How Teachers Can Deduct Classroom Supplies

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An eligible teacher can deduct up to $250 ($500 if you are married and are filing jointly and your spouse is an educator) on any classroom supplies. These could books, office supplies like paper and pencils, classroom organization needs and school tech like classroom laminators and computers.

What makes you an eligible teacher?

  1. You are a kindergarten through grade 12:
    • Teacher
    • Instructor
    • Counselor
    • Principal, or
    • Aide, and
  1. You work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.
  1. Learn more at the IRS

How to manage your deduction

  1. The guidelines are broad, just as long as your purchases are meant for the classroom and are useful for your students.
  2. You can’t deduct expenses for which you were reimbursed. Your expenses have to be out of pocket.
  3. Be aware these deductions are subject to the 2% limit on itemized deductions—this means you can only deduct the amount that exceeds 2% of your AGI.(adjusted gross income)
  4. Keep all your purchase receipts for tax time.

 

Organizing Classroom Bulletin Boards for the School Year

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As a teacher, you probably have awesome bulletin board ideas for your classroom already planned. But the prep work involved can be time-consuming. So it’s important to get started early (preferably before school starts) by preparing bulletin board backdrops ahead of time, you can make the final creative decorating less stressful. Also get a bulletin board storage box to keep all of your bulletin boards clean and protected throughout the year. Storage box folders keep each bulletin board theme separated, along with add-on bulletin board supplies (photos, cut-out letters, etc.) that you will need for final decorating.

Organizing Your Bulletin Board Ideas

Make a list of your bulletin board themes. Of course your list is huge, but narrowing your themes down to boards that will be most helpful and useful to your students can make your boards a big hit. Date each selected theme so you know when it will makes its appearance during the school year. Perhaps start with a welcome back to school board on the first day of class, shift to a holiday board around Halloween or Thanksgiving, etc. The dates will ensure you stay on track when it’s time to swap out themes.

Preparing Your Board Backdrops

Whatever type of bulletin board you use, a backdrop theme color is essential for organizing  your idea by color or material. The backdrops also keep you focused on each theme.

Here are some cool backdrop materials to considers:

Plastic Tablecloths left over from summer picnics make great board  covers. Also the plastic is durable and acts as a clean background for colorful pinups.

Eye-Catching Aluminum Foil– Very cool backdrop for science project boards or Christmas boards.

Versatile Cotton Fabric. A trip to the fabric store before school starts gets the creative juices flowing with colorful options and even patterns that will make a fun and engaging board that is easily covered with staples or glue.

Create a Add-Ons List

Now that you have the board backdrops ready, make the list of add-ons you will hang from each board. If you are not quite sure what add-ons to use, include the essential materials to make the add-ons into the bulletin board storage folder so you will have them when the time comes.

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Bulletin Board Storage Box Folders have handy list areas where you can write your add-ons that will go on each bulletin board.

 Show Time!

The day before each board gets seen by the class, simply hang your prepped board, pin up or staple up the add-ons and you are ready in no time.

Check out more bulletin board backdrop ideas at Organized Classroom.

Why Businesses Are Upgrading to Automatic Shredders

With government regulations demanding compliance with identity protection guidelines and an increase in high volume shredding, companies are seeking new ways to improve productivity of the shredding process with a better office paper shredder.

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Many businesses choose off-site shredding companies as a convenient solution. However with this hands-off service, comes a few drawbacks including high prices and a risk of exposing confidential information to an external vendor.

Many businesses instead are using automatic on-site shredding. The single cost purchase of an automatic high volume shredder provides long-term shredding without the hefty service fees of shredding services. And an on-site commercial shredder keeps all confidential information in the office.

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Most importantly, automatic shredders also provide a hands-free experience. Users simply load the bin, push the button and walk away. From a productivity standpoint, this means employees spend less time shredding and more time on other more important tasks. Another important feature are safety locks, which prevents the shredder from being opened after it begins the shredding process, so confidential documents remain safe until completely destroyed.

Automatic shredding also allows the shredding process to occur in a timely manner, eliminating the risky build-up of confidential documents waiting to be destroyed, making confidential shredding an important perk of automatic machines.

