right in your building.
Daily, the custodians collect empty rolls from paper towels. . .and these are the really awesome, thick ones that can lend themselves to all kinds of projects. Give them a plastic bin and ask them to save these for you.
Similarly, the packaging for produce often presents itself as a great resource for projects children can make. Look around. . .involve the other workers in the building in order to maximize resources and cut down on waste. It inspires creativity everywhere!
The mission of Scissors and Glue is to model projects for students (or crafters) with upcycled materials; that is, the emphasis is creativity through resources that might otherwise be thrown away. Consider the number of coffee sleeves tossed out EVERY DAY. Some are corrugated, some are more of a quilted texture. Regardless the texture, they are almost all useful. Save them; find an interesting punch shape and voila. . .adornments for students to use (and not sparingly). Here, a series of pears. The lesson: fruits, songs with pear references, you name it. . make it work for you.
I can’t say enough what a good resource adhesive scrap is. Anytime I teach a workshop that uses adhesive foam scrap, I save all bits. When a good amount has been saved, I create a project that utilizes the scraps for mosaic. It’s a good time to do riddles with children or sing songs, while they are busy creating their mosaic.
There is a saying that if you want to build community, start bouncing a ball. And it makes sense. . .a bouncing ball is inviting to come and play, which takes people off guard and creates the simple smiles on other’s faces. A bouncing ball, therefore, breaks down barriers and fosters trust.
I believe a roll of paper is the same way. Put a roll of paper in a teacher workroom, and teachers will overflow with ideas about how to use it—it will just happen. And this will foster creativity, which will foster resourcefulness and inclusive learning.
Now, many newspaper printers have recycling contracts on their end rolls. But if you find an entity like Scissors and Glue, who negotiates with companies like the ones who print newspapers, you can get your end rolls on the cheap (if not for free).