Earth Day is not a brand, but it’s a philosophy of life. Earth Day not only means to take care of the earth, but me, others and my home. When people think of me as a vegan and yogi, I’m sure that a very archetypal image pops up into their minds--barefoot gypsi, who nibbles on nuts and grains. Being earth loving and “green” is more than just that. It is a commitment to the earth in all areas of my life--on and off social media. It’s not just about our instagram stories of us drinking cold pressed juices, taking an organic walk, driving a Prius, and buying plants from Whole foods. Though these activities promotes health for ourselves and the Earth, health and wellness is a mindset. To adopt any mindframe and new perspective, takes process.
This year began my journey in becoming a teacher who instructs a paperless classroom. An article, “Tablets in Schools: Saving Money and Trees,” states that, “the average school spends between $30,000 and $50,000 a year on paper alone. That means, every year, at $50,000, a school consumes 1191 boxes of paper ($50,000 / $41.99, the Office Depot Brand Copy Paper).” Which means that a school consumes 74 trees a year. This challenge required much transition and grace. I learned to acquire new tech skills, patience with student computer literacy, and adjusting planning processes. However, the sacrifice was necessary for me to grow into someone who lives a life in gratitude of nature and its offerings to me.
ONE MAJOR HELP was creating online activities or Google Assignments instead of worksheets. It's not about less books, but about saving paper when we can.
APPS that helped me:
1. Google Classroom:
I post everything here from warm ups to assignments. You can now even upload PDF worksheets/graphic organizers and have students comment as answers. You can see their comments. AND NO EXCUSES FOR NOT HAVING READINGS ^_^
2. Grade papers on Kami
Kami is amazing because you can upload PDFs, commment, and print out the PDF with comments/or share to save paper. There are some steps I want to share for folks who are interested.
- Go to Google Class and UPLOAD the folder of the assignment from your class period. You can find this in your drive, titled "Classroom." Google automatically adds it to the account you created the class with. Also, the folders are broken down into period. Once I upload them I rename them so that they have the period number to avoid confusion.
- Login to Kami and the top tabs, you will see "Split and Merge." upload one class period and merge all essays and assignments together.
- Go back to KamiHQ and upload the PDF of the merged doc and begin to scroll down, comment, and grade!
- If your super savvy, you can just have student numbers instead of names and then upload the graded documents on Google Classroom! But I noticed that having hand held rough drafts are helpful for students.
Padlet is a great way to have dialogue that is thoughtful. I like to place images, quotes, current events, and other critical topics for students to think and share. What is great about this app is that before students can post, administrators can see their response and approve!!!
Here's a sample of ours we used on Hate Crimes! Feel free to add onto the comments, another great option. You can have other folks in the community and create a conversation that goes BEYOND THE CLASS!
4. Other Apps for building basic skills in English
- Kahoot (Reading Comprehension)
- NoRedInk (Grammar)
- NewsELA (Current Events and Argumentative Writing)
Thanks everyone! Love you guys and ask me if you have questions!