As a teacher, you will know how important it is to have the right tools on hand in the classroom.
Whether that’s countless amounts of worksheets that your students can work from on their own or in pairs, or a DIY set of paper jigsaws or other puzzles, you will need something that can withstand the use of several little hands.
Simple paper sheets won’t be able to stand the test of time if you plan on using them for several lessons over the years.
This is where a laminator will come in handy! By covering your paper worksheets in a plastic pouch, you can protect them from easy damage.
This will mean your worksheets or paper puzzles will be able to last you for many years to come. No matter what age group you’re teaching, laminated sheets will be a lifesaver in the classroom.
But how do you use a laminator?
Today, we’re going to give you all the information that you need to know how to use a laminator in the classroom.
By following our simple step-by-step instructions, you will soon become a pro at laminating. So let’s take a look at everything that you need to know about laminating!
How To Use A Laminator
You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to use your laminator to laminate all manner of things. As long as you follow the correct method, you’ll have perfectly laminated sheets in no time at all. Here’s how to use a laminator correctly…
Warm Up The Laminator
First things first, you’ll need to warm up your laminator. It won’t be ready to go as soon as you plug it into your classroom’s outlet – you’ll need to give it a couple of minutes to warm up first so that it can melt the plastic pouches properly.
You will need to plug your laminator into your outlet and then leave it alone for several minutes. Most models tend to feature a light function that will show you when the laminator is hot enough to use.
Once the light has indicated that the laminator is up to temperature, you will be able to use it!
While you’re waiting for the laminator to warm up, you can start the next step, and prepare your materials.
Choose The Right Laminating Pouch
One of the most important steps to remember is that you will need the right size laminating pouch for your paper. This may be partially dictated by the size of your laminator.
If you have an A4 laminator, then this will be the maximum size laminating pouch that you can use. If you need to laminate A3 sheets of paper, you will need to purchase a laminator model that is able to do this.
Take a look at the paper that you need to laminate. If it is an A4 worksheet, then you will need to opt for an A4 laminating pouch.
If you have a smaller A5 sheet of paper, then you will need this size laminating pouch.
If you have several small bits of paper that you want to laminate, then it may be best to opt for an A4 laminating sheet.
Make sure to spread the pieces of paper out so that they don’t touch one another or overlap; this will make it easier to cut them out once you’ve finished laminating.
Arrange the paper in the laminating pouch so that it sits squarely within the plastic. There should be a fringe of plastic around the outside of the paper to seal it in once it’s gone through the laminator.
This can easily be achieved by laying the paper against the sealed side of the laminating pouch – this will prevent the paper from sticking outside the plastic.
Feed The Pouch Into The Laminator The Right Side Round
When the laminator has reached its optimal temperature, and you have prepared all of the sheets that you wish to laminate, it’s time to get laminating!
It will be very important to try to feed the sheets into the laminator as straight as possible.
If you feed the sheets in at an angle or diagonally, there’s no guarantee that they will laminate neatly, as the last edges of the paper will get crumpled up as they pass through the laminator.
Some laminators have stenciled guidelines to help you.
Simply place the sheet between these guidelines, or place them through as straight as you can, then slowly feed the sheet into the laminator until it is able to take it of its own accord.
The side that you place the laminated pouches into the machine will be very important, too. One shorter side of the pouches will be sealed off already.
You will need to feed this side of the plastic pouch into the laminator first so that it can seal properly.
If you were to try and feed it in using the open side, this could cause one of the sides of the pouch to open up, and result in a poorly laminated sheet.
Not to mention the dreaded air bubbles that you want to avoid!
Allow Laminated Sheets To Cool
Finally, you will be able to slowly take the laminated sheets from the laminator. Don’t pull on these – allow them to slowly come through the machine on their own.
The sheets will be very warm after going through the laminator, so you may wish to put them to one side for a few seconds to allow them to cool.
If you laminated several small items, you can now cut them out to size once they have cooled.
So there you have it! You now know everything that there is to know about laminating sheets of paper.
QUICK TIP: Laminate your primary source documents, such as photos. Students can write on them with washable markers and you can use them year after year.
You will need to let the laminator warm up properly first so that it can get up to temperature.
Select the right sized laminating pouch for your sheet of paper, and make sure that your chosen laminator is able to support this.
If you have several small bits of paper, opt for a single A4 laminating pouch to help you.
Feed the laminating pouch through the laminator with the already sealed side first. Gently help the sheet through the laminator until it has passed through the other side.
Allow it to go through the laminator on its own, then put the sheet to one side to cool.