Monday, June 20, 2011

Making Words Folder

As teachers {esp. k-3} we know how important "Making Words" activities are for our students. The manipulation of the letters and exploration of letter sounds and patterns are skills that all students need {and enjoy}.
Which brings me to my next point......
My school is doing a huge "paper cut down" this next year and so we've been brainstorming ideas on how to save paper.  Making words takes a new page of paper each time you do it!  This folder cuts down on a lot of paper and is easy to make, use, and keep track of! Plus, you can keep the folders for YEARS and use them for many other activities {chunks, spelling, sight words, etc}.
I got the inspiration from my previous guided reading folders {here}.  The students use their letter in their folder {held in place by velcro} to make words.  They pull down their letters to the bottom of the folder, in the rectangle, to make a word {see picture below}.

Supplies:
*Making Words Download {<----- click to download}
*File Folders
*Glue stick
*Velcro with adhesive (It's the strips of Velcro- we buy it at our school and it comes in rolls)
*Lamination

Here is what the Making Words Folder looks like:











Here's how you do it!

1.  Glue cover on the front of the folder. Glue the alphabet on the inside of the folder {see picture}. Those 2 items can be  printed on regular paper.




2.  Print letter boxes {the letters that are to be cut out} on cardstock and laminate.

3.  Laminate folder

4.  No more work for you!  You are going to send the remaining supplies home for parents to do! Send home {thisexplanation to each parent with all of the supplies to finish their child's folder.  You will need to provide them with velcro {the fuzzy side velcro goes on the folder, the hard side velcro goes on each letter}.  I'm actually going to do my own folders and not send them home {I obviously have control issues ;) }, so you can do it either way.  If you are sending it home to the parents, make sure you print, glue folder, and laminate BEFORE you send to the parents. The parents are cutting out individual letters, putting velcro on and sorting the ABC letters into correct columns.


Tips {I give our readers full credit for most of these tips from the comments- Thanks you!}:
*Copy each child's set of letters in a different color (you might run out of colors but at least you have a range of colors)
*They aren't easy to drop on the floor because they are Velcro-ed on to the folder!  They never put them on their desk to rest...they always leave them Velcro-ed to their folder.  But it does happen and I have a solution for that.....
*I have an extra folder with extra letters....anytime one is found on the floor, the students place it on the "extra teacher folder" and the students can refer to this folder if they're missing a letter.  PLUS, you will have multiple letters for each one (4 a's, 3 b's).
*You can use them OVER and OVER and OVER each year.  I don't actually put their names on them, I use a label and put their class number on it (or you can put a label with their name on it and just cover it the next year with a new label.
*Feel a little overwhelmed?  Make 6 for guided reading or small group work. :)
*Be strict with your expectations on how to use the letters {carefully peeling them off the folder with one hand on the folder and one hand at the top of the letter and pull gently}, how not to lose them, etc.  I always set firm expectations and offer rewards for those students who follow through. Show them what to do and what NOT to do.
Could you use this in your classroom?

62 comments:

Dana said...

Awesome idea! Love that the parents help out as well! :) Thanks for sharing!

Dana
3rd Grade Gridiron

Mrs. Bee said...

Oh my gosh, this is so cute!! Great idea!

Mrs. Bee
Bee's KinderGarden

sydney said...

Oh WOW! I absolutely love this and will be making them this summer. I can't send it home for the parents because we don't have that type of support but if I do it now I won't have to it later and it will be theirs every time they go to word work! I've got another one I am going to share next week. Thanks for this.
Lessons Learned

The Andersen Family said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE!

AllieKat said...

SUPER idea, as usual! Thanks so much for sharing! Great way to make this activity fun and meaningful and that last component that satisfies so many of our needs: cute!

Cindy

Julie M said...

I think it is a cute idea, but it seems like items like this have the pieces lost so easily!! I think I might do a variation by using a plastic tool box and putting thee different letters in each drawer of the box. Then we can just pass out the letters we need each time. Saves on the velcro and when pieces are missing, you don't have to sort through 30 folder to see which one is missing a letter.

laughinbrunette (Jennifer) said...

