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Teaching without a reprographics budget

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Chazette, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Chazette

    Chazette New commenter

    Starting a new school next week, getting nervous/excited etc etc. However it turns out there is no reprographics budget at all. nothing. If i want anything printed i have to do it at home out of my own pocket.
    As such i need to find new ways to teach and was wondering if anyone had any techniques they use? I have an interactive whiteboard and 1 textbook for keystage 3 so i dont really want to use that every day! I've been looking at getting pupils to create their own questions / created cards to mix and match etc but im struggling for other ways to make lessons work, other than putting questions on the board.
    Any ideas would be extremely helpful!

  2. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    You could put some key questions on a powerpoint slide on the IWB
  3. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Visualiser to display things under too would be useful.
  4. I would definitely make us of/obtain some mini-whiteboards. Can be used in a variety of ways for groupwork, showing answers, just doing working. It will just add variety if you are short on variety due to not being able to photocopy anything.
    Try to come up with activities that require little printing but have lots of impact, that way you won't mind printing them as you can re-use anyway. For example, treasure hunts where you print a number of questions and put them on the walls in a loop, and students work in pairs and give you the correct sequence of answers.
    Or where you put questions around the room, and put pairs next to each question. They come up with answer together. Then rotate one person who must explain the question and answer to the next person. Then the person who stayed before now rotates to next station, and so on.
    Things like Mathematical Team Games would require you to print one sheet per pair, but can be fantastic activities taking a lot of time with good quality learning. I wouldn't mind printing that as it's only 15 sheets for a class of 30, and if you do on coloured card, are great resources you can reuse over and over again.
    Loop games - again, 2 or 3 sheets of paper for an activity, though of course pupils aren't working 100% of the time so some teachers don't like them.
    Just a few ideas. I mean in theory you could just teach using textbooks and written work, but if you want to make it more exciting you might need to be a bit more inventive! It would be great for you to post back how you get on!
  5. Forgot to add link for Mathematical Team Games in case you're not aware of them.
  6. What kind of a school is it, and did you find out about this situation in your interview? I think it'd almost be a bit of a deal-breaker for me, not because I do loads of photocopying but because little barriers to teaching like this are one of the major frustrations of the job.
  7. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    Seems absolutely ridiculous to me that maths are not allowed to print or photocopy. Lots of people have suggested good ideas, but if the school cannot afford basic printing, there unlikely to be able to afford anything else.
    Feel sorry for you. I for one would not be able to cope.
  8. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Look for another job. You are a maths teacher, so it shouldn't be too difficult.
    I can't believe that a school would be so lacking in resources... ( memory goes back to a 2 week teaching practice at one of the worst funded schools in the Leeds LEA, where paper was being handed out a sheet at a time as the school had run out of money and the text books they were using were at least 20 years old. )

  9. Agree with your ideas atics but the price tag for the tarquin book set me thinking! Try here instead and get the book for a rather more reasonable £6.50!


    (I have no links with Tarquin, other than having used this book and bought a poster from them, hope I'm not shouted at for providing the link.)
  10. Thanks for the link - to be honest I hadn't even looked at the price!
  11. I'm with brookes, pencho, karvol. This is an outrageous situation.
    Mind you, I have just left a school where every photocopying request had to be countersigned by HOD and we had NO textbooks in KS3 at all, and only one set per room (max - sometimes you'd have to timeshare on them) of GCSE textbooks.
    As brookes says, these sorts of barriers are what can make teaching so unnecessarily difficult. It's not the mountain you have to climb, it's the grain of sand in your shoe...
    Also when you look at what your salary costs, the insurances, the health and safety stuff, all the things that are regarded as "hygiene factors" in schools, a few thousand photocopies is a drop in the ocean - for them to be tying your hands like this in terms of allowing you to teach creatively is just beyond cretinous.
  12. Speaking of Tarquin, I know people had trouble ordering from them recently and I rang them up - turned out they are a tiny family company and there had been a bereavement.
  13. Chazette

    Chazette New commenter

    Thanks for your ideas so far, but unfortunatly the 'find a new job' isn't one i can go for right now! I'm an NQT and I wasnt made aware of the situation until yesterday so the planning i'd done had to go out the window! So i need to do my induction then i'll see about moving. I'm not the only one who wasnt told - theres 5 new starters in the department (again something i didnt know until the other day!) and none of us had a clue about it!
    I'm looking positively at the situation, i'll learn new ways to teach and i'm sure i'll find a way to adapt to the situation! I'm just worried about my GCSE group as its hard to practice some exam questions without having a copy infront of you to answer on...which i cant do!
    Those tarquin books look good, but its money that i just don't have, shall have to wait till later in the year!
  14. I'm curious about the department. Please don't give any details about the school, but with 6 new maths teachers I'm wondering if there are any left from last year!
  15. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    5 new starters in a maths department.
    One wonders why?[​IMG]
  16. mmmmmaths

    mmmmmaths New commenter

    Make sure that you get all of the support due to NQTs. Make sure that you note down and date all of the issues arising from the lack of resources so that you have evidence if you later need it.

    Have you been given schemes of work?

    If there is no money then I assume subscriptions to Maths sites are limited or non existent. So
    For questions up on the board I suggest that you use MEP resources on your IWB.


    Like others have said " don't stick around" it does not sound as if you will have the chance to 'learn your trade' with few resources and few experienced staff.

    Good luck
  17. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I often project questions on the IWB. I used the camera icon in SMART and can pick and mix questions from 10ticks, Sumbooks and from the MEP resources referred to above.
    There are some topics which lend themselves much better to printed resources. Plotting graphs and transforamtions are just two that spring to mind. Rich tasks can often be resource intensive and are easier to co-ordinate with printed and copied sheets.
    I would suggest asking about doing some joint planning and having a budget to produce resources for the department to share. If they know that the printing and copying will be used across a number of groups that may help.
  18. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    Many moons ago, a colleague who had moved to become a HoD reported back that he'd arrived to find that the entire departmental budget had been spent, and they had run out of exercise books and chalk. So it could probably be worse!
  19. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    Wow. Are other departments facing similar constraints. is it Senior management or is it the HOD being silly. They probably want results delivering as well. Surely they must have past papers for students etc....

  20. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Actually, it sounds quite good to me.

    Like a few on these boards, I was educated in a time when "photocopies" smelt a bit of bananas and were on special paper that faded in the light and had to be produced by turning a handle on the machine.

    As a result, they were pretty rare things.

    So I was a bit shocked to find, when training, that I was expected to "produce my own resources" (which seemed to mostly mean "copy out a section of exercises from a textbook - or find a sheet in the filing cabinet where someone else has already done that - and get it photocopied in your own time, and then stress like mad that the repro centre might not get it done in time for the lesson".

    So I can only imagine that a school that has no repro budget wouldn't be expecting its teachers to waste their time running off thousands of trees worth of copies when, in reality "Do questions 1, 2 and 6 from page 97 of the textbook" would not only provide the same practice for the kids but would also actually start to teach them something about the value of textbooks.

    (Of course, if the reality is that the school doesn't expect that - it expects you to still be up half the night re-inventing a worksheet for every lesson and printing it our yourself then those who are saying "get another job" are right!)

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