August 28, 2011

New Favorite Toy Inspired by Simple Solutions

This summer I went to on of the best professional development workshops I have ever been to for science.  The workshop was presented by Simple Solutions and this lady knew her stuff.  If you haven't been and you have the opportunity, go! The majority of the workshop was spent making things to use in the classroom.  I walked out with games to play that reinforce the scientific concepts I will teach this year, as well as great visual teaching aids. 

One of my favorite things that we did was create tennis balls to demonstrate differing density.  One tennis ball is completely normal.  The other tennis ball was cut open and filled with sand.  Now, the balls look the same, same size, same shape, but have different densities.  This is one of those things that I would hear about and somehow never get around to making what I needed. Now, I'm all ready to go.

As I said, we put everything together at the workshop.  Which brings me to my new favorite toy...the laminator.  Simply Solutions had little laminators set up all around the room so that we could laminate everything we needed right then and there. It was so easy and the laminate seals really well.  (My school laminator often lets me down in this department.) 

So, it turns out, you can buy the very same laminator at Walmart for $25.  Naturally, I ran to Walmart right after the workshop and bought one.

Now, the laminating cover sheets can be pricey.  But, you can buy 200 laminating pouches at Sam's for about $20.  This is a much better price than Walmart.  Do not buy there! So, for just under fifty dollar, I have been able to create my own laminating work station at home.  I'm loving it! Oh, and because most of what I laminate is 8 1/2 x 11 (game boards, mini-posters, etc.) I have nothing to cut.  Bonus!

Here are the needed supplies.

An example of some of the fun things I have been making this weekend.  No cutting or trimming required!

I'm loving everything about this little gem. Plus, I never have to wait in line.  :)

P.S. My reading strategy posters come from Constructing Meaning by Nancy N. Boyles.  This is another great resources for teaching reading comprehension.


  1. I bought one last week! OMG - why haven't I bought one sooner?! Such a fabulous little tool! And thanks for the tip about Sam's...had no idea they had the sheets for cheaper.

    3rd Grade Gridiron

  2. WOW! I had no idea little laminator cost only $25! This is exciting news! Thanks for the tip about Sam's too!


  3. I bought one last year on sale at Joann's fabric. I love it! Thanks for the tip about Sam's!

  4. Happy to help with the Sam's tip. I actually don't have a membership there, but they were having a free trial weekend. Talk about perfect timing! I scored a one box, but I'm now wondering if I should have bought two. ~Amanda

  5. the best laminating sheets are on amazon-- just 11 dollars for 100 sheets! it's great if you don't have a sam's club membership :)

  6. Thanks for the info Alyssa. That's an even better deal. Boy, do I love Amazon!


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