Love this idea!! I will definitely be using this one! Thanks!!
Jennifer
http://firstgradeblueskies.blogspot.com

Amanda said...

Rachelle, this is fantabulous! I can't wait to make them! Thanks for sharing!

Amanda
http://www.oneextradegree.blogspot.com

Kim said...

That looks great - it's super cute! But you know what's even easier? We have little white board tiles - about 2"x2" square. They have a tupperware in their desk with 10 tiles, a piece of felt for eraser, and a dry erase marker. I use my ELMO and my own tiles and write the letters on them that we will be using that day. They copy mine and then we are ready to go! It's AWESOME=)

Anonymous said...

What a great idea!! I did something similar to thing (but didn't go to all that work!) I let the kids take their letters home at the end of the year, and I know some of them used them at home in the summer. I really LOVE this idea! It's easy to keep track of the letters! One idea you might like to have: When I did it, I photocopied the letters for each child on a different color of paper (only works if you dont have too many kids in your class), that way, when a letter was lost on the floor, it was very EASY to tell who it belonged to, but even if a couple kids had the same color, at least you could narrow it down to belonging to one of them. I am definitely going to be using this idea! Thanks!!

Ms.M said...

What a fantastic idea!

Ms. M
Ms.M's Blog
A Teacher's Plan

Kristin Young said...

LOVE it!!! That way you can have the kids work on MW in down time and differentiate their folders! You are so good. :)

Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten

Deceptively Educational said...

I'm not a teacher, but I am a parent and I L-O-V-E this. I've created letter magnets to do the same thing, but this is so much more portable. I can see us taking it in the car on long trips and pointing at things we see - "Spell barn. Pig. Truck. River." Thanks so much for sharing and stop by my blog sometime when you get a spare minute (www.deceptivelyeducational.blogspot.com) for glimpse at some the activities I'm doing with my son to reinforce what he's learning/learned in the classroom.

Mrs. Ibarra said...

This is such a great idea for intervention.

tmarie said...

THANK YOU! I have been looking for ways to cut down on paper and this is a start!

Sarah Paul said...

THis is such a great idea! I'm always looking for ideas of how to organize my letters for each student. Fabulous!! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

Priscilla said...

Thank you!! I love this idea.

Bilingual Girl said...

AMAZING IDEA!! I could see myself making an english set and a spanish set (or maybe colorcoding the letters that are in spanish only)... Thanks for sharing!!! :)

Sarah said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE! I LOVE the idea of sharing it w/ parents MORE!! I was thinking....I could put 4-5 room parents to the task of making a classroom set and then send supplies home w/ each kiddo for an interactive "activity" so they can continue to practice at home!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Thank you for sharing such a GREAT idea!
Sarah Hetrick
Kindergarten

Katie Mense said...

♥LOVE!!!! Thank you so much for sharing! I can't wait to make these!
Little Warriors

Lori S. said...

Ooooooooo, I love this! I'm going to start by making 5 of these for small group work. Thank you!

Mrs. Lochridge said...

I love Making Words and use it religiously each day. It's one of the lessons that I invite my supervising administrator to observe. I have folders and reusable letter cards that must be changed out each day by myself or a parent helper. I love your idea for velcroing!! Ingenious. Please post again letting us know how your folders fair with student wear and tear.

First Grade Factory

Conchy said...

Here's what we do. We've been doing this For ages. Carson Dellosa sells the letter sets on cardstock as a class set. Consonants are black and vowels are red. All letters are lowercase on one side and. Uppercase on the other side.
Cut the letters up and prepare folders for each child. I put onside each folder 3 plastic baseball card holders. You put the letters in the pockets in alphabetical order. One consonant and 2-3 vowels. Not too many. It'll make a mess. I use a pocket chart for these lessons. Each student has his/her folder and they take out the letters as I present them: today we will be working with the letters a d h n s. I review the letter names and their sounds and we begin blending and manipulating letters To form words. At the end, the kids have to figure what the magic word is, the word that uses all of the letters correctly.

