Why I Gave Up Laminating
Teachers and laminators go together like peanut butter and jelly. We all love to laminate! I am guessing that if you are reading this, you even have your own personal laminator.
I was a laminating teacher. I was even the teacher who would cut out each piece, laminate it, and then cut it out again. Everything I laminated looked so shiny and new. I loved it!
Then, I gave it up. Cold turkey. No more laminating.
Time. Laminating took me hours. Literally hours. I can't tell you how many holiday breaks I sat freezing in my classroom laminating while my family had fun together at home.
I realize that the point of laminating is that items will be usable year to year, but every year I found something new for my students. There was also more to laminate.
Plus, no matter how fun a game, the kids would play for about 3 days and be done. Plus, they couldn't all play the game at once, so I would need about six different games. Over the course of the school year, I would need hundreds of laminated activities. No wonder I felt like I never had enough time!
Now, I just print the task cards, game pieces, sorting cards, whatever, cut them using a paper cutter and go. Colored paper is thicker than regular paper, so the pieces are strong enough for the few days we will use them. Getting an activity ready takes 15 minutes instead of three hours.
Storing the pieces couldn't be easier. Use small Tupperware boxes. You will only need a few because you can reuse them with each new activity. Another option that takes a few more minutes is hole punching task cards or sorting cards. Use a small hole punch and punch away from the edges of the card. Then, keep them on a ring for easy storage. When you are done with the activity, recycle the paper pieces. Nothing is going in the trash, and you don't have to find storage space.
If you have been thinking about ditching the laminating habit, try it! You will be a much happier teacher because you will save time. Your students will be happier because they will get new activities more often. Your administrator will be happy because you will be more flexible in responding to the students' immediate academic needs.
Have you gone cold turkey on laminating? Share your thoughts in the comments!