Thursday, August 6, 2015

Trifolds to Organize Center Work

Okay so I am completely obsessed with a HUGE FAN of using trifolds as a way to hold center work! When I first started using the center method with my fifth graders, I found that they would leave a mess didn't know where to get/put back their work! Trifolds meant that Messy Margaret and Disorganized Danny knew exactly where everything belonged when they arrived at and left each center!

I created a trifold board for several centers(both math and language arts) and glued a few laminated and labeled file folders to each trifold. This allowed me to differentiate the work at each center AND keep it organized! My trifolds lasted me two years and are still going strong-- so it was totally worth the time it took to make them. Even better than that, it only cost me about $3.00-$4.00 per trifold-- many of the materials I purchased were used on multiple trifolds. (YES that includes the actual trifold-- the DOLLAR TREE had tons of them in stock!)

Materials (all purchased at the Dollar Tree)

  • Trifold boards
  • Bulletin board border
  • File Folders (you can buy these in a pack of 12!)
  • White Boards (I super glued them on and left directions on these)
  • Bulletin board lettering
  • Clear pocket folders (holds task cards or anything else you need!) 

Math Centers:
So the next question you might have is, what did students do at each center? Well, for math we had 5 different centers:

  • "Workout Zone": Also affectionately known by students as "task card world"-- this center housed task cards for each concept we were working on in math. The "workout zone" trifold had three different folders-- extra review (for kids who needed a review), practice makes perfect (the middle group), and challenge accepted (the advanced group). 
  • "Project Zone": I had a pretty good group of math students, so I only have two levels at this center. This is where projects were held. P.S.-- Teaching with a Mountain View has fabulous math projects for upper elementary. This is where I got most of my projects from!
  • "Khan Academy": I used Khan in my room, so when students got to this center, they would log into their accounts and get to work! The trifold at this center had rules, the "playlist" (lessons and videos that had to follow), and reflection worksheets. 
  • "Game Zone": the Game Zone trifold was home to playing cards, flash cards, and I had a basket full of math games as well. I gave 2-3 choices per day for this one, and they were typically a "spiral review"  or directly related to whatever concept we had been working on!
  • "Small Group": this is where I met with students in leveled groups-- no trifold here, just colored bins to organize and each student had their own folder to keep work!
Language Arts:
I did my own version of the Daily Five in my room (I'll tackle that in another post!) 

The Word Work Trifold Board
  • Word Work: This was my vocab center. I used two huge trifolds for this center with about 6-8 file folders on each. In each file folder was a different Word Work WS. I introduced one at a time in the beginning of the year, but by the end I left them all out. The kids were pretty responsible and enjoyed all of the options! For this center, I made my own Word Work Worksheets because I couldn't really find anything that met the needs of upper elementary students and kept them engaged-- If you would like to grab em', click on the image below.
    Grab Word Work from my Store!
  • Passion Project: Students worked on whatever they were passionate about (some learned to code, some did a project on their favorite animal, etc.) Once again, I'll tackle Passion Projects later on, because that deserves a post of its own! Anyways, that trifold housed the rules for Passion Projects, suggested websites, forms to fill out, directions for how to complete, etc.
  • Guided Reading: No tri-fold here, I had colored bins to house guided reading work and the kiddo's all had their own folders and notebooks
  • Read to Self: At RTS all of kid's had to complete a menu project for the book they chose to read. The trifold was home to the menus, directions, and a "submission" folder. 
  • Work on Writing: Two trifold's housed menu options for Work on Writing, a folder with some shared writing journals, rules, and "descriptive word" suggestions. I made my own Work on Writing, which you can check out at my store by clicking the picture below!

Organizational Ideas and Back to School Tips: A Blog Linky Party!

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