Monday, September 23, 2013

Taking apart trade paperbacks for laminating

This is something I've always kind of wanted to do - take apart trade paperbacks and laminate them - but always thought it would be quite the process. Turns out, not true! I did a little google search and watched a youtube video or two, and came up with this method.

But first, why would you want to take apart books? Well, the main reason would be durability. If you have students who handle books excessively, put things in their mouths, have spastic or otherwise tight grips, you are going to have a lot of ripped and ruined paperbacks on your hands. Laminating saves a lot of books! Great for early childhood and special education teachers alike!

Another reason would be adaptability. Making already-published books interactive is an easy, inexpensive and effective way to get at some literacy skillls, IEP goals, and general accessibility. And that's just plain easier when you've already laminated the pages.

So, here's how I do it - super quick and easy:

First, get out your hair dryer. Put it on high speed, and on the highest heat setting. Slowly blow the air at the inside binding of the book. Paperbacks are held together with glue, so this softens the glue for easy disassembly. I needed maybe 30 seconds (if that) of blow drying for this book, a "step 1" reader. I'd guess you'd need more - but not much more - for a thicker book.

You know you're ready when the binding starts to peel away. You should be able to remove the front and back covers at this point (sometimes the first and last pages stick to the covers - you can carefully peel them off).

You should now be able to easily peel the pages apart from one another. If this is at all difficult or you are ripping pages, do more with the hair dryer - the glue just needs to soften more. Once the pages are separated, you can easily pick any excess glue off with your fingernails.

Now you should have all the pages separated, ready to be laminated and bound. I like to use book rings for binding - both because I don't have a book binder at home, and because I think book rings hold up better than the plastic spiral binding.

I wanted this book - an opposites book with a "Cars" theme - to be interactive, so I printed boardmaker icons for each of the opposites words and affixed them with velcro to the laminated pages. Students will now have to select the correct icon that goes with each page. So much quicker and easier than creating my own book from scratch - not to mention, many of my boys love the Cars movies, so this will be a highly motivating activity for them.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

a first day Currently!

It was kind of a rough first day of school for me. Transitioning to a new classroom was/is so very hard for my new kiddo - and by extension, all of the kiddos I've had before - who struggle to understand why their new classmate is so loud and disruptive all day when they have known the routine and rules and expectations of our room for several years already, and just want to get back into the swing of school! Lots of discussions about "he needs help to learn how we do things in our room," and "you can be a good example for him," etc. It took us about twice the time it usually takes to get anything accomplished...Not to mention I (still, at 10:30pm) have a pounding headache from the noise...

Bless my kiddo with severe behavior/anxiety issues, though. I told him early in the morning (when he was already getting tense and agitated by our new class member's noise/not listening/disruption) that the noise and not listening was bothering me, too, and he and I would have to help each other stay calm today. He really took that to heart! He has several self-calming techniques he uses - the most effective are deep breathing ("in through your nose, out through your mouth") and a kind of mantra he says quietly to himself ("calm...calm...calm..."). Several times today he specifically got my attention and then either did his deep breathing or said "calm...calm..." and I did them with him! It really helped - honestly. Those self-calming techniques we teach our kids aren't just for them! And I was just so pleased that my kiddo not only remembered his techniques, but thought of me and even recognized when I had had enough. What a sweetheart. I am going to pull him aside tomorrow morning and thank him for that (of course I thanked him today...but I certainly want to reinforce that behavior!).

Okay...but all you're here for is the Currently, isn't it? I missed August's, so I'm so happy to be back this month!
Listening - I've recently become rather addicted to watching HGTV. My favorites are actually "Room Crashers" or especially "Kitchen Crashers" - I'm strongly (but not so seriously...I'm realistic, after all) considering just hanging out all the time at Lowe's or Home Depot and waiting for them to come and offer to redo my kitchen for me!

Loving - I'm a huge fan of fall! The evenings have been cooler lately, and I love it! So does my puppy - he is much happier on our evening walks now!

Thinking - See above. Definitely starting new tomorrow. It's a new day! The first day is always rough -- right?!

Wanting - What teacher couldn't use more hours in the day?!

Needing - Again, see above. I'm really needing a new perspective on things as I go into work tomorrow. Praying for my new kiddo tonight!

Heart - For me, three things I'm going to attempt this month:
1. I had my basement finished over the winter. It's complete, except for the floors. I need to get carpet ordered and installed. This is essential for me, as my new sweetie (Desmond the rescue greyhound) is afraid of the current stairs to the basement. His weird center of gravity and his super long legs make him slide around too much on bare wood stairs and he freaks out. I can't carry a 75-pound dog up the stairs! He navigates the carpeted stairs to my second floor just fine, so all I need to do is carpet the basement, too. Then I could finally use the new basement teacher work area (so fantastic!) as I meant it to be used!
2. Unplug - it's my goal to have one day per week that I don't have the TV, computer, phone, etc. on at all at home. Talk about freedom!
3. New recipes - I love to cook, but I haven't done much of that lately. I'd love to discover - and actually cook - some great new recipes this month. If anyone has favorite recipes to share (vegetarian only - no meat, but dairy, eggs, etc just fine) I'd be so excited to try them out!

All right, this is a crazy-long post - thanks if you've made it this far - bedtime for this girl. Hope everyone's first days (if that was today - hi, Michigan friends!) went well! And link up with Farley's Currently! It's always my favorite linky!

Monday, September 2, 2013

winner, winner, chicken dinner!

...or winner, winner, TPT gift certificate, that is.

Congrats to Jannike, who is the winner of my bloglovin' giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered and has followed my blog on bloglovin'! Jannike, I've emailed you with your gift certificate code and the pdf of the certificate, so check your email and happy shopping!

My first day of school is tomorrow...yup, still doing last-minute prep. Good luck to all of you who are starting tomorrow, too!
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