It's a great activity and because it's fast-paced, the kids enjoy it.

Mrs. Shepherd said...

That's so awesome and I love your guided reading forms as well! I will definately be following your blog for more great ideas. If you can I would love for you to follow mine at mysecondgradejournal.com.

thanks

laura said...

what a great idea....thanks for the visuals and the letter to parents....think i will get a great volunteer to make them.
laura

Laurie said...

I found something similiar to this at Really Good Stuff! Just might try your idea because all it takes is time and not lots of money!! Thanks for sharing.

Laurie

Holly said...

LOVE this idea! Thanks!

Lindsey (The Teacher Wife) said...

oh my... I LOVE THIS IDEA!

Ms. Thomas said...

These are great! I actually use something like this too with my firsties! I have all the letters but seperate the vowels and also added digraphs. Check it out here!

http://thefirstgradejungle.blogspot.com/search/label/Small%20Group%20Helpers

I updated them recently like you with velcro too! Works so much better! Thanks for sharing!

Ms. Thomas :)

Sara C. said...

I love this idea!!!! I have the plastic tiles in the fishing tackle bins, but am not really loving it. #1 Kids lose a pieces or put them back in the wrong spots (which there are not enough spots for all 26 letters). #2 I don't have enough for all of my kids so they have to share...which ends up with one doing most of the work, or them talking the whole time. LOVE that everyone can have their own folder with the file folders. I also like your way of organizing your guided reading groups. I am going to try that too! Thanks for sharing.
Sara
http://firstgradefuntastic.blogspot.com/

Kim @ It's a Crafty Life said...

Oh my, that is awesome!! This would have been so perfect when I was teaching primary! Although...I could totally use it with my fifth graders too. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome!

pam said...

Super idea! Thanks so much for sharing.

The Lesson Plan Diva- A 1st grade blog said...

Love it!

Lesson Plan Diva

Mrs. Coe said...

I keep trying to follow you and it won't let me! I will check again in a bit! I love your stuff! I hope we keep in contact.
littlemisskindergarten.blogspot.com

Ms. Patterson said...

This is a very neat idea! I could definitely use this. Thank you for posting and sharing your work


Please visit my blog and consider following me

www.pocketfullofkinders.blogspot.com

Tara said...

I so love these!! Can't wait to make some of my own:)) Thanks for sharing, love your blog and am a new follower:))

4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com

Jill said...

I was just at Staples today trying to convince myself not to buy out the whole store when I saw heavy-duty file folders on sale! 12 for $2! I bought a couple packs and I'm going to start making these Making Words folders ASAP!!

Magnificent Multiagers!

Erin said...

I LOVE THIS!!!!!!
I use my SMART Board for doing Making Words now to cut down on all of the paper we were wasting. This is a FANTASTIC idea. Our new core series requires lots of paper making words activities that was driving me bananas until I created the SMART file; I will pass your idea along to my friends who don't have boards. YAY!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a great tool for learing!

glassy24 said...

YES! I could definitely use this idea in my classroom. This year was my first year in kindergarten and I struggled to find ways to incorporate word making more. I think I might make these folders myself, control issues too, and maybe add a pocket in the back for words that they could copy. I love this idea, I am going to get started on it right away... I just need tons of velcro though:)

Alysia Battista said...

Fabulous idea! I have letters tiles that I used to separate into bags but I could only put it in a 4 person center and have my stronger readers lead it (in second grade) or use a lot of paper with a whole class lesson but I loooove this idea! Thanks for sharing!
Miss B, Busy Bee

Busy Bees said...

What an awesome idea!! DJ Inkers is my favorite graphics I can tell you love it, too. Can't wait to use your ideas!!
Robynn
check our our blog for some free downloads
http://rd-busybees.blogspot.com/

Llama said...

I absolutely love these! Thanks for sharing!!

