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I got the idea last year when I realized I wanted to have some permanent anchor charts, but didn't have enough room on my walls. By connecting two file folders, students have a great privacy screen for their work area. Another point is that too many anchor charts all over the classroom makes it overwhelming to many students. Another reason for these handy student offices is that they support a "deskless" classroom environment. They can be moved anywhere in the room and can be taken out of the classroom during testing, individual or for small group work.
Our student offices include the essential learning concepts and skills for third graders. They include both math and reading tools (pdfs) and an editable to do list (powerpoint file):
MATH: A clock tool, A 300 chart for adding and subtraction (and students can write on these with dry erase markers!), Perimeter/Area images, a graph, coins, and the multiplication/division concept.
READING: A How to read "big words" example and a "Reading is Thinking" graphic.
We also added a classroom management tool this year. It has a check list of 3 "To Do Every Day" tasks.
Finally, Mrs. Dise had the excellent suggestion for leaving the back middle panel empty so we can tape a plastic sleeve for changing out our writing rubrics for each unit of study (We use Lucy Calkins).
*Start by overlapping the two file folders to create the size you want for the offices. Glue the overlapping portions.
*Decide on the layout for your tools. Below are photos of a suggested layout to fit all of the tools. Copy a set for each student, print, cut out, and glue.
*Laminate and Cut them out
*Enjoy seeing your students have the tools right in front of them!
We would love to hear from you if you implement these in your classroom. They take some time to make, but we've made it easier for you by creating the tools...all you need to do is glue, cut and laminate!