File folder games are such an easy type of activity for use in the classroom for a variety of reasons, but there are good points and not so good points for many students with autism. Don’t get me wrong; I still love them (and create them), but there are some things to consider about using them.
1. They are self-contained tasks.
Everything you need is attached to the file folder, so it has its own container.This makes them highly portable and easy for students to access.
2. Students like them.
Typically file folder activities are fun and engaging and can incorporate special interests and can teach the same skills repeatedly with different materials cheaply.
3. They can be changed out with themes.
If you use themes in your classroom for planning instruction, file folders are easy to build into those themes and keep materials engaging for students.
For instance, the two examples below are both part of file folder activities I sell on TPT that all focus on basic matching skills of letters, numbers, sets and other common core curriculum skills for early childhood and complex learners. One set is set up for flowers and the other for frogs and are designed for spring themes, while there is a beach file folder and Fourth of July set for summer (I’m working on fall and winter now). They all address variations of the same skills but they have different materials for doing it.
|Flowers for Spring|
|Jump Into Spring|
When I have finished adding all the materials to the growing Autism Basic Skills Matching Bundle, there will be sets of file folders (and some task cards) for matching letters, numbers and colors for all 4 seasons so that students who are working on learning and maintaining these skills during the year will have different sets of materials to do it.
4. They capitalize on visual strengths.
1. Students memorize them.
One solution to this is to make tasks that don’t have fixed pieces. I wrote about setting file folders up with the bottom pieces being movable in another post last year but essentially you create the file folder that looks like the one below. In this activity, the numbers for the math problems change and the student uses different colored pieces to put in the answers. This was for the same student who memorized so it kept him from just being able to go down the rows and put in the answers without doing the problems.
Another option is to do sorting tasks using library pockets so the order of the materials change frequently like the one below that are set up to correspond to Edmark Functional Word Series lessons.
2. Pieces go missing.
3. You have to make sure they teach the skill you intend.
|Jumping Into Spring|