Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dry Erase Practice Folders: Made 4 Math

A while ago, my calculus students were working on derivative shortcuts. I was trying to think of a good way for them to practice and self-check independently. Assigning problems out of the textbook to be checked in the back doesn't work because those answers are simplified. I really want students to just practice the rules without getting distracted by algebra.

I ended up using recycled file folders and dry-erase contact paper to make these re-useable dry erase folders. They were a huge hit.

To make the folders, I cut off about 2/3 of the front flap of a file folder. The inside of the back of the folder is now exposed. I covered it with a small sheet of dry-erase contact paper. I found a big roll online for about $20. There is enough in the roll for 60 folders, so it will last a long time.

I cut the remaining portion of the front flap into tabs, one for each problem. I lifted up each tab and wrote the solution underneath. This took a long time. Next time, I will try to use a set of problems that I already have typed up. On the up side, it is a one-time thing. These can be re-used again and again and again.

Now students can work out a problem in the dry-erase area. 

When they are done, they can flip up the tab and check the answer.

Then erase and move on to the next problem.

My students really loved these. Since I had made multiple versions, they asked if they could take home an extra one for practice. 

In the future, I can envision a file crate full of these . . . labeled by skill . . . so that students can just grab  and work on whatever as needed. It hate to think about making all of those, but I it just might be worth it.


  1. this is a great idea! Thank you for sharing.

  2. love this! Where did you find the dry erase contact paper? Is it just the regular white contact paper?

  3. I love this!! Totally stealing. Maybe the kids can make them for me as an end-of-year review project and I can use them for next year's kids.

  4. I love this, too! I'm sure I'll be stealing it as soon as I can find some time. This is a great way to get kids to practice. I think having a bunch of these for review before tests would be really helpful.

  5. Love it! And the idea of making them as a review project (I want to do this for IB Math Studies exam prep).

  6. I had students make these and I just laminated copy paper (with and without graphing grids) and had them glue them inside. ( and then tape them, just to be sure)


  7. This is a really cool idea, but it has always frustrated me my whole life that every math worksheet and standardized test in the world always puts the problems on the left with space to work them on the right. For lefties like me, this makes it hard to work problems because when you go to do the problem, you then cover it up with your hand. It means it takes us a little longer to do anything and on timed tests it can get pretty frustrating. If you haven't already, a left handed version of this folder would be awesome. Your lefties will love you for the rest of their lives because no one notices how much more difficult it is for them to do math (especially since they always have to recopy the problem on the right side of the paper and the commonest of mistakes are copy mistakes.) You're amazing so you already probably have a stash of folders oriented the other way, but if you don't, I thought I'd mention it because most right-handers haven't ever thought about where to position problems.

  8. My Dad and sister are lefties, so I should have thought of that. Thank you for enlightening me, Lizzie!

  9. I already have a classroom set of thin dry erase boards, so I'm thinking maybe just make various sets of the flippable questions they can slide under it and paper clip to it to keep it from sliding around. Fantastic idea though! Thanks!