Monthly Archives: March 2010

My Plea to Go Paperless

This is a copy of an email I sent out this afternoon to all of my staff. I was inspired by Teach Paperless and Steve Katz and hope many of my teachers take the opportunity to participate.

Did you know that in the past 7.5 weeks, Stocklmeir has used 150,000 pieces of copy paper? In just 7.5 weeks, how can that be?

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd, and I urge you to consider joining hundreds of teachers from around the world as they pledge to “Go Paperless” on that day. That means that you pledge to use no paper in class and accept no paper on that day.

Connie and Amy both endorse this cause and hope you will consider ways to reduce your paper use each and every day.

You may be thinking what could I possibly do all day?

Here are some ideas:
Take a walking fieldtrip in the neighborhood or park (yes, permission slips are still required). The walk can easily be related to science, math, language arts, or social studies. Athenian children in Ancient Greece spent much of their school day learning outside.
Use individual whiteboards (I think the math adoption came with them) or have kids use dry erase right on their desks – they wipe off easily! Kids can write poems, do a gallery walk, draw, practice math, make a diagram or timeline, etc.
-Hands on science experiments where all notes/observations are taken with digital cameras and typed onto a teacher laptop. Kids can discuss, hypothesize, observe, and draw conclusions orally as a group.
-Have a Reading Day/Time. As a teacher I always had one day per trimester that was dedicated to reading for pleasure. Kids brought in their favorite books, magazines, comic books, etc. It was a day just to celebrate and enjoy reading.
Use technology. I know that we have limited access to projectors and elmos (the tech committee is working on this!), but there’s nothing wrong with finding a techie teacher and planning a classroom swap for a portion of the day. That way, you can plan a lesson that uses resources online (feel free to ask if you need ideas) or take a virtual fieldtrip. Of course, we also have the MAC lab and carts to use.
Manipulative math – do an entire math lesson and activity with only manipulatives.  Great for geometry, algebra, number sense, fractions, computation, etc.
Enjoy PE inside or out. You can do an activity with your buddies, with a neighbor class, or on your own.

While you are enjoying the paperless day, be sure to tell your students WHY.

According to the EPA:
Recycling one ton of paper would
•    Save enough energy to power the average American home for six months.
•    Save 7,000 gallons of water.
•    Save 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.
•    Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent (MTCE).
But not using the paper to begin with would do so much more.

Click here if you would like to take the pledge:

Earth Day 2010 Action Center