Cindy Gilchrist said...

I've been wanting to do something like this. Thanks for the inspiration.

I work at a green school. We don't have access to a copier and everything we do submit for copying has to be approved. Basically everything we do with the kids has to be reusable. It is hard to get used to at first but after a while you realize how much paper is wasted and how you can easily make the change :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this idea! This is fantastic! Is it possible to make a cover without the Name: spot? I think having a set for small groups is a great idea too!

Workshop Classroom said...

Genius...thank you for sharing!!

Kristy said...

To help with lost letters, couldn't you number each folder and when you make the letters, number the back of each letter with a number to match the folder? That way, when a letter is lost, you just turn it over to find the numbered folder it belongs to!

Dina said...

Love it...I will start small with 6 and will go from there. Small groups here I come!

Room12 said...

What a great, clever, simple idea

Kristen said...

Hey! I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions on where to buy velcro in bulk? A couple teacher friend and I are LOVING this idea, but we have been hunting for velcro and it is SO EXPENSIVE! This project seems like you would need several feet of velcro per child, and most places we have looked it would cost almost $100 to get that much velcro! Suggestions? Thanks! :)

Rachelle said...

@Kristen,

We buy our velcro through our district and it's super cheap. It comes in these huge rolls and they're in bulk. Let me look into it some more and maybe I can help you out!
-Rachelle
whattheteacherwants.blogspot.com

Kathleen said...

As a new teacher starting out this is a great substitute for those expensive magnetic letters (not to mention the boxes)! Thanks so much- I shared this with my Masters Program! I found sticky velcro at the Dollar Tree and get about 40 (3/4") sets out of a pack. Not bad...

LGolkow said...

This is amazing! I'm in the process of making them for each of my students. I can not wait to use them. This is one of my favorite summer projects I've been working on! Thank you!

Desiree said...

I just finished gluing and laminating all 20 of my making words folders. But of course as I was cutting out the folders I realized, way late that I printed the letters on regular copy paper instead of cardstock. I guess I was so printer happy and excited that I didn't even think about the cardstock until I held the laminated copy paper and realized that they were just too thin. I think I know where my colored cardstock is and I now have a new use for my flimsy letters. But I just wanted to say how EXCITED I am to use this with my kinders this year. I thought to use this as a small group activity while I am testing other students during that time such as strugglers could practice spelling their name and classmates' names while the other groups of students could practice spelling sight words and other cvc words. Thanks for getting me excited about reading!
Kinders on the Block

Lauren said...

I love love love this! I'm in the process of completing them. This was by far my favorite summer project! Thank you so much! I truly appreciate all your hard work!

Kourtney said...

OMG LOVE this! This will prevent me from having to dig out all these letters every day! I'm going to make them TOMORROW!! :) Thank you for sharing!

Tracy said...

My folders are FINALLY done. We used them for the first time today...the kids LOVED them!!! I did too. We had a great making words time...thanks again. Was nice to be able to transition in and out of the time with ease.

Anna said...

I know this was posted a while back but just came acrossed it tonight. I made something very similar to this when I taught in Alabama -- only made about 6 or 7 at the time and used them in small groups. Now I do word building as a whole class most of the time and I use my smartboard for the interactive piece. The kiddos who aren't moving the letters tend to do okay for the first part of the lesson. I decided recently that I was going to finish making enough word building folders for the entire class so they are busily building while students took turns at the board. I was trying to think of other ways to make word building individual like linking cubes, magnets, etc but these folders have been great for me. I had made a sliding clear pocket at the bottom so they could slide the letters together as they blended. I like how you provided them with multiples of the letters (I only made one of each, but vowels were on different colored paper). Thanks for sharing pics and info!

Amy said...

What a creative idea! Thanks for this.

Amy
Krazy About Kiddos

Rory Fugerson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kinderdiva said...

Oh my goodness!!! I just came across this on Pinterest.... Are you kidding me?!?? Genius! Thank you! Summer project added!

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