Folder Learning Games
While you’ve attempted to plan out the entire day, interruptions or finishing lessons faster than planned can cause for moments of free time. Granting your students free time can be an effective remedy, but you can’t guarantee that valuable learning time won’t be wasted. A great solution is to provide file folder learning games that can be completed individually or with a partner. These can be tailored to any age group and can range from fun busywork to challenging extra credit. To get the most out of each folder game, be sure to brainstorm a list of concepts you think are appropriate to reinforce. Ordering activities that explore relationships like smallest to largest, lightest to darkest, etc. are great for younger children. Additionally, matching activities provide the opportunity for learning all kinds of concepts from numbers and letters, to word recognition and simple math problems. Whatever you choose to highlight, organize each concept or theme into separate file folders and use blank business cards or scraps of card stock as the activity ‘building blocks’.
Allison McDonald of Family Education offers a simple example to use in classrooms of younger children. On blank cards taped to the inside of the file folder she scripted “Smallest”, “Small”, “Medium”, and “Large”. On corresponding manipulative cards she drew circles that fit these same descriptions. Students completing this folder game would then be instructed to match each picture with its description. A simple project that provides great educational benefit!
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