No Lamination Machine? A More Affordable Solution

Last week, in my grade 10 class, we started our unit on functions and relations.

My students aren’t the strongest math students. Even if a concept was covered last year, they often can’t recall some of the key components from the unit. While I know it was covered in the Grade 9 curriculum, they looked confused if I asked them what they remembered.

Since we’ve only started the topic, I wanted a hands-on activity to help them reinforce the differences between relations and functions. This card sort activity comes from Kim Hughly of Math Tales from the Spring. There are 12 pictures that can be sorted either into functions or non-functions.

While my students will complete the activity in their INB, I decided I wanted some classroom sets for practice.

I have been debating whether or not to get a lamination machine, but decided against it when a colleague recommended a cheaper solution: clear contact paper! It is sometimes called kitchen shelf liner and comes in all sorts of pretty patterns. I managed to find some transparent shelf liner by Contact Brand at Canadian Tire. I had picked it up over the summer but didn’t try it out until now.

It worked well! Since it’s sticky on one side, I placed all my cards onto the sticky side, cut another piece and laid it on top. I sat on the floor and laminated while watching Netflix (yes, this is really how teachers spend their evenings).

Photo 2015-09-29, 6 17 01 PMOf course, I did one more thing to make sure my sets stayed organized.

Last year, when I laminated my cards and got them mixed up, it drove me nuts to try to resort them. Come to think of it, I think I left the cards all mixed up …

Anyway, I got some coloured coding labels and put them on the back. I’d like to give credit to the teacher that I learned this from, but I can’t remember!
Photo 2015-09-29, 7 10 52 PM

Photo 2015-09-29, 7 08 13 PM

Here’s the finished product! I only made four sets as I only had four colours. I bagged everything in Ziplock bags, labeled exactly how many cards there were in each set – otherwise, they will disappear – and will be using them later this week!

Photo 2015-09-29, 7 15 48 PM


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