One of the best ways to create materials for your speech room is to use file folders. File folders are easy to store, are readily available, and can be transported easily in your therapy bag. Today, I will share file folder ideas you can use with your speech therapy caseload.
Most SLPs use file folders to help keep them organized with confidential student information such as assessment reports and IEPs. They are great for that purpose! But, I also love using file folders in speech therapy to make visuals and activities.
Where To Get File Folders for Your Speech Room
As a budget friendly SLP, I try to get access to file folders through my school. When I had a $100-200 budget, I allotted funds to stock up on file folders. If you like having color coded file folders, Amazon has a good set HERE (amazon affiliate links). They can be helpful for color coding therapy groups or forms.
File Folder Ideas for Behavior Management
Use file folders in speech therapy to visually re-inforce expected versus unexpected behaviors during a lesson. I just opened a file folder and then folded each side into the middle. Then, I glued color paper on each side, so it could help students differientiate the side their names were on. Then, I just used post-it notes, so I could re-use the file folder for a different purpose or group.
Use file folders to create visual supports and behavior management charts. I have several students with behavior charts, so I put all the visuals I need in one place. If you need these FREE printables, just click the button below. It comes with black and white, color and a blank version that is an editable PDF, so you can customize for your students. I wanted to laminate and use with a dry erase marker, so I used my 12 inch laminator that I got from Swingline on Amazon. You can also laminate on your school’s large laminator. If you need laminating sheets, I love stocking up from Amazon.
Use Your Worksheets To Create Interactive Activities
I love using no prep worksheets into re-useable file folder activities. They take a minute to prep, but then you have them available any time you need them. File folder activities can be used as independent work or as station activities. You can even make for the classroom teachers or parents to try and get some additional practice outside the speech room.
With some of my themed no prep activities to work on noun-verb agreement with “is” and “has”, I printed out these spring worksheets, cut them out and then glued the pictures to the file folder. I then, laminated the folder. Next, I laminated the images, cut them out and attached with velcro dots. This is now an interactive language activity, I will never have to photocopy again lol. Want to make your own noun-verb agreement file folders? These sheets are in all of my seasonal no prep resources you can find HERE.
If you haven’t started using velcro dots, I highly recommend them! Amazon is my go-to for these.
Here is another example of turning a cut n’ glue no prep worksheet into a re-useable file folder activity. Just glue the worksheet on the folder, laminate, and then attache velcro for the interactive pieces. This activity is part of my No Prep Categories Worksheets.
Make Interactive File Folder Activities
You can make interactive file folder activities to target various skills. Kids love anything that lets them dress or build something. If you have limited space and don’t have room for many toys and games, try these Dress Me Clothing file folder activities from my store. You can store them quickly, and they increase engagement in your sessions.
If you need more file folder activities like this, some of my themed push-in language sets have similar activities:
Use File Folders in Speech Therapy for Vocabulary
Much research shows that teaching tier II vocabulary is very helpful for reading comprehension and building vocabulary skills. When you incorporate antonyms, synonyms and understanding prefixes/suffixes and root words, it can help students build stronger vocabularies. I put different colored construction paper on the file folder. I folded the two sides into the middle to create the three sides. Then, I got based words and prefixes that could go with the base words with post-its.
Create Homework Activities with File Folders
Some of my students are also working on their speech sounds at home. To help parents give their child feedback, I used this visual self-reflection sheet from Speechy Musings (it’s free if you are on her newsletter list). I stapled the visual on one side.
Keep Your Visual Supports Together
Visual sentence frames helps students when they are learning a new skill. It reduces the cognitive demands, so they can process and practice the new skill until it is mastered. Check out my post HERE if you need more ideas and info about sentence frames. I have a lot of students that are working on inferencing for language and for social skills. When we can make smart guesses about what the person is thinking or feeling based on their body language, it can help use with understanding the character’s motives in a story, carry on a better conversation or know what to say in a social situation.
I just glued these visual inferencing sentence frames to a file folder and can use with any activity, video, or photo. I like that it is portable and could even be given to a student to have at his/her desk. Get the sentence frames and 10 free photo task cards in my TPT store. Need real photos to work on social inferencing? These photos are from my social skill breaks curriculum that you can access HERE.
You can also glue or staple together two file folders to create a trifold. Then, you can add visual supports students may need for language skills such as parts of speech, attributes, adjectives, or antonyms/synonyms like the Student Language Helper I made for my students.
How Do You Use File Folders in Speech Therapy?
Since I have file folders readily on hand, I am always looking for easy ways to use them in therapy for students. That means I want to know what you are doing with them! Please share your best therapy ideas or tips in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, you can always share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thedabblingspeechie.