So – today I have a super easy and quick idea for all of you who don’t want multiple pocket folders in your students’ desks! DIY multipocket folders from two 2-pocket folders with brads without needing staples, tape, binding machines, or anything else!
Of course, you could make them even larger IF you want to cut up classroom folders and use a binding machine, but I think the basic 4-pocket folder will work fantastic for a writing folder or a 4-subject folder!
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What are brads in folders?
Brads in folders are the little metal clips inside of a 2 pocket folder.
You place the paper(s) onto the fasteners, then open the brads so that the pointed ends are facing away from one another (like a butterfly’s wigs when they are open).
Now you have locked in your materials into the two-pocket folder easily!
How to make your own folder:
- Two 2-pocket folders, one WITH brads and one WITHOUT brads (make sure to check the back to school sales too in the fall!)
- Three-hole punch
- Labels to label the pockets (see below for some I already have made up for you!)
1. Take the folder that does NOT have the brads, and turn it inside out so the pockets are on the outside.
2. Three-hole punch the open EDGE (not the folded edge)
3. Insert the holes onto the brads in your other folder and close up.
4. Affix your labels and you are set to go!
I like to add a name on the front cover, and the description of the pockets on the inside.
Super simple, right? Of course since the middle folder is not closed up, you may see a gap, but it really should not matter. If it drives you insane, you can always take a few extra minutes to glue it shut though.
I did try to place more than one folder and when I did, the middle pockets were not able to be opened freely since they were attached at the brads.
You could certainly try some different combinations, but I found just one folder to work perfectly.
How can you use your new multi folder?
- Different subjects in a self-contained classroom; examples – reading, math, science, social studies
- Specials teachers can ask students to bring their specials folder; examples – PE, Art, Music, Computer Science
- Writing folder for writer’s workshop; examples – brainstorming, rough draft, editing, final copy
- Homework folders; examples – work to be left home, work to be reviewed, graded work, homework
- Math story problem processes; examples – keywords are underlined, relevant numbers are circled, a picture is drawn, final sentence is written and final answer circled
- Book reports; examples – book chosen, main ideas list, rough draft and editing, final copy and illustrated cover
Below, I have some labels and you are even able to customize the student names on the front folder label!
I have included labels for a writing folder to move the pages along in the writing process or for a multi-subject folder to keep those papers that are started, but not quite finished.
Just have students place their paper into the correct folder and then grab it again the next day when you are ready to start your lesson!
Happy creating and enjoy your freebie labels below!
What else could you use this handy folder trick for in your classroom? I would love to hear in the comments below!