Any educator who aspires to become an amazing one, must also seek to be an amazing organizer, too. This is part of what attracts me to file folder games.
A file folder game can be created or purchased to reinforce or review a distinct skill embedded in any and every standard no matter what the subject. The tab of the file folder is labeled with the exact skill while the title of the game can be creatively cutesy and written on the entire front of the folder when closed. Inside, when one opens the file folder game, there are usually four types of games: trail games, sorting game, match game, and the laminated wipe-off reuse game. There are as many places to find how to make or where to purchase these file folder games on the internet as there are games to play. That was the attraction for me on behalf of my learners.
The convenience of file folder games also adds to the students’ able to independently walk to a their colorful classroom’s storage bin, pull out, and return the game without bothering the teacher. You could have written directions on the board for certain students to play certain games. I actually used colorful dynamo, or other tapes to make a chart that stayed permanently on my board showing which teams or students played which games during each subject’s time slot. End of the day prep I could easily leave the names and change out the games titles.
My personal favorite is the trail (or race track) game. In Social Studies the question cards can be created by typing your textbook’s own chapter questions on cards. Or, you could make the cards multiple choice. When I did this I enjoyed inserting at least one or two absurd choices just to hear the giggles around the room and be affirmed the class was on task. For this game, while the questions would be a stack of cards, the answers would be on a sheet of paper in a plastic sleeve. All neatly tucked in the folder. Student #1 selects a question card and tries to answer it. Student #2 affirms, or not, the student’s answer using the sheet. If she is correct, she then rolls the dice, and moves along the trail. Student #3 was watching, listening, and learning while waiting their turn. The answer sheet rotates to a different student each time.
Another reason I clung to file folder game through my decades was the ease with which I could add to them. When the administration would switch me from third to fourth grade or sixth down to fifth grade, more games were easily sandwiched between others with no evidence to the students that the one I may have assigned them to play was not on grade level, but was the ‘just right’ fit for their need.