Seven+ Reasons For Using Student File Folders
Dr. Kathie F. Nunley
One of your goals
in establishing a student-centered classroom is to remove the need
for the teacher to "begin" the class period. No longer do
we want to hear that telling statement, "Let's all get in our
seats so we can get started".....
be self-starting each class period. One of the best ways of creating
that is by maintaining individual student file folders. So, get and
label bins for each class period. Then put student names on individual
file folders and insert in the appropriate class period. The bins
stay near the classroom entryway. Here are the benefits:
1. Students maintain
their Layered Curricululm unit sheets in their folders. This prevents
them from being lost / left at home. (Make extras available and/or
post on the class website for home reference).
2. You can look
over unit sheets periodically, and leave post it notes on them for
3. Students can
"flag" their file at the end of the class period using a
bright red post it to indicate they need your help or assistance during
the next class.
4. Quizzes, daily
starters, notes, etc can easily be placed in the folder daily for
either the entire class or individual students.
5. No need to
waste valuable class time with roll call. You can simply grab remaining
folders at the tardy bell and you know who is absent.
6. Students can
keep "work in progress" work in their folder.
7. Students can
"turn in" work via their folder - using an orange post it
to flag it as having completed work enclosed.
There is no end
to the color coded scheme you can use for students to communicate
using the folders. Ready for a quiz, Need instructions for particular
assignment, Needing make-up assignments, etc.
Again, your vision
is a classroom that begins with students working, not the teacher
giving direct instruction. Once students understand they are to come
in, grab their folder and get to work - you are on track for a student-centered
About the Author:
Dr Kathie Nunley is an educational psychologist, researcher and author
of several books on parenting and teaching, including A Student's
Brain (Brains.org) and the best selling, "Differentiating the High
School Classroom" (Corwin Press). She is the developer of the Layered
Curriculum® method of instruction and has worked with parents and
educators around the world to better structure schools to make brain-friendly
environments. In addition, her work has been used by the Boeing Corporation,
Family Circle Magazine, the Washington Post, and ABC television.
her: Kathie (at) brains.org
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