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Differentiation Folders – An Easy Idea for your Teaching Toolbox

Looking for a DIY tool to differentiate instruction for elementary students? Check out this simple idea: differentiation folders!

Are you looking for a handy tool to help differentiate for students that won’t cost a ton of moolah and won’t take forever to make?  You’re in luck!  Differentiation folders are here to save the day!

Differentiation folders sound all fancy, but in reality they’re super simple.  Check it out.  A differentiation folder! 

Looking for a DIY tool to differentiate instruction for elementary students? Check out this simple idea: differentiation folders!

These are crazy easy to make, and are a super amazing idea for simple differentiation.  All you need is a few file folders (You can use the manila ones from the workroom or get all fancy and use colors), scissors, and a Sharpie marker.

A few types of students who might benefit from differentiation folders are:
* Kids who get overwhelmed by looking at too much information on a page
* Students who need an accommodation of completing fewer problems
* Students with test anxiety
* Kiddos who freeze up when they see a blank page in front of them
* Students who absolutely MUST know how much they have to do before they will begin
* Talented and gifted students who are working on completing only the hardest problems to pass off a standard or assignment

 

Looking for a DIY tool to differentiate instruction for elementary students? Check out this simple idea: differentiation folders!

Most people think of these being helpful for math, but you could also use these folders with reader’s response or writer’s workshop notebooks.  We all have sweeties who get overwhelmed when looking at an entire blank page just waiting for their writing that won’t materialize.  With these folders you just put their blank page inside and open one or two of the flaps with the expectation that their response needs to be at least that long.  Sweet! 

Looking for a DIY tool to differentiate instruction for elementary students? Check out this simple idea: differentiation folders!

You can probably figure out a differentiation folder “how to” just by looking at the pictures.
But just in case . . . 
Looking for a DIY tool to differentiate instruction for elementary students? Check out this simple idea: differentiation folders!
Supplies: 
Scissors
Sharpie Marker
Folders (manila with tabbies or another brighter color so the folders are more visible inside desks)
Steps:
1. Cut the front side of the folder into thirds
2. Label each third of the folder (top = must do, middle = feeling good want to do more, bottom = really want to challenge myself)
3. That’s it!!! You just created a differentiation folder!

 

Looking for a DIY tool to differentiate instruction for elementary students? Check out this simple idea: differentiation folders!

I don’t recommend making one of these for every student.  I typically throw together 5-7 over the summer and then see which students need them most (usually my students who struggle to complete or start work).  Then I give folders to those students to keep in desks as soon as they need them.  They also serve as handy places to keep unfinished work that are easy for me to fish out of desks.  One reason you might want to use NEON folders! #sneakylikeafox

You could also introduce differentiation folders to your whole class as part of a mini lesson on accommodations along with slant boards, fidget bucket items, etc.  Then you could keep a few available for students who want to try them out.

What do you think?  Do you have a student or two that could benefit from a differentiation folder?  Do you have other ideas as to how these could be used effectively in your classroom?  Leave a comment below!

Have a fab day Super Teacher!

 
 
 
 
 
If you’re interested in more ideas for simple summer projects, or items you can make or buy for your 2-3 classroom this summer to help save some sanity in the fall, head to the Summer Tasks for Teachers Post HERE.

0 Comments

  1. This is a really good idea! It is good for kids who need less problems due to IEPs as well as like you said, the gifted kids who don't really need all the practice. they can do their problems then world on an extension activity!
    Gina

  2. This is a seriously great idea!!! So simple! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on winning!!

  3. This is a fabulous way to differentiate work – how appealing for your students. Bravo!

  4. I just happened upon your blog, and wanted to let you know that I've signed on to follow you via BlogLovin! I assume you're taking a "summer break" from blogging, and I look forward to seeing posts from you this fall! ~Deb
    Crafting Connections

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