The value of automatic shredding spans across many industries that handle sensitive materials.

Healthcare

Medical clinics and hospitals can quickly destroy reams of sensitive patient information as medical records clerks purge old files in less time.

Law

Law clerks find automatic shredding useful for past client records or destroying the duplicate paperwork of a long case.

Finance

Accountants use automatic shredding to maintain a consistent storage and destruction cycle for business records. Large quantities of sensitive documents  are usually in immediate need of shredding, and the process can take accounting clerks weeks to properly dispatch such paperwork.

Real Estate and Mortgage

Credit apps from home buyers quickly pile up on a realtor’s desk, unfortunately a desk often left unattended while showing homes. Automatic shredding saves real estate companies time by allowing these documents, which often contain social security numbers, bank account numbers and driver’s license information, to be quickly shredded without delay.

 

 

 

 

Fellowes Give Employee Golf Outing Raises Funds for City of Hope

On July 28th,  The Fellowes GIVE Employee Golf Outing raised $2000 for City of Hope. Fifty-six golfers and 10 volunteers comprised of Fellowes retirees, vendors, employees, family and friends participated in the event.

Though the golf outing was cut short due to the storms that rolled in, all said they had a great time. Thanks to all those who supported!

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City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation.

 

A Laminating Project That Can Change the Way Kids Read

Yes, you can make bookmarks with your laminator. But these bookmarks are different. Thinkmark bookmarks  act as a “shout out” to any section of a book to help kids think more about what they are reading.

How It Works

1 Create Thinksmart bookmarks for students using a classroom laminator. Cut them out.

2. Give the reading assignment

3. As they read, they will be asked to find specific parts of the book during each day’s reading assignment. As a teacher, you might want them to find the part that makes them laugh,  or to find the part that leaves them confused for discussion later. With over ten callouts on the Thinksmart bookmark, a student reader can always find the section that is most important for that day’s reading.

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Download the template, laminate and trim.

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Dual Monitors Increase Productivity and Lower Company Costs

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In a recent study conducted by Dell, dual monitors were tested against single monitors for productivity. The research revealed that dual monitor configurations saved time and improved accuracy in the computer tasks performed. Workers also favored the dual monitor option for their daily computing needs. Positive responses from users is also important data from a productivity perspective as higher satisfaction among employees translates into greater productivity.

 

Choosing the Best Multi-Monitor Setup

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Flexibility with adjustment is key for comfort and monitor placement where you need it

Easy to mount monitor arms take the headache out of setup and allow changes in workstation configurations to be made easily without hassle.

Tilt and elevation adjustment capabilities offer the greatest and most precise range. Your monitor arms should adjust to you, not you to it!

Weight support-Make sure the monitor arm you select can handle the weight of  25  pound flat screens.

How Dual Monitor Arms Performed Over Single Monitors Setups

In terms of speed of performance, dual monitors increased efficiency by two minutes per task over single monitors.

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The research also showed that information was easier to find using dual monitors.

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How does this productivity translate into financial savings?

Researchers broke out the potential savings by number of employees and by monitor configuration. For example, moving from a single 17-inch screen to a setup of dual 19-inch monitors brings a productivity gain that translates to 56 extra days of work per employee per year, or approximately $1.5 million in cost savings per year for a company of 250 employees.

 

 

The AeraMax Pro AM III wins the North American Office Products Award for Innovation of the Year

 

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The winners of the North American Office Products Awards (NAOPA) were announced at the SP Richards (SPR) ABC show in Washington, DC, on 21 June 2016.
The awards were launched in 2010 by Office Products International (OPI) in association with SPR. Now in their seventh year, these awards set the industry standard and aim to find the best business products in North America. They were judged by a panel of leading re-sellers and the winners were announced during a packed General Session at SPR’s ABC.
Fellowes and its AeraMax Pro AM III won the award for Product Innovation of the Year.

WHY?

