Laminating Envelopes for Classroom Storage Solutions

Need a simple solution to store various game and puzzles for your classroom?  Try laminating envelopes.

I featured laminated envelopes in my File Folder Storage Solutions blog post (picture above).  However, I don't limit myself to small, white envelopes.  Larger games and puzzles require more storage real estate, and that's when I turn to 9x6 manila envelops.

I can fit two small, white envelopes in one 3mil (8x11) laminating pouch.  Only one 9x6 manila envelope fits in a single laminating pouch.

Place each style in a laminating pouch with the flaps open (see picture above).  Once laminated, cut along the envelope edges, score the opening with an Xacto Knife, and use sticky Velcro Sticky Back dots to create a way for the envelope to close.

I store everything from file folder game pieces to story retelling cards in these envelopes!  I have several with holes punched in them so I can kick up my organizing a notch or two  and keep certain parts and pieces in binders.  Ahhh, organization!

File Folder Game Storage Solutions

Feeling overwhelmed with a bazillion stray file folder game pieces floating around your classroom?  This is especially frustrating and time consuming to hunt down which games are missing pieces.  Even more frustration kicks in when you begin to realize there isn't a single file folder game in your file cabinet that is fully intact!

In my classroom, I use the tried and true sticky dot system to keep game pieces organized.  Check out the pictures below...

Each game piece gets a color dot.

The folder the game pieces go to get a matching color dot.

Here's a close up shot.

Just to eliminate any confusion, I also add one inside the game piece envelope flap.
This way, when four children are all working on identical versions of the game and pieces get mixed up, we have a FAST way to sort the pieces and get them back to their "home" file folder.

You'll notice I laminated the envelope.  This helps keep the game intact quite a few years without losing pieces due to the envelop ripping.  Velcro Sticky Back dots holds the envelope closed while in storage.  I also place packing tape over the folder label tab.  It helps keep it clean and rip-free.  Well, as rip-free as you can get when working with young children.  :)

I hope these tips help you organize your games and classroom!  I'm off to make more games for the upcoming school year.

Check out the games I've created for my classroom:

Alphabet Magnet File Folder Match Up Game

Thanks for your interest in my Alphabet Magnet File Folder Match Up Game {$1.50}. 

Click image for a product preview.

Click image for a product preview.

Assembly is super simple:

- Print the upper and lowercase alphabet mat pages (choose color or black and white), laminate them, and use double face tap to adhere them to a file folder. A-L on one side and M-Z on the other side of the file folder (see photo in my product preview).

- Label the file folder tab.

Students will use magnetic alphabet letters to play the game by matching one magnet letter per letter on the game mat. (Educational Insights brand letters I use in my classroom line up perfectly, but other brands work just as well.) I place the letters A-Z in a small basket, one basket per student. If letters are ending up everywhere but the file folder game mat, try placing the game on a large tray or cookie sheet instead. That usually does the trick for students unable to figure out space boundaries on their own.

Tip: You could also use the black & white version as color sheets, rather than a laminated file folder game. Have students find the magnetic letter matches. When they are finished, they can color in the letters. This is a great activity for fast finishers! :)

I hope your students love matching letter magnets to the letters on the file folder game mats as much as mine do!

Bright Blessings,
Heather Cacak
Pre-K Teacher Heather

Pre-K & Kindergarten Letter Sounds Phonics File Folder Game

This new file folder game download will be so much fun for your students!  I came up with this idea at the end of the school year, and due to the concept being such a huge hit with my pre-k students, I wanted to offer it to other teachers!  $1.50 for the download.

PS...I made sure to snap a few pictures of what my personal classroom copy of the game looks like to give you a few ideas regarding storage and assembly. Happy creating!

Click here or the image to view download details.

Click here or the image to view download details.

Jump, Frog, Jump! Story Sequence Retelling Cards

Thanks for your interest in my Jump, Frog, Jump! Story Sequencing Cards that correlate with the popular children’s board book by Robert Kalan. 

Click image to view product details and/or purchase the digital packet.

This download includes:

- 16 character cards (2 sets of 8)
- 8 object cards
- 8 numeral and 8 ordinal cards
- 2 title cards (one color, one b/w)
- 1 author card
- 1 illustrator card

Simply print the pages featuring cards, cut around each card, laminate them, and have students retell the sequence of events that take place during the book Jump, Frog, Jump!. {Tip: I place adhesive business card magnets to the back of my cards. Doing so helps me create a really fun whole group, small group, or individual center activity utilizing my magnet board.}
I read book Jump, Frog, Jump! to my class over and over throughout the week. Once children are familiar with the text and images, I use the sequence cards as an engaging and interactive math activity. My students take great pride in retelling the story through sequencing. 
I created this packet for my own classroom use, and I hope your students looooove these cards as much as mine do.

Find more of my story stretching activities HERE.

Bright Blessings,
Heather Cacak

D’Nealian Pre-K Skill Building Phonics & Handwriting Packet

Thanks for your interest in my D’Nealian Pre-K Skill Building Phonics & Handwriting packet. Simply print the pages you need for your writing center. I have included five variations of each letter for individualization.

The packet features:
- 105 printable pages
- 5 levels to choose from
- D'Nealian handwriting 
- Written and visual prompts 

Check out my preview for an in depth look.

Saving pages throughout the year in a portfolio creates an effective assessment tool for individualization. If you plan on using this packet for print-and-go morning work, laminating the pages and placing them in a binder creates reusable packets. {Clear page protectors are an alternate way to “laminate” pages on the fly.} Reusable packets work well with dry erase markers. 

Year after year, this packet creates an amazing way to individualize curriculum for the needs of each student – even for older children in need of mastering this set of skills. 

I hope your students love practicing writing as much as mine do!

Link to packet:

Bright Blessings,
(Pre-K Teacher Heather)

Busy Creating Fall Classroom Activities

Long time, no blogging.  I took a couple of weeks off from anything and everything teaching related once the school year ended.  It was a much needed break.  My last day working with children was June 12.  I went in the following Monday to wrap up a few loose ends, and I was a free woman for a couple of months...or so I thought.  On June 29, I had a hysterectomy.  {There goes my entire summer, right?}  Now that I am in a less painful phase of recovering from major surgery, I decided it was time to get crackin' on my ever-growing list of "fall needs".  A couple of dozen story sequence card packets for my favorite fall books are on the tippy-top of my "needs" list.  I have always loved using sequence/retelling cards with students, but I have perfected a system that works for me, and I am determined to go into the 2015-16 school year with cards for my favorite go-to stories.  If you have suggestions for story sequence/retelling card sets you would like to own, please shoot me an email, and I will see what I can do for you.

For now, I am putting the finishing touches on a pre-kindergarten phonics and D'Nealian handwriting practice packet I actually started creating a few years ago.  I put one version of my packet into play at the end of the school year, and I fell in love with the ease and effectiveness of such simple practice sessions with small groups of pre-k students.  The best part was watching children, who had shown little interest in previous writing activities, come alive upon opening their folder of phonics and handwriting practice pages.  They did not want to STOP working!

The packet states pre-k, but it would most certainly be appropriate for kindergarten students.  Here's a sneak peek...

Look for this packet to be uploaded into my TPT store by the end of the week.