Making Words Folder

As teachers {esp. k-3} we know how important "Making Words" activities are for our students. The manipulation of the letters and exploration of letter sounds and patterns are skills that all students need {and enjoy}.
Which brings me to my next point......
My school is doing a huge "paper cut down" this next year and so we've been brainstorming ideas on how to save paper.  Making words takes a new page of paper each time you do it!  This folder cuts down on a lot of paper and is easy to make, use, and keep track of! Plus, you can keep the folders for YEARS and use them for many other activities {chunks, spelling, sight words, etc}.
I got the inspiration from my previous guided reading folders {here}.  The students use their letter in their folder {held in place by velcro} to make words.  They pull down their letters to the bottom of the folder, in the rectangle, to make a word {see picture below}.

*Making Words Download {<----- click to download}
*File Folders
*Glue stick
*Velcro with adhesive (It's the strips of Velcro- we buy it at our school and it comes in rolls)

Here is what the Making Words Folder looks like:

Here's how you do it!

1.  Glue cover on the front of the folder. Glue the alphabet on the inside of the folder {see picture}. Those 2 items can be  printed on regular paper.

2.  Print letter boxes {the letters that are to be cut out} on cardstock and laminate.

3.  Laminate folder

4.  No more work for you!  You are going to send the remaining supplies home for parents to do! Send home {thisexplanation to each parent with all of the supplies to finish their child's folder.  You will need to provide them with velcro {the fuzzy side velcro goes on the folder, the hard side velcro goes on each letter}.  I'm actually going to do my own folders and not send them home {I obviously have control issues ;) }, so you can do it either way.  If you are sending it home to the parents, make sure you print, glue folder, and laminate BEFORE you send to the parents. The parents are cutting out individual letters, putting velcro on and sorting the ABC letters into correct columns.

Tips {I give our readers full credit for most of these tips from the comments- Thanks you!}:
*Copy each child's set of letters in a different color (you might run out of colors but at least you have a range of colors)
*They aren't easy to drop on the floor because they are Velcro-ed on to the folder!  They never put them on their desk to rest...they always leave them Velcro-ed to their folder.  But it does happen and I have a solution for that.....
*I have an extra folder with extra letters....anytime one is found on the floor, the students place it on the "extra teacher folder" and the students can refer to this folder if they're missing a letter.  PLUS, you will have multiple letters for each one (4 a's, 3 b's).
*You can use them OVER and OVER and OVER each year.  I don't actually put their names on them, I use a label and put their class number on it (or you can put a label with their name on it and just cover it the next year with a new label.
*Feel a little overwhelmed?  Make 6 for guided reading or small group work. :)
*Be strict with your expectations on how to use the letters {carefully peeling them off the folder with one hand on the folder and one hand at the top of the letter and pull gently}, how not to lose them, etc.  I always set firm expectations and offer rewards for those students who follow through. Show them what to do and what NOT to do.
Could you use this in your classroom?
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