#Paper?: Going “copyless” in the classroom

Trying to keep your classrooms and book bag free of paper? Maybe have all work be distributed and submitted digitally


To maintain a sustainable planet, I am keeping my classrooms free of paper. My goal was to have all paper-based work distributed digitally and submitted digitally. The added benefit to this was that I would be able to provide feedback to my students more easily and quickly.

To start, I had my workflow set up from day one for each of my classes. Each Schoology page was prepared so that the very first handout, the first assignment and the first worksheets were ready to be viewed and submitted on the first day. I also prepared, borrowed and edited various instructions for how the students should manage my copy-free classroom. See screenshots below.

So, how has it gone after one quarter? A great success! In the first week, I did make some copies for students in case they didn’t have their computers with them for whatever reason, but it ended up that I did not have to use them – saving them for scrap paper. Since September, I have only printed out forty sheets of paper for student use for a lab where they needed to record data around chemicals that would not have been good for their laptops if spilled. It also took a week or two to get every student submitting their work properly, i.e. uploaded to Schoology and not simply shared with me or uploaded as an unreadable link.

The main obstacle that remains for my upper school students is the use of Kami on their (mostly) Apple MacBooks. The easiest way to make drawings and fill in charts of data on a pdf would be with a stylus which is not an option here. They manage, but it is difficult.

I am quite pleased and hope to remain “copyless” for years to come.

For more information contact: Alan Pike

#SaveTrees: The Copyless Math Classroom

Purpose: To develop routine practices for the students when completing homework assignments electronically, possibly leading us to go paperless.


The goal is to develop routine practices for the students when completing homework assignments electronically, possibly leading us to go paperless.  Assignments are consistently posted in Schoology. The majority of assignments for math are “handouts”, which in the past has added up to many reams of paper over the course of the year–as well as rather full notebooks.  Students are expected to rename the assignment, organize it in the appropriate folder in Drive, complete it using Kami, and submit it using Schoology. In addition, students are expected to self-correct assignments during class and save the corrected version in Drive.  Students were directly instructed on how to create and organize their math course folder in Drive, along with unit assignment folders. These procedures were modeled for the students at the very beginning of the year. I am able to see their work prior to class and provide various levels of feedback.  This also gives me to opportunity to observe individual student’s work or some trends within the class as a whole.

Algebra IH – correct interpretation of the instructions:

Algebra IH – somewhat common incorrect interpretation of the instructions:

After the initial adjustment period at the beginning of the year, the majority of students have successfully transitioned to this new system for submitting homework.  There have been a few students that are somewhat inconsistent with submitting assignments prior to class, despite having completed it electronically. Also, there have been a couple of students that have expressed a strong preference for completing hard copies and handwriting assignments.  For those students, once they had given the original plan a chance, a modified plan has been put in place.

Students have been provided with direct feedback (rubric) regarding how well they have met the expectations regarding the assignments and the organization in Drive.  This will occur twice per semester. The students also completed a survey providing feedback.

In addition to the benefits already mentioned, I have found that students have been much more responsible about maintaining a functional Chromebook; for example, making sure it is charged for class, resolving tech issues asap, and replacing a broken or missing stylus.  The improved maintenance of the Chromebooks has allowed for other class activities that involve the use of the Chromebooks to run much more smoothly and spontaneously. For example, my Algebra IH students explored linear equations using Geogebra when I introduced parallel and perpendicular lines.  They were able to discover what was needed for lines to be parallel or perpendicular, rather than be told or spend much more time trying to complete a series of constructions by hand. This class also created projects using My Simple Show following our study of motion problems, compound inequalities, and absolute value equations/inequalities.  The creation of the projects only required one class period and one night’s worth of homework time. Both the creation of and the viewing of the projects was extremely enjoyable. In Math 7, we’ve used the Chromebooks to complete a review Kahoot and a more artistic homework assignment that was perfectly suited for Kami. I have many other projects in store for the remainder of the year.

Algebra IH – My Simple Show Project

Math 7 – FACEing Math Assignment:

For more information contact: Lisa Verrastro