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5 Amazing Solutions to Common Classroom Problems!

If someone asked you to write down your biggest classroom problems, what would you include?
I am guessing your list would have pencils, printing, organization, parents, and getting enough rest on it. Not to mention, comfortable shoes, behavior management, and having the cutest lunch box or water bottle.
Just in the off chance you are like me,  I thought it might be fun to share some fabulous things that solve some common classroom problems! 

My list includes:
  • Having a good, fast, reliable printer.
  • Not being fearful of the cost of ink for that great printer.
  • Pencils. Pencils. Pencils. 
  • Integrating subjects to cover as much as possible.
  • Having extra money.
Check this blog posts for things I love and ideas for ways to save money, use reading and STEM, a fabulous printer, and more!

Throughout the post, for your convenience, you’ll find Amazon Affiliate links, which means Amazon compensates me if you purchase something through that link, at no extra cost to you. This helps keep this little blog running !

What kind of printer do you have?

You know we print a lot! We have task cards, interactive notebooks, posters, letters, lab sheets, morning work packets, and so much that we print. Do you print in color? Sometimes we have to! Those brightly colored posters and task cards just are so much more appealing in color!
So, here’s the printer I found!
Do you hear that dramatic music playing…. because this is the best printer I have ever had. It has a very fancy name: HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing, Instant Ink ready (M9L66A).  Mind you, we have a Canon Photo printer that does a great job, but it takes its sweet time churning out copies. If it is a PDF that is printing, one page takes 3 minutes. So, when I printed the first sample from this HP printer and it spit out in 14 seconds I knew this was a great deal. I snagged it on Cyber Monday’s Amazon sale and it included Instant-Ink- which is another whole story. I will get to that in a minute.

What else does that 8710 printer do besides print? 

It’s wireless y’all. I can send something to print and not move off the couch. Seriously, I can PRINT FROM MY PHONE while laying on the couch. I know what you are thinking— why would you need to do that? Because I forget things, so if I have a spectacular recipe and decide I want to print it out I can send it to the printer from my phone and it’s waiting for me later. That printer also copies, scans, and faxes. It’s the best ever!

Do you need a second job to pay for your ink?

Remember that Canon printer I just mentioned? It has 8, EIGHT, ink cartridges! Each one of them is about $9 and the black cartridge is a double-wide. And, the silly thing shuts down and won’t print anything if one of the cartridges is low.

Problem solved!

Instant Ink is a fabulous solution to the problem of using too much ink and the cost of it!!
Instant Ink! If you scroll Instagram very often you know that teachers love this stuff, but I didn’t really think about it. I usually send my posters and things to Staples to print them. What? Who would do that? My fabulous new printer prints as well as Staples and with Instant-Ink I get as many copies as I need every month, the copies roll over if you don’t use all of them, and your printer knows when it is running low on ink and ORDERS it for you.

Before you need it the stuff arrives at your door.

Seriously. If you have not thought about doing this, THINK ABOUT IT right now. 
And to help you with that if you will click right {HERE} you will get a month of Instant Ink for free! (And so will I!)

Pencils in the classroom are a nightmare! 

You know exactly what I mean! How do you keep them sharp, ready to use, and keep up with them? 
My NEW Electric Pencil Sharpener has solved the oh-so-annoying classroom problem of keeping pencils sharp and ready to use! 
For the life of me I do not understand what happens with pencils in a classroom and I know you totally get that! We have resorted to using cheap Bic pens in the STEM lab, but we still need pencils sometimes. I didn’t have a wall mounted cranking pencil sharpener and we were using those little handheld plastic things. OMG… and plastic pencil sharpeners are the worst. So I invested in this little model.
Cue that dramatic music again…
Pencil sharpening solved.  This one is called X-ACTO SchoolPro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener, Heavy Duty, Black. Every morning I sharpen about 20 pencils and leave them out for kids that need them. They get a pencil, trade if they need a new one, and it is working perfectly. Kids do not use this sharpener, although they certainly could. It has an automatic shut off when the pencil is sharp. Just FYI – I did put a brightly colored piece of tape across the top of it that says “No Colored Pencils” just in case a kid decides to try that when I am not looking. Something about those things clogs electric sharpeners. 

How do you manage all subjects, all day in your classroom?

When I taught in a regular third-grade classroom I crisscrossed subjects to cover as much as possible. When we studied plants we read books about plants during our reading time. We wrote poems about flowers. You do this, too, I know!
Books added to another subject will solve the problem of covering many standards at the same time!
If you read my blog even a little bit you know I am a book lover, always have been, always will be!
In the last two months I have been using books with my smallest engineers and I have started a series of posts about this!
Reading and STEM: Check this blog post for things I love- including using picture books for STEM in first and second grades!
Click on the image above to get to the first post! It features five books and five STEM challenges you can do with first and second graders. Materials are listed and the basic procedures, with photos, and the best part is that the materials are things you already have in  your classroom (probably)!
And, if you are like me and can’t remember to take books to class or don’t have the books I listed- did you know that a purchased Kindle book can be read on an e-reader from Amazon’s site even if you don’t own a Kindle? And, you can project that on your smart board? KIDS LOVE IT!
If you are interested in more posts about reading and STEM in the classroom, here are the posts I have:

Are you interested in earning extra money?

Do you spend money on your classroom, your kids, yourself? Do you shop online? Well, I need to share a little about Ebates with you!
Ebates: The perfect way to shop online! Shop at stores that feature Ebates and receive a percentage back!
You should seriously check this out! Here’s how it works.
You go to a site to shop. As soon as you land on the site your Ebates “Cash Back Button” will alert you. This is a little thing you install on your browser and it automatically knows if you are shopping at an Ebates store. So, you click on the alert and this lets Ebates know you are shopping. If you make a purchase a percentage of that amount is applied to your Ebates account. 
So, let’s say you are shopping at Nordstrom and on that day they are offering a 6% Ebates deal. You spend $200. So, $12 is added to your Ebates account. Every three months you are sent a check or it is added to your Paypal account. 
Y’all I have scored some serious kickbacks- like through Expedia, Wal Mart, Macy’s, and Kohls. The percentages change and they also have days where amounts are doubled. If you shop online a lot, you should try this. My affiliate link is below. You can click on the image or {HERE}. I get something for your sign up, but so do you! It’s credited to your account once you open it!
  Ebates Coupons and Cash Back
So, let’s go back to the beginning! What classroom problems do you have that you want to solve?
  • If it’s printing – get a good printer and try Instant Ink!
  • If it’s pencils- get a good electric pencil sharpener!
  • If it’s time management- try integrating subjects!
  • Need extra money? Ebates is one good way to snag a few dollars.
Thanks for stopping by!