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Saturday, March 11, 2017

ProClick Heaven

I broke down and finally bought the binding system of my dreams.  I have been looking at these for years.  I have never liked the comb systems and didn't want to spend hours threading them through.  I also have hand punch and coiling different kinds of books and always found them tedious.  I always felt like if the wire was easy enough to work with (like 20 gauge) then it was soft enough to bend out of shape.

I've been spending a lot of time on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I have been mostly downloading free stuff for the last few years. However, this summer I bought a grammar pack that I love.  I have used it throughout the year.  Sadly, we are only a fourth of a way through it, but I think it has been helpful as grammar instruction is not a focal point in our curriculum.  (We focus more on reading!) I also just purchased a checklist file that I absolutely love.  In the instructions and pictures, it shows the ProClick system along with tabs!  (I also love tabs!) I showed my terrific co-teacher and she now wants one also.  I see about 130 students throughout the day (however, some are the same students whom I have 2X a day.) So it might be hard for me to make each one a book.  However, I do have a type of "reading" class, a literacy club, and a social studies club with about 25 students in each.  That is manageable.  I also have a teacher-reading group that I could make books for.  (I don't know if they would all appreciate this, but I know some might!) I did my online research and did find one new Pro Click on eBay. It was $49.99 for a starting bid.  I was going to bid on it, but I could not figure out my eBay username. I think I possibly deleted my account because I spent so much on it before. (Ah, I loved those lots of Tim Holtz art supplies!) So I ended up getting one on Amazon Prime for about $70.  With the plastic covers (25), the black back covers (25), and the 100 spines, the total came to about $170!  Okay, that is a lot, but I decided I would make my own grade book,  planner, and parent contact binders for school next year.  The grade book I use is about $25, the Erin Condren planner is at least $75, and when I order the parent contact it is probably $14.  Now, I can customize my own things that will fit for middle school.  Most teacher items out there are geared toward elementary school. Another nice thing is that I only pay about $9.99 for ink since I got my HP Officejet 5740.  I feel like I can print so much for pennies and it looks great.  I was always stingy about ink before but now I want to print in color.
Since I got this system a few days ago, I've made a student checklist book that I can use for anything. I'm trying to focus on positive participate and acts rather than talking out and forgetting materials. I also made a class sign-out sheet.  I like the idea of both not being in a huge binder so we can take both to the library or on a fire drill.  I have a lot of future projects in mind:

*Substitute teacher information book and plans
*Pencil sign-in and out book
*Reading strategies
*Year long vocabulary words book
*Our warm-up sentence editing book
*One with every reference handout I give out
*A "How to..." book like "How to head a paper" and "How do I sign-out a book"
*Technology book (passwords, links, directions)
*Procedures books
*Class quotes
*Book reviews
*Student suggestions
*Masterlist of things to change for next year
*Book of things that people (teachers!) have borrowed (they often do not return them)
*Class narratives
*Student projects
*Donation tracker
*Classroom library manual for student librarian
*Class jobs

Personal projects:
*Kids parties organizer
*Life book
*Health and fitness tracker
*Budget/spending tracker
*House organization/donations
*Tax donation tracker
*Skill books for kids
*Photo books for kids
*Family recipe book
*Family genealogy book
*House passwords/security
*Car/house information
*Birthday tracker/cards

The possibilities are endless. I also ordered the clear plastic sheets and the shiny black back covers.  I love how the pages lay flat and can be folded back.  I am tired of huge binders that I have to lug around.  I ordered the 5/16" box of 100 black spines.  However, I am probably going to order the bigger spines so I can add more papers. There is also an easy open tool that I did not get.  You can also "edit" or open the spines with a pen to add and remove more sheets.  I have just torn out a few pages so far.

I am working on learning how to make my own Teachers Pay Teachers style items.  Most of them are made with Power Point whereas I prefer Microsoft Word.  However, I have to update.