Learn For Less
Create fun yet affordable instructional materials in just a few easy steps!
It’s a sad reality that although there is a wealth of materials available to teachers in the market, many of these are too expensive to be viable in most classrooms. Here are some tips and ideas that cost little to nothing to create.
BE A NATURE LOVER
Stepping out of the classroom and watching the clouds on a breezy but sunny day is an activity most of your students will love. Record their observations and make a chart of the types of clouds they see. Voilà! You have a science activity that requires only paper and pens. Walk around your school grounds and look for calamansi to make juice out of. Afterwards, dry the squeezed out peel to use for a stamping activity with a bit of tempera paint mixed with water. Gather up leaves and twigs and use these for a sorting activity. Grow some plants from monggo seeds. Mother nature is the best source for materials to be used in the classroom. The best part? It’s free!
FILE FOLDER GAMES
All you need is a little ingenuity to create lasting puzzles and games with folders, paper, and markers.
1. Look through your lesson plan and think of what concept you would like to target.
2. Be creative and think of fun ways to present your game. If you are working with vocabulary words, you could have a guessing game where you have the words inside a balloon and the meaning of the words flowing like strings of the balloons. You could also have flowers with a letter in the middle, surrounded by petals that contain words that begin with that letter. Let your imagination take flight!
3. Think of a catchy title for the game, such as “Up in the Air” for the balloon vocabulary words game and type the instructions on a computer. If you have no access to a computer, simply write the title and instructions on the cover page.
4. Arrange the game. Decide on what you want to stick, write, or draw inside the folder. For example, you can draw the outline of the balloons with the meaning of the words as the string.
5. Cover the folder with clear contact paper (available in National Bookstore).
6. Print or draw the piecesyou need for the game. Laminate these for greater durability.
STAR TIP:There are free activities you can download from websites that contain complete file folder games—from the title and instructions to the game itself. Check out:
Worksheets abound in the great World Wide Web. Just type in your area of interest, whether by subject (math, science, literacy), topic (letter recognition, opposites, patterns), or even age level. Again, if you do not have access to the computer, these sheets are simple to create and can be reproduced at a minimal rate.
1. Choose the activitybased on what the students are studying. If they are entering kindergarten, then they must know how to recognize and write all of the letters.
2. Create a visually appealing worksheet by drawing child-friendly images. You can also play around with colors by using colored markers and crayons.
3. You can either photocopy the sheet for the whole class to work on at the same time or you can laminate the sheet. You can re-use the laminated sheet over and over again, but only one child can work on the sheet at a time.
STAR TIP: Current prices for lamination in National Bookstore are as follows:
Short page: P30
Long Page: P35
You can also opt to “laminate” your sheets with thick scotch tape. It is not as durable as real laminate but it is a cheap alternative that works well enough.
PAPER PLATES GALORE
Easy to find, cheap, and versatile. What more could you ask for? These plates are perfect for art activities, such as creating masks and animal puppets. However, these plates can also be used for math activities, such as telling time, fractions, and counting activities.
ADDITION WEB Here is a simple math activity you can make with a paper plate, permanent markers, whiteboard markers, scotch tape, and erasers.
1. Draw a small circle in the center of the plate. Write a number inside the circle. Keep it simple for younger students while older students can have larger numbers.
2. Draw lines from the circleyou drew until the edge of the plate. Make sure you have at least four empty spaces.
3. Place scotch tape on the empty spaces to allow you to erase the answers and re-use the plate for your other students.
4. Ask your students to think of different number combinations to arrive at the number in the middle. If you have the number 9 in the middle, possible answers could be 0 + 9, 1 + 8, 2+7,3+6,and4+5.