I Love File Folder Centers, but...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Youngteacher226, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    man does it take alot of work to get them put together!!!!!
    I bought like 3 Take It To Your Seat Centers books within the last 2 weeks and I just got down to cutting them out, laminating them with contact paper & attaching them to folders. I sat here for about 2 hours tonight, and I only got 3 done!!!! Each book contains about 15!!!!!!!! How am I ever going to get them all done??
    Do any of you ever feel like these centers are worth the money and the effort, but wish that you could pay someone to put them together for you? I do...

    Any suggestions on how to make this easier?????????:eek:
     
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  3. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    They do take ages to put together.

    Wait until the school year begins and send a note asking parents for help with them. It sounds like something parents could do in front of the TV while relaxing at home so let them know that's the type of volunteer work you are in need of and I'm sure you'll get some willing people. Even students can help.

    If you absolutely want or need to do it this summer how about asking school age kids to help (neighbors, friends' kids) and treat them to pizza if they wind up helping. Or how about calling a nursing home and explaining what you are in need of for help and asking if you could possibly visit with some residents who would enjoy helping and work on it together. Many residents who are able, would love a chance to help out the schools and need/want the company.

    Don't be too much of a perfectionist. You can get various size paper punches in squares and circles in the scrapbooking sections of stores. Some of the pieces you are cutting out may be punchable and that is very quick!
     
  4. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    I have some of those books that I haven't touched. Well I have touched them, realized how much work they will be, and put them away. :( I wish I had laminator access, and copy machine access. Otherwise I'm not sure what to do with them. I won't have time once I get to get in my school. So hopefully I can get some good volunteers.. hmmm.
     
  5. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I love them! Yes they take alot to put together, put when you're sitting in front of the T.V. at least you're doing something constructive. My problem is my school doesn't have a laminator that works! So I have to pay for lamination & I hate that!
     
  6. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I've never had luck with them either. In the past, I bought a few and worked on them over the summer then tried to get parents to help (not interested, of course). I gave up. No more for me.

    I did get a book of colored games all I had to do is cut and glue and then laminate. Still in my "to do" box. I don't know the secret.
     
  7. cb4pebbles

    cb4pebbles Companion

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    A colleague of mine had her students color and cut them on the last week of school. Gave the kids something to do since they had basically stopped working altogether.
     
  8. sayuri

    sayuri Rookie

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    if you have former students (now in 5th or 6th grade) that enjoy helping afterschool, you might think of asking them. i actually have former parents that still offer to help. i wonder if there are other students (middle school or high school) that would like to do community service for you. just some thoughts.
     
  9. sayuri

    sayuri Rookie

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    if you can break up the work and delegate, it isn't SO overwhelming (though it still takes a lot of work).
     
  10. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    I teach third and I had some kiddos help cut out. I LOVE THEM!! They are worth the time and energy!!
     
  11. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    In my classroom, I already have like 12 that I've made (whew :eek: )and my kids used them alot! They really enjoyed working on them with partners. So I wanted to make more for my new kids to enjoy. But buying 3 books might not have been a good idea! I bought a writing one, a math one and a phonics one. Each one has great centers! I guess I'll get to them all, but I just wanted to do most of them over the summer before school starts. I'll be teaching summer school starting Monday, so I hope I'll have the energy.

    By the way, I use clear contact paper, because I don't have access to a laminating machine either. So I use clear contact paper on EVERYTHING!! Saves alot of money, but takes more time. :(
     
  12. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    A while back, I had heard about a yahoo group of a bunch of ladies interested in helping schoolteachers. This group has different lists of people you can send your file folder activities to and they will color and cut and Velcro all you need! I wonder if this group is still active? Check it out! I never took advantage of it when the info was given to me but I should have.
     
  13. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    I would get the kids to do as much of it as you can.
    Make it a reward for when they finish their work early. Describe what your expectations are. (Ex: "Don't use dark markers over words so that others can't read them. Instead use light colors, like yellow, light blue" etc.) Kids who have really developed fine motor skills can cut the laminating part for you. Show them how to leave a small edge around the sides for durability if thats what you want.

    This isnt always easy for me b/c I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to the things I make. I like the things I make to be colored in the lines, and look neat and appealing. But in this first year, I'm realizing how much my students LOVE to help!!! They dont care if its not perfectly even or if the colors dont match perfectly, so why should I obsess over these details? They just want to help and be part of the process. They're using them, and enjoying them! (Of course, I can't help myself, I still teach them how to color in the lines, and stuff, thats part of first grade...)

