Handy Helper Folder | A Writing Workshop Tool

The Handy Helper Folder is a very useful tool in our classrooms for independent work times. It's one of our most favorite classroom tools!

We're sharing with you how we make our folders and the pages we like to glue on our folders.  This idea is adapted from Jessica Meacham's Mini Offices.  We love this idea, but needed to create our own reference pictures inside the folders based on the needs of our classrooms.  We've provided the printables for FREE at the end of the post.  Grab them if you think they'd be a good fit for your classroom as well!

Scroll through to see how we assemble our Handy Helper Folders!

All printables are cut and ready.  In the file download, you will see many of the reference pages have 2 sets to help cut down on printing.  We use 2 file folders to make our Handy Helpers.

Cut off the tab part that hangs over the flap.  This will help them fold down nicely!
The file folders are glued together overlapping, so they look like a tri fold board when glued.  If you are not laminating, you could also staple the folders when overlapped.

We like to put these nameplates inside our Helper Folders, rather than on tables.  We change our kiddos' seats often and use simple name tags that are easy to move.  These name plates have LOTS of great graphics for helping kiddos with letter sounds and formations, spelling of colors and shares, and identifying and writing numbers.  In the past, we've liked the self-adhesive nameplates below because they are easy to attach to the folders!
 (grab on Amazon || affiliate link)

Along with the nameplate on the inside of the folder, we add reference sheets for writing ideas, names of people in a family, and a math number splash (a great reminder for any math task where kiddos are asked to represent numbers in a certain manner).  

To the outside of the folder, we add a mini word wall....

and tips for things a 'good writer' does....

and calendar words for kiddos to use in writing. 

 The printables to make the Handy Helper folders also come in black and white!

Grab the file below and start making your own class set of Handy Helper folders!

Now you can get the downloads for yourself!  Click to grab the FREE printable reference sheets to make your own Handy Helper Folders!


  1. For some reason the hyerlink to download that says "free" wont work. Do you have any suggestions on how to get it to work?

  2. Oops...neverymind. I closed out the page and reopened it and it works now, lol. :)

  3. Wonderful resource! Thank you for sharing.

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  10. Thank you for sharing these free printables! I'm thinking about making one for each of my students and laminating for easy cleaning. With social distancing requirements I probably won't be able to use my usual "offices" so these will be good substitutes for that purpose as well.

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