How do you spell September? How much is a quarter worth? How do you skip count by 3’s?
…these are all questions that elementary teachers hear all year long. To solve this problem, and to teach students at the same time, I’ve started using Math resource folders. They actually serve as our “privacy folders” for all subjects all year long. Making them is one of the first things that I like to do during our first Math lesson of the year (and it also makes a great first day of school activity). I have made these folders both ways: 2-sided and 3-sided. Last year we made 2-sided folders (made with one file folder).
This year I am going to make the 3-sided folders (made with 2 file folders). They just seem to be less crowded with information.
If you are making a 3-sided folder, you will need to assemble the folder using 2 file folders. Last year, all of mine were made out of plain manila folders. However, I found a bright blue (our school color is blue) that is sold in a large quantity at Staples. The colored folders seem to be a little thicker than regular file folders and they should hold up better.
How to construct a 3-sided folder from 2 file folders:
1. Place one file folder on top of the other.
2. Line up the left side of one folder on top of the right side of another.
3. Glue the overlapping sides together.
To make either the 2-sided or 3-sided folders, we simply cut out all of the information that we need for references. All of the references that I use in my classroom can be found in the link below. It’s important that the students arrange all the information before they glue it all down to make that it all fits. When they are happy with their arrangement of information, they can glue it all down.
To ensure that the folder lasts all year, I laminate them. My second graders keep them in the top slot in their desk. We seem to use them throughout the day. They are great to use during fact tests, during Spelling tests, and when little darlings can’t seem to act pleasant to one another ;)
You can find my templates for our Math resource folders below!