    I know teachers who pass out selected letters for stencils and have the kids cut out letters for her bulletin boards as a rewars for when they are done with their work...
    Think how much time this can save and how happy your kids will be!
     
  14. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    The great thing is, the ones that I buy do not require coloring. :eek: I would never buy file folder centers that need to be colored. I buy the ones that you just have to laminate, cut out and make into a file folder activity. Thank God! I would never have time to color anything.
    But I am a perfectionist too! I like things to be neat & orderly. So I don't mind doing them myself, but I just wish I had another hand to help. I wouldn't mind letting the kids help, but I'm trying to get them done over the summer, so that way, I don't have to do anymore for the rest of the year! Thinking ahead does require alot of work!:(
     
  15. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Have a party or lunch with the other teachers in your grade level, or close to it. Have them all bring their stuff over and you can sit and chat while you worn on them together. It also gives you a chance to see what other books you want to buy and you can talk about stuff for the school year.
     
  16. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    "No coloring necessary" is definitely a plus!!

    I've been going through all my MAILBOX editions because they each have a center that is easily transferable to a filefolder. Just cut and glue. So easy! Laminating the cards isnt so bad, if your willing to laminate them still attached to each other. Then just cut. Less durable, probably, but less time consuming. (Cutting laminating is kind of mindless, so sometimes, i enjoy it. Lets me "check out" for a while.)
     
  17. silver rain

    silver rain Comrade

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    I get the ones that don't need to be colored too.
    Some years I have classes that use them and other years some classes don't.
     
  18. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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  19. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    The ones I got from Mailbox are colored and don't have to be glued onto file folders at all. I laminated them and cut them. It took about 3 hours just for cutting. They look great, though.
     
  20. MissMcCollum

    MissMcCollum Companion

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    Do any of you guys use these for older kids? (Like 5th grade? :) ) Also, it really does help if you are able to just laminate the whole book and then work on it bit by bit, even if you have to pay for the laminating. At my alma mater they have a Learning Resource Center that has all kinds of resources for teachers, including laminators and it is really cheap to laminate there.
     
  21. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    How about letting the parents who come to open house take some home and do them for you? There are plenty of parents who would help but work. True, you won't have them at the beginning of the year, but you can tell the parents you need them back by a certain time.
     
  22. Heathermeister

    Heathermeister Rookie

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    I would love to try these in my 5th grade class. Where is the best place to buy them?? I think I would prefer the pre-colored ones.
     
  23. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    One thing that saved time for me was to laminate or put contact paper on the sheet of small pieces then cut them out. Saved cutting twice.

    I glued an 6x8 envelope on the back before I laminated the folder. I put all the small pieces in a ziplock bag. Students pull out the ziplock bag and don't tear the envelope trying to get out the pieces stuck in the corner. I also put my name on the back down in the corner, when someone borrows it, they find the way back.

    I used the non-colored patterns, because if a piece gets lost I have a pattern to make a new piece. Saves money and time down the road.

    Here is a list of free filefolder sites. You might find something.
    At this site you will find 38 file folder games.
    www.enchantedlearning.com in search put file folder games

    www.preschoolprintables.com

    http://www.ourschoolfamily.com/Literacy Props.htm

    http://www.littlegiraffes.com/storyprops1.html

    http://www.state.ar.us/childcare/coloring.html
    http://www.childcareland.com/filefoldergames.html
    http://www.education.com/common/res...h/971006km.html
    http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/edtec...ard/Matrix.html
    http://www.nuttinbutkids.com/filefolder.htm
    http://www.enchantedlearning.com/filefoldergames/
    http://kootweb.com/games.html
    http://home.att.net/~bandcparker/games.html
    http://www.preschoolprintables.com/...ilefolder.shtml
    http://www.teachingheart.net/primar...rtimesaver.html
    http://daycare.about.com/cs/printablegames/index.htm
    http://www.webeans.net/hutt/ffgames.htm
    http://208.183.128.3/tutorials/gameboard.htm

    www.teachersdesk.org
    It is designed for grades 5/6 but all the activities can be adapted for other grades. There are tons of ideas for file folder games (though they aren't labeled as such) and portable centers. I just browsed through the spelling activities and games and they are great. Lots of things you can copy to Word and print out.

