - to save ourselves, paper and the budget!

I pull out a few things every week or so for the portfolio because I have to. We don't have grades, we promote on progression shown in portfolio and test scores.

Good luck and don't let the paper win!
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