The Best Stapler Ever!!!

I know it’s crazy to post about a stapler. However, I believe in sharing anything that makes teaching a little easier. If you do not have access to an industrial stapler at your school or if you are losing precious time to hunt down or use one in the teacher workroom, then this stapler is an absolute classroom must have.

While creating blue books for my AP Literature’s practice exam, I discovered two unfortunate things: (1)  several of my classroom staplers had been broken and (2) the remaining staplers could not staple more than 10-15 pages without a lot of effort and pressure.  So off I headed to Office Depot in search of a stapler that could handle at least 30 pages and wouldn’t break my budget.

And what I found was the Swingline® Optima® 40 Compact Desk Stapler.



  • Ergonomically designed handheld stapler takes up to 50% less effort than a conventional stapler. 
  • With flat clinch technology, staples lay extremely flat on the back of documents. 
  • Durable metal construction ensures lasting performance. 
  • Soft grip enhances the feel and control for both desktop and handheld use. 
  • Innovative, quick-load magazine system allows strips of 105 staples to be quickly and easily loaded.  Guaranteed jam-free for efficient stapling performance.
  • Eco-conscious choice — has one or more meaningful eco-attributes or eco-labels. 
  • Certified AP Nontoxic

What I love:

  • It’s easy to use.
  • It staples flat.
  • It uses normal staples . 
  • It can staple 25+ pages with little effort. (I haven’t tried the stapler at maximum page capacity yet.)
  • It’s easy for students to use. (Though I’m only sharing my stapler with my student helpers, not the entire class.)
  • It takes up very little space and is very easy to see on my desk. (The orange stripe is bright and distinct enough to signal if one of my “Happy Friends” (students) decides to borrow it without permission.
  • It has a 5-star rating on Office

What I hate:

  • This stapler is pricey. In-store, the price of this stapler was considerably marked up  at $36.99 (before taxes). However, I recommend purchasing this item online. The online price was listed at $26.99 and I was able to purchase mine with a 25% off coupon from Office Depot I picked it up while I was still in-store for $21.91 (with tax). Online purchase and pick up took less than 15 minutes. 
  • It only uses half a strip of staples at a time.

**This post is not sponsored.**

Started From the Bottom … Now We’re Here…

OMG!!! I’m so excited. Our iPads finally got a much needed upgrade from being charged on rigged up dish racks. 


Now we have have a re-purposed C.O.W. (computers on wheels) laptop cart that we can use to charge, store, and transport our iPad minis.IMG_0040

 I’m so grateful and appreciative to finally have a secure storage solution in my classroom for our iPads. 🙂IMG_0042


Teacher Tutorial: Creating an Extra Duty Timesheet Using Google Forms



When I shared how I use Google Forms to track the extra hours I work at school, a few teachers were interested in seeing a tutorial, so I created the tutorial below using Screencast-O-Matic. I hope this Google Forms tutorial is helpful. 

Before you get started, here are a few teacher tips that can help you use the Extra Duty Timesheet tool more effectively.

Teacher Tips:

  • Creating this time tracking form is not about clock-watching. I will not use it to document fairly quick tasks. However, if a school related task warrants more than 10-15 minutes of personal time then I will definitely record it. Often, teachers are the victims of our own success. We spend countless hours working on school projects without recognizing how that may cause imbalance in other aspects of our lives. Therefore, this time tracking tool not only records our additional contributions and dedication to our profession, but it also creates self awareness. This time tracking tool is about building personal and professional accountability for our time. 
  • If you are looking for a better work/life balance this time tracking tool may show you how you are utilizing portions of your personal time.
  • Also, this time tracking tool may also be a great documentation to take into your teacher evaluation. Unless you have a very visible role in such as an athletic coach, it might be difficult for your administration to see all of the valuable contributions you have made during the school year.

Please let me know in the comment section if there is anything I could explain better or if you have additional questions/comments about the tutorial. 🙂


5 Simple Rules for iPads in My Classroom

Between a combination of iPad2s and iPad minis, my classroom finally has a 1-to-1 iPad ratio. I am beyond ecstatic, but to whom much is given much is required. While I am worried about the well being and upkeep of $10,000 worth of iPads in my classroom, I try to keep the rules for their use as simple as possible for my early college high school students. 

I have used iPads in the classroom for less than a year, but was unable to find blogs or websites that listed student friendly iPad rules. Most of what I found were rollout manuals with lengthy dos and don’ts. So if you’re new to using iPads in the classroom as well, I thought I’d share my (5) basic rules that I use with my early college high school students.

The goal of my iPad rules were to keep them easy to remember and as student friendly as possible. Please let me know what you think of these rules and feel free to share the rules you use in the classroom with your students. I’d love to tweak my current rules for next school year. [Yes, I am already thinking about and planning for next school year! Lol! :-)]