Friday, September 5, 2014

How to Use Mini Offices for BIG KIDS and a GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday, friends!

Today I am posting about how I have used "Mini Offices" in my classroom.

I have seen Mini Offices for years in lower primary and kinder classes. They are great visuals that students can reference in a *snap*.

But I needed something like that for my "big kid" students in 4th and 5th grade.

Something with "meaty" content, not "fluff". Something useful, rich with information about a specific skill or content.

So, what do we do when we need something, but can't find it? We create it. 

WHY would your students need to use these? 
If you are like me, typically, your walls are covered from ceiling to floor with anchor charts. Sometimes, it's hard for students to find the information they need quickly.

Mini offices are simple, quick references that focus on main skills, content and strategies that they use on a daily basis.

Also, during independent work, you actually want them working independently. *Novel thought, eh?!*

When students are given the resources needed, they can do this. That's where Mini Offices come into play.

Also, Mini Offices are great ways for students to study. They allow parents easy access to important skills for real readers in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade.

My students would carry them home in their backpacks before a unit test, if they were struggling with a skill, or just to use on homework help. All of the skills and strategies they need are right. there. BAM!
Now, let me just say: my Mini Offices were not always this cute.
Isn't that a shame?
I'm almost embarrassed to admit that.
But, what office doesn't need a little renovation from time to time?
**WHAT did we do before Melonheadz?**
**---I don't...I can' - I can't even go back that far...---**
I have taken my Mini Offices from a tiny cubical mini office to a "Check out this view from my window!"  in a skyscraper-kinda-mini-office if you know what I'm sayin'.}



For Writer's Workshop, these are just as handy as the Reader's Workshop mini offices!


ALSO -- what student doesn't feel super cool with their very own "office"?

I mean, let's be real.

We spend our whole "little" lives wanting to be grown ups and do grown up things, only to realize that when you're 30, cutting and gluing and close reading is way more cool than a cluttered desk, bills and cooking supper. {I mean, can I get an AAAAAAAAAAAmen!?!}


There are a million ways students could use these...
study tool.
during independent reading.
writing a story.
writing a nonfiction article.
grammar help.
homework help.
fluency practice.
assistance with skill based activity.
organizing ideas in writing.
grammar and punctuation assistance.
small group conferences.
buddy reading.
guided reading.
parental assistance.
during tutoring sessions. 
lifelong tool they carry as they leave your classroom so they *always* remember YOU. ;)
and on and on and on...

OH! And because it's Friday (and you took time after a long week of non-stop questioning, routines, 10-minute lunches, and looooonnnnggggg meetings to read this), I'm giving away two copies of EACH of my Mini Offices!

Here's how:
1) Comment below with your e-mail address.
2) Tell me which resource you'd like the most {either Reading Mini Office or Writing Mini Office}.

Easy. Peazy. DONE!

I'll select four lucky winners later on!

Have a HAPPY weekend!

Until then,


  1. I'd love the Reading Mini Office!

    1. Thanks for entering! Please check your email! :)

  2. I'd love to have either one. What a great idea!


    1. Thanks for entering! Please check your email! :)

  3. I would love these for my 3rd graders!

  4. Is it one or two folders. does the office stand up on the desk?

    1. Suzee -- it's two different folders. Yes, ma'am! They do stand up! :)

  5. I just started following you at TpT and adore your stuff. My 4th grade students could really use a reading mini-office. Thank you for doing a giveaway! {sandy underscoresymbol fuller at hotmail dot com}

    1. Thank you for entering and following my TpT store! Please check your email! :)

  6. I love your writer's workshop mini-office. I teach elementary gifted students and we focus a lot on writing, this would be perfect for us.
    Teaching with a Twist

  7. Sorry- I'd love just the Reading Mini Office, thanks Nancy-

  8. I forgot to add- I'm an elementary librarian, with 85% poverty and ELL kiddos and would love that as a center. Thanks! Nancy, Boise

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. I would LOVE both… doesn't matter which one you give away, I will buy the other. These are great! I have seen some cute ones for younger elementary but these would be great for my 3rd graders.

  11. Hi there... i loved these,,,,but when i clicked on the links.... the page is not found,,,how can i get them??? this is my email you