File Folder Games are a fantastic choice when it comes to practicing skills and learning to work independently. These little file folder games help reinforce many kindergarten readiness skills – letter identification, initial sounds, rhyming, counting, number recognition, sorting, and more. They are also fantastic for differentiated instruction – the teacher selects the games according to each child’s needs, and off they go!
This is definitely one of the most effective independent skill-building activities and one of the best uses of that 5-10 minutes with Pre-K students as they arrive for the day! A free file folder game is available to download here.
A Word about Independent Learning
Independence is an essential kindergarten readiness skill. In a classroom of twenty or more students, there are times that the teacher has to assist children one-on-one or in small groups, while the majority of the class works independently. These file folder games provide practice for that very skill. After a few quick lessons on how to use them, each student takes their folder and can work on them independently. They gain mastery over skills, which gives them more confidence, and they select more advanced games as they progress.
Setting Up for Success – File Folder Games
Because of the skills involved, File Folder games are best suited for Pre-K students. While play-based instruction for most of the day is still the most beneficial for students, using these skill-based activities for a few minutes each day positively affects students’ kindergarten readiness.
Before the students arrive, select a folder for each student and set the games in their space. This is where differentiated education is vital! Each student receives a game that focuses on a skill they need to practice at their ability level. One student is working on counting, while another is sorting sounds, and a third is working on CVC words…all at the same time! Try to match the children to a folder that will offer a bit of a challenge but won’t be so difficult that they feel frustrated.
After the students remove the game pieces, they open up the folder and play the game. Most of the games are in the same format, so they are familiar with what to do after a bit of practice.
Some Examples of File Folder Games
Letter Matching Games
The earliest learners can focus on letter matching games. Even this skill has several difficulty levels. The simplest version is matching identical letters. Next would come matching uppercase to lowercase, and then finally, different scripts or fonts.
Beginning Sound Sorts
This is a more difficult skill. The students have to say the word on the game piece and sort it by its beginning sound. Self-checking is easily added by writing the beginning letter on the back of each piece so the student can flip the pieces over when they are finished.
What Else Can File Folder Games Cover?
Short answer: any skill that students are working on, in any theme that suits the classroom! This includes:
- Letter Sounds
- CVC Words
- Counting Syllables
What Does a File Folder Game Look Like?
The front of the folder has the skill as a cover. When the students open it up, the work mat has a place to sort their pictures. If appropriate, a writing sheet for students to record their work provides additional enrichment.
On the back, attach a plastic baggie for the pieces and a checklist so that it is easy to keep track of the students progress. A checkmark for each student when they’ve mastered it, a plus/minus system to show growth, or even the dates when the student used it – whichever way works best in the classroom!
No time to make your own file folder games? PTL has you covered!
Practice matching Upper Case Letters and Lower Case Letters with these file folder games. Each set includes 8-12 games that help students practice important skills with independence and confidence!
Most of these folder games are available individually in the Play to Learn Preschool TpT store. If you want to give it a try, download the freebie here. All of the folder games are ready to print, mat on a file folder, and use with students.
Have fun learning and playing – and practicing independent skills – with your students today!