Education ∪ Math ∪ Technology

Day: April 29, 2013 (page 1 of 1)

Things to do with extra paper

At our school we currently have open-access to the printer by our students. Unfortunately our students waste a lot of paper, usually reprinting something 10 times without checking to see if the printer is actually working and/or has enough paper. We work with students to try and improve their use of the printer, but in the mean-time, we have a lot of paper which has already been printed on one side, and which would otherwise go to waste.

Here are some ideas on what schools could potentially do with all of that paper. 

  1. Use it for paper folding.

    Paper folding

    Paper folding has strong links to mathematics and art. It could provide a context for a mathematical activity so that students see the mathematics they are learning applies to parts of the world, rather than being just symbols on paper. Students can also use paper folding as a way of expressing themselves through art.


  2. Students and teachers can obviously use the extra paper as rough paper for writing, drawing math diagrams, or a whole bunch of other things.


  3. Send the paper to a school in need. Our partner school in Kipevu, Mombassa, Kenya typically runs out of paper half-way through a semester if they are lucky.


  4. Some of the paper may have information on it which is sensitive in nature. You can first send the paper through a paper-shredder, and then use it for weaving, which can be handy when you need baskets around the school. What school wouldn’t benefit from having more storage containers available? 

    Paper weaving into a basket
    (Image credit: josey4268)


  5. Flip it over and print on it again. The only problem here is that printers are typically more likely to jam with paper that has already been used, so this may be a problem, depending on your model of printer.


  6. Use it to line the inside of animal cages in your science department.


  7. Cut it into smaller rectangles and use them for exit slips.


  8. Turn the paper into envelopes and have students send "Get well soon" and "I miss you" messages to their classmates that are sick, or to their penpals in another school.


  9. Turn the paper into paper airplanes and have an iterative design contest. The objective of this type of contest is to collectively build the best paper airplane you can by cycling between creating paper airplanes, observing how well they fly, and then redesigning the airplanes. From this activity students will learn that design is messy, collaborative, and fun.

Any other suggestions?


Debating grades

I’ve started a presentation on grading, which anyone with the link can edit and add their perspective. The presentation is split into four areas:

  • What are the goals of grades?
  • What evidence supports the use of grades in schools?
  • What evidence does not support the use of grades in schools?
  • What are some alternatives to traditional grading systems?


Please feel free to add your perspective to this summary of the debate on grading, ideally citing evidence for any strong claims that you make if possible.

Remember that there are a lot of emotions behind the different perspectives on this issue, so to refrain from personal attacks, etc… My objective is to gather evidence and perspectives, rather than start any flame wars.