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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

back to school planning and why I DON'T stress over copies anymore

I'm back from St. Louis. I realized this morning that this is the first time in WEEKS that I did not have somewhere to be at ALL today. Amazing! I WISH I could go up to the school to work on my classroom, but alas...not only is there no air conditioning at the present but this is my classroom's current situation:


It looks baaaddd. NO ceiling. Floors haven't been done. I'm trying not freak out because there's no point. But-we go back to work next Tuesday and there will be kids in this room in a week and a half.

YIKES. (On the plus side...even if I do minimal decorating it can only get better from here!)

So, since there won't be any setting up the classroom anytime soon, I've been working from home on lesson plans. I have the first week planned out (yay!) and I'm really excited to use some new things I've made as well as some of my old favorites. I had the presence of mind to go ahead and order extra toner when I had a little bit of school money to spend back at the end of the school year, so I've gone ahead and started printing my stuff for that first week, too. That way I won't have to hang out in the copy room with the rest of the staff praying that there's not too much ceiling tile dust kinking up the copier or risograph! Here's what I've done so far:


I have a few more things to print but mostly I just need to make some flipbooks now and do some tracing to get a few craftivities ready! Since I have several days before I can get in the building, I should have everything all prepped. This is totally not how I usually operate, but this year I guess I'm doing it backwards.

In case you're curious, I do have an amazing laser printer that I bought last year. Here it is:


It's a Brother wireless laser printer and I love this printer so, so, so much. Anyone else but a teacher would probably think it's a little weird to have such intense feelings for an office electronic but this sweet little printer has changed my life. It can run copies crazy fast and the generic toner is dirt cheap...it runs about $11 on Amazon and one of those cartridges goes for about 3,000 copies. That's a lot of class sets. I've only purchased 3 toner cartridges since I bought it last summer and I've run lots and lots of class sets (and coupons, which is what I originally bought it for!) on this baby. Now, some people may say that it's ridiculous that I am running this stuff at home and not at school where copies are "free." I can see where those people are coming from, but the reality is...there is one copier and one risograph at my school. We're not supposed to use the riso for less than 30 copies, which means I can only use it for grade level stuff. The other copier is pretty decent BUT it is very tempermental. It seems to know when I need something ASAP and that's when it decides to jam up-isn't that always the case?! So the system I came up with last year is to gather as much stuff as I can on Thursday for the following week. I run what I can during my (limited) planning time and in a few minutes after school. Everything that doesn't get run on Thursday gets printed at home (which is actually faster since I don't have to baby-sit my printer the way I do the copier). This year I am truly going to try to work smarter, not harder, and I consider $11 every few months to be more than worth the time saving aspect!

Now, this printer ONLY does black and white copies, so it's not my only printer. I could do a whole separate post about my new color printer that I am equally obsessed with...maybe another day. If you are also searching for a printer and are interested, here is a link to a similar one on Amazon. Right now it's $120 and that's a little more than I paid for mine. I checked a price history site and it looks like it jumps around a good bit, probably to match sales at stores like Staples and Office Depot. So, if you're also in the market for an awesome b&w printer you might want to keep an eye on the sales ads over the next few weeks.

I'm off now to go take a nap and to NOT think about the fact that my poor classroom looks like a construction zone! LOL!

PS: I don't work for Brother and I don't get anything from hyping their awesome printer-although maybe I should because I've gotten several other teachers at work to buy one due to mine's awesomeness! Haha! I just really like this printer and figured other teachers might, too.


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