Throwback Thursday: Math File Folder Games

I am at a total loss for what to write about. My brain is seriously in summer mode, and you can only talk about all the tasty snacks you’ve made so many times.

Fortunately, First Grade Parade is having Throwback Thursday!

My instinct about this was that it was going to be about clothes from the 70s, but that was not correct. Mrs. Carroll wants a blast from the past: for us to re-post a blog post from the olden days.

I hunted back through all of my old posts, and honestly, it’s a little embarrassing! I guess my blog has evolved in some ways, but there are some pretty silly patterns.

At least, as you’ll see in the post below, I’ve figured out how to arrange my pictures!

For my Throwback Thursday, I chose a post about some math ideas that really helped me in my fourth grade classroom. It was also great for the school-home connection that was so important to my kids. It was also one of my first posts that wasn’t holiday-related, because I started blogging right after Thanksgiving!

So check it out, get some ideas, and when you’re done, go link up with The First Grade Parade for Throwback Thursday, or spend some time browsing through the other link-ups there!

-Original post January 27, 2012-

*This is a linky party. I wrote the whole thing and realized I left that out! But it should be obvious, cause I’m not good at coming up with specific things to write about. I’m a rambler. So here it is:

Link up with the Lesson Plan Diva about Center Organization!
Do it!!

So, I’m kind of a mess.
To be organized, I really have to think about, like,
Ok, I have this thing in my hand. Where am I going to put it?
Is there a place it goes?
Do I want to walk all the way over there?
I probably should.
Walk, walk, walk.

Wait. Why am I over here?
Absentmindedly set belongings down in the wrong space.
An hour later, I’ll find them and wonder why they’re there.

So I have to create systems.
My necklaces hang on little hooks in my bedroom
and my earrings are in compartments like a tackle box.

My barrettes
yes, I’m an adult and I’m allowed to wear barrettes if I want
hang on a ribbon in my bathroom
and I have a special, designated place
for my keys in the basket by the front door.

That’s what has to happen to keep me running.
If one of these things doesn’t happen, I’m up a creek.
You know which creek.

So my center/station activities have to have a special system, too, or they don’t happen more than once.

This is how I organize them.
It might not fit everybody’s needs, but as an upper grades elementary teacher, it’s really helped me stay organized. Keep in mind, centers aren’t my favorite. My style is not too center-y. For you diehard center or station people, you might be kind of waaaaay beyond all this basic stuff. But maybe something will help out!

Centers may not be my favorite. But I love file folder games. So…

All of my centers become file folder games. All of them.

I glue the instructions on the front and the activity on the inside. I try to shorten it to only a couple of pages so it fits inside, but if I have to, I glue two file folders together to make a muy super wow expandable folder.

On the back, I glue some sort of sheet where kids have to practice the skill in writing with a vis-a-vis.
I take all the little pieces, stick them in a zipper baggie and staple the bag to the inside of the folder.

This one’s not very pretty. 
It is special, though. The letters necessary to build the sight words on the orange cards are in the little bag. They’re stuck on magnet tape. Then the kid can build them on the magnet tape string and write them with a dry-erase marker.

Wow. I just realized these pictures are pretty bad.

Then, they all go in a file folder crate. I have one for reading and one for math activities, and one special one for sight words.

Math: Needs a new label.
Reading: Also needs a new label. Like the extra junk underneath it?
Yep, it’s all part of Ms. B’s charm.

Is it just me, or can you never get your pictures to line up the way you want them?

To get extra mileage, I also use the games for this:
Family Math Weekend!
Or, Family Game Weekend!
Every weekend, with my kids who struggle in specific areas, I send home a game that they can practice.
This is the letter I send home to parents. Grab it here.

Clipart by ScrappinDoodles, border by Karen Cox: TPT Store.

The first time I sent home a Family Math Weekend ‘Game’ with my students, I sit them down to try to psych them up a little. This is how the conversation went this year. (Honestly. This is THE conversation. I am in black and the student is blue. Obviously, unless they are sending home extra stuff for ME to learn over the weekend.)
Notice how everything I say ends with an exclamation mark because we fake it till they believe us.

You know how we spend a lot of time practicing good math skills?
Yes. suspiciously.
And how we have to keep practicing to hold on to those good skills?
Yes. even more suspiciously.
Guess what you get to do this weekend?
You GET to take home a fun game to play with your parents!
I GET to?
YES! You GET to!
Yeah! I know! You get to take this game home and play with your family!
I GET to?
Yes! And then you GET to write down what happened on this cute paper with the bees on it and bring it back on Monday to show me how smart you are!
This sounds like extra work.
Oh, it’s not work. It’s a Game! See? It says GAME.
But it is math.
Yes, it’s a math GAME!
So…it’s like a video game…that I play by myself…except I’m going to play it with my family…and it’s on paper.
Yes! Exactly like that!
Hmmm. a little excited. So it’s like they played games before they had electricity?
Yup! That’s exactly how they did it!
Okay! a little brightly
Teacher chuckles diabolically, having finally tricked the student into doing what he’s supposed to do and liking it.

 Included in the file folder is this sheet for the student to fill out with their parents:

Happy Family Math Weekend!

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