Back to School Special: Top 10 Must Haves for an Inclusive SPED Teacher (7)

Friday, August 5, 2016
Have you checked out the previous posts in this Back to School Special series??!
  1. Highlighting Tape/ Highlighters
  2. Sticky Graphs/ Graph Patches
  3. iPads & Apps
  4. Graphic Novels (Comics?)
  5. Composition Notebooks
  6. Clear Page Protector Sheets/ Dry Erase Pockets / Laminator
Color Coded Hanging Folders & File Folders


I usually use the Smead file folders, but this is all I had on hand. Bear with me!
This is probably a pretty obvious must have for some of us. I had to include this because there's no way I would get through the year without file folders. NO WAY. I use them for everything - organizing modifications, substitute plans, group work folders, bulletin boards, documents, etc. It is a staple in my "teacher toolbox," no doubt about it!



I usually use the Smead "Brights" folders (not endorsed by them, but that'd be nice, Smead). I give a detailed explanation of how I organize my documents for my caseload in the following post: CLICK HERE. This is a must have for me because I reach for a folder at least once a week. There's just so many uses for it in the classroom! Here's how I've used these folders in the classroom so far:

  • Words Their Way - Julia used the file folders to make game boards that are included in the program. She did an awesome job putting this together for me and I will probably use this forever.
  • Bulletin Boards - My co-teacher and I created a self-reflecting bulletin board based on our standards based grading system. Check that out HERE.
  • IEP Documents - I color code the file folders based on specific grade levels. in each hanging file folder is a folder per subject. My way of collecting student work for portfolio data collection and gathering items for the transition binder!
  • LLI - I use this alongside matching activity signs so that students know what to reach for and where to grab it. Check that out HERE. I'm creating adaptive materials using these folders now!
  • Sub Folders - Although I'm in the process of updating my emergency/ substitute items, I use this to organize items per class period. 
  • Station Work - Super easy to slip ability level assignments into a folder and leave it on the group. No one knows whats in it until I let them open it. They're too preoccupied exploring the contents to see what someone else has!
  • "Help Folder" - I like to cut up and glue reference items into a folder and hand it to students to use during assessments. This is great for math teachers out there for multiplication charts, number lines, etc. A cheaper alternative to a binder.
But let's be honest ... all you have to do is type in "file folders" on pinterest and you'll see just how much people reach for these things. There's just too many uses to list.

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