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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Classroom Organization: Setting Up File Folder Centers

This is a blog post by Sally's Sea of Songs on setting up file folder centers in an elementary music classroom.





Working together in small group centers can reinforce learning in any subject, and music class is no different.   When I was first encouraged by administration to try out centers in the music room, the thought of managing all of those papers and game and puzzle pieces was overwhelming!  I discovered a solution that works for me in a colleague's classroom.  Here is how I adapted her idea for my classroom:

In order to streamline management of game pieces, create a file folder storage system.  Print a center title card and a task card.  Alternatively, neatly print the center title on a label.  Gather supplies to complete the task:  file folder, envelope, scissors, glue stick.




Attach title and task card to the outside front of the file folder.


Attach an envelope to the outside back of the file folder. This will be used to hold any small game pieces or cards.



While the folder is open, laminate the entire file folder for durability, then carefully slit the opening of the envelope.



Trim off excess laminating film.  Store small cards or game pieces in the envelope, and large cards or worksheets inside the folder.

I have spotted file folder center books at the local teacher store, but none for music teachers.  This system has been working great for several years.  Just about any small group activity can be adapted to fit into a file folder. 

Here are some suggestions to use when creating your own centers:

1.  Game boards can be glued right inside of the folder so they don't get lost. 
2.  Laminate the CLOSED folder, then carefully slit open the top.  This provides more protection to keep items inside from falling out, but you will be more limited in space.
3.  Laminate questions or puzzles on the inside of the folder.  Place a dry erase marker in the envelope.
4.  Place task cards in the place that makes the most sense for your activity: on the front of the folder, inside the folder, or laminated separately and placed loose in the folder.
5.  Substitute pocket folders for file folders.  The folders WITHOUT prongs work best if you want to laminate the whole folder.  

The Tile It! Letter Tile Spelling centers pictured above are available in here.  Click the photo below to find more center activities.  



p.s. Check out more great blog posts at the Fermata Fridays linkup!



3 comments:

  1. This is a great way to organize all those little pieces! I love doing centers and I'm hoping to add some new ones for next school year- those letter tile games look awesome! I'm going to check them out! Thanks for sharing :) #fermatafridays

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  2. Great tip for putting these together in a sensible way. How do you store them in your room?

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    Replies
    1. I have tried a couple of ways to organize them. First, they do fit into a filing cabinet drawer. This worked until I ran out of drawer space! I have purchased a couple of those plastic crates from the office supply aisle at Walmart. I like them because I can pull out just the centers that I need for my current lessons and store them in the crate near my desk. I also purchased a longer file sized plastic tub with a lid. I can store this on the bottom shelf in my closet, and it holds as many file folders as my filing cabinet drawer.

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