This post originally appeared on the blog Powerpoint Gaming

Remember when you were in school and your teacher made a class book with each student making a page? I remember doing this, but never knew how the teacher made that book. Today, I thought you should know about binding machines!
I’ve used my own personnel CombBind Binding machine for my classroom as well as in my home. There are so many uses! It’s easy to operate (just like a 3 ring hole puncher) and durable. I bought this one in 2006 and it still works 10 years later! Here are five ways to use it:
1. Everyday Planner
You can create a custom planner that fits your needs. Whether it’s a life planner, school planner, or business planner, you’ll be more inclined to use it since you made it! I created a TPT planner on my computer, printed out the pages,  and used it to plan out my projects for each week and each month. It was great because I could plan for holidays and giveaways. You could also add sheets whenever you need to, creating a one-of-a-kind planner.

2. Daily Lesson Plan Book

I would type up my lesson plans for the week and place them in a “Daily Lesson Plan” book. I’d include a copy of all the lessons, worksheets, and any activities I plan to do. It’s great for reference, especially if an administrator comes in unexpectedly or you’re absent for the day.

3. Weekly Lesson Plan Book

My first few years of teaching, I typed up all my lessons and placed them in a “Lesson Plan” book. I would turn that book into my principal for approval. A few years later, I gave it to a fellow teacher when I switched grades. It was a great reference to go back to if I needed to as I had listed the materials I needed and included the worksheets I had used in each lesson. Plus, my colleagues loved it!  

4. Substitute Teacher Guide

As a teacher, you must plan for the unexpected, especially when flu season starts. You can create a “Substitute Teacher Guide” book that can include your classroom information, school duties, lessons for the day, worksheets and answer keys, and any other things you would like the substitute to use. Whenever I was absent, I’d leave this book for the substitute to use throughout the day. I even included a Substitute Form where they could fill out before they left about the day they had in my classroom. You can make many at the beginning of the year so you’ll be prepared. 

5. Student Books and Journals
When I taught 5th grade, I had an after-school tutoring group. I would create worksheets we could work on together and added them to their “Math Tutor Journal”. Conversely, when I taught 2nd grade, I would create journal books and add writing paper to each journal. Then, I’d add mailing address labels with the journal prompt on each sheet when needed.

6. Intervention Log
 Whenever my students went for intervention or enrichment, I’d always document it in an intervention log. Included are the dates, times, the teacher, the subject, what method they are using (one-on-one, small group, etc), and the teacher’s signature on each log.  Each student had their own page. I kept it at my back table and if my students are responsible enough, they would fill it out themselves.

Other Tricks

  • Combs come in different sizes, holding anywhere from 25 pages to 500 pages.
  • Combs come in different colors including black, white, red, and dark blue (the color I have).
  • You can buy pre-punched paper, cover pages, and back pages.
  • Buy teacher paper (like the apple pictured above) and laminate it to make your own durable and reusable covers.
  • You can even make mini books by cutting the combs in half.
  • You can turn practically anything into a book! For example, a stapled planner into your own personal planner.
Most schools have one so just ask your librarian! If not, you can purchase your own online or at an office supply store (around $60+ depending on where you get it). I think it’s a great investment. It has only jammed on me once and it was a very easy fix!

I love my binding machine and can’t imagine life without it!


Powerpoint GamingChandra Martin is a full-time TpT Teacher-Author in North Carolina. Three years of teaching experience has taught her the many up and downs of teachings. Chandra loves playing games with her students, especially math games. A gamer herself, Chandra loves playing video games and creating games for students and teachers to use. You can find out more about her powerpoint games on Facebook and her blog, Powerpoint Gaming. See more of Chandra’s ideas in her TpT store and on Pinterest