Absence at work because of sickness costs the US economy half a TRILLION dollars every year and much of that is caused by unhygienic workplaces. While much emphasis has been placed on surface cleaning, little has been to done tackle the problem of illness caused by airborne contaminants. At least until now.The AeraMax Pro is an essential health as well as a budgetary innovation for companies.” Steve Hilleard, CEO of OPI

What was the criteria?
Nothing determines the success of any industry more than innovation. It is the lifeblood of our sector and without it we become commoditized. These awards seek to discover the truly innovative products and ensure they receive the recognition they deserve. “Innovations” can include products, technology solutions, significant enhancements or supply chain innovations.
The judges were looking for:
• Functionality
• Design
• Originality
• Potential to generate revenue
• Excellent supporting marketing material and content, especially video.

About the AeraMax Pro III

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  • Cleans air in common areas such as schools, offices, waiting rooms, restrooms, and other areas of high concentrations of contaminants
  • True HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne contaminants including viruses and allergens
  • Activated carbon filter reduces odors and VOCs
  • Patented EnviroSmart technology detects the environment and automatically adjusts performance
  • Works in spaces 300-700 square feet
  • 5 Year Limited Warranty

Commercial Air Purifier Case Studies: How Businesses Are Improving Indoor Environments

Commercial air purifiers fit the needs of many companies, from retail to restaurants to healthcare offices seeking to enhance the quality of the indoor air of their business. Often commercial grade air cleaners are implemented to solve customer complaints or to simply maintain the overall air purity, for a higher standard of customer experience.

 

LegoLand Uses commercial air purifiers to create a better guest experience at their retail location.

 

Animal Care Clinic minimizes airborne pollutants due to heavy traffic with commercial  air purification.

 

Evergreen Health Services addresses odor issues with commercial air purifiers.

 

 

 

Are You Storing Half-Filled Boxes? How to Conduct a Box Audit

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Evaluating your records room needs, you may realize that many boxes taking up space may be half-filled or even empty. As records get moved around throughout the year, inefficiencies in records management can arise that can consume critical space that can be used by new files and Bankers Boxes. 

A simple box audit is a four step process that helps eliminate wasted records storage space.

Step 1: Separate boxes into two groups: those boxes that need to be retained and those that can be destroyed.

Step 2: Capture details at the file level. What files in the retained boxes are still relevant? The labeled box may need to be retained, but perhaps some of the files inside are no longer needed. Often a box is designated as retained, then at the file level, most of the folders inside end up being shredded, leaving you with an empty box.

Step 3: For files that are retained, consolidate and restructure. You may be able to organize a handful of files from a nearly empty box into a box that has some reserve space. This may require relabeling of retained storage boxes.

Step 4: Destroy all unneeded records.

Using this simple organizing method, one company was able to reduce the volume of records in storage from 7000 cubic feet to only 495 cubic feet!

Not sure how long you should keep records, the IRS has some tips: Records-Keeping for Taxes

Guide for Determining How Bankers Boxes You Need.

How Many Files Fit in a standard Banker’s Box?

Here’s the dimensions and capacity for a standard banker/copy box: 12.5′”W x 15.5′”D x 10.5′”H

Depending on the type of paper and the amount of file folders that you have in each box, you can fit approximately 2000 to 2500 sheets of paper.

 

How Many Bankers Boxes Fit in Storage?

To figure out how many boxes of documents you have, think about this:

If your documents aren’t packed tightly and you have 150 sheets per inch, then you need one standard banker’s box for every 13” to 16” of space on your shelves (round it down to a foot to make it easier).

If you can’t fit one more piece of paper on your shelf, you’re probably closer to 200 sheets per inch.  In that case, you’ll need one standard Banker’s Box for every 10” to 12” of space on your shelves.

Laminating Infographics for the Classroom

Prepare for back-to-school with classroom decor that educates. Infographics aren’t just for online. Print them out and laminate  and post in the classroom for year-long learning benefits, from science facts to good behavior tips in class. Find these and other printables at WeAreTeachers.   Choose the perfect laminator for creating durable printable classroom learning tools.

Quick Learning Tips Posted on the Classroom Wall

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Reminders to Kids About Appropriate Classroom Behavior

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Insightful Infographics That Can Be Referenced in Class as Part of a Lesson

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