As I’ve mentioned before my daughter is rather ADD, and we are taking steps to help her with that. One of these steps is giving her tools to look at to remember information she knows, but isn’t at instant recall yet, hence the mini office.
What is a mini office?
A mini office is a mini presentation folder with helpful information glued inside. They started back when teachers created mini offices for their students during testing time so they wouldn’t be tempted to look at other student’s work, or be distracted by other students.
Very quickly teachers discovered this could be a great way to give students tools to solve frequently asked questions on their own, and a whole brand of mini offices sprung up. I’ve seen mini offices for math, writing, spelling, kindergarten, primary grades, and even a few for science.
The most common ones seem to be for kindergarten or first grade, those will have alphabets and other items for early readers.
Since my daughter is not naturally gifted at math (she blows her brothers out of the water in writing, so it seems like a fair trade), our mini offices focused on math skills.
I’ll admit it’s partially because I didn’t feel the need for my kids to memorize every single measurement conversion in the world. They won’t use most of those things later in life.
Where we got our mini office printables
I firmly believe in not re-inventing the wheel, so I used what others had already created.
- Jimmie Lanley has a great mini office site (look for ideas, she’s linked to places with printables) I used the Roman numeral chart on here
- Mini office printables (some of the PDF links are dead, but some still work, I used the editting chart from here)
- multiplication tables
- math charts for measurement
- fractions printable (added later when we were studying fractions)
Modifications to our mini office for ADD
Almost all of the above printables are made bright and colorful and some even have cute clip art. For my daughter that is too visually distracting, and she’ll spend more time looking at the cute pictures, than at the material she needs, so I printed it all in gray scale, and where I was able cut out the pictures. As it was, before I’d finished putting her mini office together she’d already added several stickers and some drawings to it. Which just confirmed my decision not to print in color.
By contrast my boys pretty much just left them be as they were.
Putting together your mini office
Supplies needed: mini tri fold display*, (file folders* when I was a teacher I used two file folders glued together, and laminated the whole thing when I was done, this is much more cost effective if making these for a classroom, and they store better in a school desk), glue sticks*, scissors* (these are more expensive, and what I get for my sewing scissors, but if you’re cutting a lot they are invaluable for saving wear and tear on your wrist)
After you print out all of the various bits and pieces you wish to include in your mini office and cut each of them out, start arranging them.
This step is very important because I quickly discovered I had to do some serious trimming to include everything I wanted to include.
Once everything is arranged how you like, start glueing it all down. I personally like glue sticks because they hold up pretty well, and aren’t messy, but you could also use rubber cement or mod podge.
If you’re using file folders when you’re all done I highly recommend laminating them for durability, but I also like to laminate stuff.