    There are tons of math games to print, put some into protective plastic sleeves, and use for all grade levels and math standards. Yes, you do have to search through files called "Week by Week Essentials", but there is a different game for every week of the school year. The games cover skills that are taught (or reinforced) at each grade level K-6, so you could use some for below level reinforcement or other higher level ones for enrichment if you needed or wanted to. They are easy to prepare, and the kids like them. I used them in conjunction with the Take It To Your Seat centers. I hope you find something you can use here!

    Link for K-2
    http://community.learnnc.org/dpi/mat...s_k2_resou.php

    Link for gr. 3-5
    http://community.learnnc.org/dpi/mat...35_resou_1.php
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I got a great set at the Mailbox store. Very reasonably priced.
     
  25. MissMcCollum

    MissMcCollum Companion

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    Evan-Moor sells them as well, already colored. They're called "Take It To Your Seat Centers".
     
  26. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Those links look great. I'll have to check them out.

    To answer pp question, I got a bunch of games from another middle school math teacher dealing with basic skills. Her 6th, 7th, and 8th graders enjoyed them. I'll be making them for next year.
     
  27. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Hmmm where can you get contact paper and how much is it?

    Our laminating is free which is wonderful. I used it a lot last summer. Now there is no access until August!

    I had a Take it to you seat math book, but somehow it is missing. Sad, because those things are expensive!
     
  28. MissMcCollum

    MissMcCollum Companion

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    You can find contact paper at wal-mart or target in the home section...usually with bathroom or kitchen storage stuff.
     
  29. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Warning: Contact paper is hard to work with. I use both, but laminating is by far the best.
     
  30. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Some things I am just tempted to put in plastic sheet protectors. Also, there is that clear sticky stuff that is supposed to be to cover books. You can pull things up and reposition them. Even Walgreen's carries it.
     
  31. i_teach_grade_5

    i_teach_grade_5 Rookie

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    As a new teacher, I thought about file folder games for Social Studies, History, etc...do you feel they I could implement them for this age group? I always see file folder games for primary grades...what are your thoughts? Thanks!
     
  32. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Sometimes, contact paper is all you have when you don't have access to a laminating machine. I've been using contact paper for years when I want to laminate something quick. You just got to do it alot to become a pro at it.

    There are file folder centers for 5th grade too! I think I saw a book that said, grades 3-4, 4-5, 5-6. Check amazon or ebay definately.
     
  33. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I saw a bag that had 10 or so already made file folder games. Literally already made. The only thing I had to do was separate the cards that go with it and I think it was preforated. They were in clear vinyl bags. Now that I'm looking for it online, I can't find anything like it.
     
  34. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I know exactly what you are talking about. I think Mailbox makes them, I just saw them in the teacher store today! I bought a math one during the school year and they work well! I just started internet shopping and forgot all about those. ;)
     
  35. Teach2Inspire

    Teach2Inspire Comrade

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    I just received in the mail today a Carson-Dellosa catalog and in it there are file folder games in a plactic bag. It had 6 games inside. You might be able to check the web site.

    www.carsondellosa.com
     
  36. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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  37. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Yep!! Those are the ones!! Many thanks. I've been looking for a few days!
     
  38. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I'm soooo glad you took me to their site directly because I see their stuff sold everywhere but there is at least one thing that I've been looking for lately and couldn't find and they have it!!!! I knew I just had to be patient and watch the posts! In fact I almost gave in and made it myself today. So funny!
     
  39. Teach2Inspire

    Teach2Inspire Comrade

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    I am glad I was able to help! I love looking through the catalogs when they come and I remembered seeing those file folder activities. :)
     
  40. Teach2Inspire

    Teach2Inspire Comrade

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    I bought a file folder book the other day, but unfortunately I have to color the pages. Never again! Anyways, it says to cut the pieces out and use tag board. Does anyone know if contruction paper would work okay. Also, it is easier to clue the tag board or construction paper on the entire sheet first and then cut out the pieces? Thanks for your advice.;)
     
  41. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    I print my pieces, color them, laminate the sheet, cut them out. I don't glue them on anything. If you glue them on something then you have to leave a bit of the laminating making an edge of laminating around the pieces or in time they peel off.
     

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