Earth Day in the Classroom

How do you celebrate Earth Day in your classroom?  Here are a few fun and easy ways that we reduce, reuse, and recycle in ours.
Earth Day in the Classroom from Light Bulbs and Laughter blog

1. Have students bring empty plastic or cardboard containers from home.  Challenge them to look around their house for one special item that they think could be reused in the classroom.  Then lay them all out on a table and brainstorm ideas.  Bonus points if you give students duct tape or washi tape to match your classroom decor!

Recycling in the classroom from Light Bulbs and Laughter
These containers used to hold macadamia nuts.  Now they're stuck together with duct tape to hold colored pencils!

2. Put your classroom games into page protectors and use them with dry erase markers.  No wasted paper!  

Free multiplication game from Light Bulbs and Laughter
This game is a free download on TpT!  Click HERE to download.

3. Looking for an Earth friendly way for students to erase their games or white boards?  We use socks!  Years ago, I bought them at Walmart (in black, so they wouldn't show all the marker colors!), but now I have the students bring them from home.  No, not their best socks!  Ask parents to send in "strays" that always show up in the dryer.

Recycle old socks as erasers - Light bulbs and Laughter blog

4. Make an "extra bin" next to where students turn in their work.  This makes classwork and homework easily accessible for students who are absent or lose their paper.  It also gives students who love to "play school" at home with friends or siblings a place to gather materials.  What a great way to recycle paper!  Studies show that students who can teach others what they are learning develop a better understanding of the material.

Turn it in and Extra Bin - Light Bulbs and Laughter blog

5. Remember the days of overhead projectors?  Many schools have boxes of this transparency film sitting around, unused.  How can we recycle these?

How to recycle transparency film in the classroom - Light Bulbs and Laughter

How to recycle transparency film in the classroom - Light Bulbs and Laughter
Sharpie paint pens work the best for this project.

Use them to make a "stained glass window" for your classroom!  Find an art page that you love, copy it onto the film, and have the kiddos use Sharpies to color.  They look gorgeous with the sun coming through them.  Bonus points if they have to do math when they color!
"Stained Glass Window" in the classroom - Light Bulbs and Laughter blog
This is one of our math quilt projects.  My students love these!  Click HERE to see them all.
This is a window in the school office.  Our school secretary says she loves it, and the students are so proud to see their work displayed!  

Finally, I have the students talk to their parents about recycling.  They take home this page for homework, then bring it back the next day for a class discussion.  It's free, if you would like to use it with your class.  Just click under the picture.
What does your family recycle? - Light Bulbs and Laughter blog
Click HERE to download these free printables.
Then they color and sign their pledge to help the Earth.
How will you help the Earth? - Light Bulbs and Laughter blog
Thanks for joining me on my Earth Day/Recycling journey in the classroom!

Light Bulbs and Laughter blog