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October 16, 2012

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I think I've shared this before, but it bears repeating here. A few years ago my son brought home a geometry test (test!) which was printed on a quarter sheet of paper, for economic reasons. The test required him to use a protractor to measure angles on triangles that were smaller than my fingernails.

For crying out loud. This nation can do better.

Mark, agreed. Absolutely true. Students need to interact with learning. After reading your comment, and your use of "battle," I was struck by how paper is relentlessly regimented. Then you mentioned the copier counts. I am aware that some schools share out the teachers copy counts each month to the school or wing of the school. Why? What purpose does that serve? What math teacher in another part of the school wants copy count numbers of my use for the month? I delete the email each month and guess many teachers do.

One of the major battles waged recently in my neck of the woods has had to do with copies and paper usage by staff (for students, of course). Sometimes there is no substitute for putting a copy of something in a kid's hand--and letting them interact with it--whether it is a poem, an article, a graphic organizer...they need that resource, even if seems like something easy to "trim" from a school's budget.

Kristin, I had not thought of watching student resources as an indicator of a future reality. Clear. That is going to make me think for a few days and how that can be applied to other areas of society.

I think teachers are an indicator species for the economy. Before numbers make the news, they hit the teacher's bank account. Years ago I knew we were sliding into a recession because suddenly fewer of my students had binders, pens, lined notebook paper. More of my students were chronically hungry, especially if their parents weren't equipped to navigate the complicated paperwork required to get their child free lunch and breakfast.

Before politicians were even talking about the economy, I was buying cases of Cup O'Noodles and packs of notebook paper.

And paper for basic curriculum - you're right that it's necessary. It's even more necessary when instead of having workbooks or class sets of books we're creating curriculum by copying it.

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