Schoolwide waste is a HUGE problem. Every year, recycling in schools can help up prevent so much unnecessary waste. What can we do as teachers to change this? Well, these recycling in the classroom ideas can help! Not only will teachers recycling in the classroom reinforce positive student behavior, it will help your students understand that each small effort counts. Honestly, I love to teach climate change all year-long, but feel free to focus on these efforts during Earth Day if you prefer.
1. Reusable Bottles
Have students bring reusable bottles for water to school every day. Have a shelf dedicated where students can leave their bottles all year long. When setting this up, label the bottles to easily identify who they belong to. This can be something you request in the first week of school by sending a note home. Added bonus: your student’s parents will be thrilled they won’t have to pack water any longer!
2. Recycling in Schools
Looking for ways to model recycling in schools? Create a large bin dedicated to all of your dried up markers to send to Crayola for recycling. Have your students collect old markers from other classrooms as well- or host a contest to see who can recycle the most items by the end of the month! Let the students look around the classroom for other items that can be recycled as well. There are lots of other recycling ideas at this post about 25 recycling activities in the classroom.
3. Take Your Lessons Digital
It’s important that we show teachers recycling in the classroom as a model for our students. What better way to recycle old paper for new projects, or even better yet, cut back on paper waste by going digital! Save some trees and keep your students prepared for the 21st Century in one easy step! Not all of your lessons have to go digital, but you’d be surprised how many can easily be adapted these days.
I also sneak environmental awareness with real world math applications. This Project Based Learning activity lets students research a cause and organize a fundraiser in one amazing project! Perfect Earth Day elementary activities to reinforce multiplication, division, graphing, writing, and more!
Each page reinforces real world applications while teaching the standards:
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