The days are winding down and September 3rd seems like a neon sign flashing in my brain... Almost here... Almost here... Almost here...
I am beginning to get materials ready for my students, and I found myself laughing when I reached for a hole punch...
I have a collection of paper punches. (Actually, I have a collection of just about everything, but this post isn't about my hoarding tendencies.) I am guessing the hole punch in the picture below is well over twenty years old. I think it's from my very first days as a teacher. Do you think you need to retire when your teaching materials begin to rust?
And then I found out there were padded hold punches. Oh Happy Day. This little item makes punching things-that go-on-a-ring so much easier! If you read about my Mod Podge experiences, you know that I spend very little time in craft stores. Thus, I usually discover such gems long after they have been in general circulation!
This is my sturdy three hole punch. I always choose the
items that include phrases like "requires little effort..." in the
description. This one is efficient, but a tad painful when you have to punch a lot of pages.
And here is the more padded version of the three hole punch above. It can punch a lot of pages at once... and you don't have to work very hard. I love the paper guides. This punch served me well for a quite a few years.
In my classroom, almost every paper goes into students' binders (unless they go into their Interactive Notebooks). Having close to thirty-six kids, and being responsible for all subjects, there can be a lot of papers generated. This means that I need to remember to hole punch papers before they are
passed out. Our copy machine in the office will hole punch papers, but (like
yours, I am sure) it is not always working and sometimes it places the holes at varying places on the paper (Translation = Really Bad Idea!). Much of our classwork is created on notebook paper, but graphic organizers and an assortment of other things are made on plain white paper. So, white paper needs to hole-punched in advance along with anything that is copied.
Which is why I bought one of THESE...
Aahhhhh. This beauty is one of my favorite things in my whole classroom (right after my bungee chair and my bling-ed out bell). I am not going to lie: It was expensive. However, it has saved me so much time and effort over the years, it has been more than worth it.
After a few weeks in the classroom, a student invariably sees the punch in the work area and asks (always with a slightly wary tone), "What IS that?" (It does look a bit ominous!) Obviously, I have to show the students how to use the punch ("Always push the paper to sit against the end of the paper guide..."), but they usually figure it out quickly, and it makes my life easier when they can share in the task of punching papers. And this sweet thing punches A LOT of pages at one time (as long as you remember to punch them before you staple them!)
In my room, students get points for compliments from other adults, for good teamwork, and when I call a student by the incorrect name (among other things). They also get a point when I give them pages that are not hole-punched. This has caused me to be more diligent about having my materials ready in advance, and I rarely end up owing points for this infraction. (These points are later redeemed for cooperative games and other activities.)
It may seem weird to own an electric hole punch, but my strategy is this: For every minute I save on "prepping materials" (even though I often love that part), I have more time to grade papers, or review data, or plan lessons, or think of new activities... or sleep at night!
Is there anything in your classroom that saves you time and makes your job easier? (And, out of curiosity, do you have an electric hole punch?)