Short Vowel Word Families: File Folder Flippers

You know that saying that necessity is the mother of invention? I definitely think that’s the truth.

A couple weeks ago I started doing RTI pull out in my new school. Two of the students I work with are a pair of fabulous first graders (my fav!) who need to work on their short vowel sounds and CVC words.

After initially assessing them to see where they were exactly, I realized I needed to come up with a fun way that they could practice the word families we were learning with me as well as in the classroom. I really wanted to think of something portable, small, and engaging that they could just slip in their desk, but I also wanted it to be fun.


On my drive home that day, I was mulling over lots of ideas like a memory game, a booklet, etc, etc, but I really wanted something more unique. I also wanted something that would give them a hint about the sounds the word families made with out giving away each word.


Suddenly, an idea hit me! It was so simple, but so perfect. Why not create word family words on shapes with little tabs that the students could flip up and read the words! Even better, keep it in a file folder! As soon as I got home, I started working on it. A week or so later, I had this.


There is one file folder for each short vowel, and each file folder has seven word families in it. That means this pack covers 35 (that’s right!) 35 word families!

It covers:at, an, ap, ack, ab, am, ag, ed, et, en, ell, ent, end, est, ing, ig, ill, ip, ick, in, it, op, ot, og, ock, ob, ox, od, ut, ub, un, ud, ug, um,  and uck!

Since we were starting with short “i” I put together a short i File Folder Flipper for each of the two firsties. They were a big hit!

Here’s what the front of the file folder looks like.

File Folder Flipper Cover

Here’s the inside. My favorite is probably the “ig” pig! 🙂

File Folder Flipper Inside

 And here’s what the back looks like.

File Folder Flipper Back

As you can see, you just flip up each tab and read the word. The shape provides a hint for the sound of the word family!

File Folder Flipper Tab

Although I’m using these to work one-on-one with my kiddos, they could be used so many different ways, which is why I’m SO excited about them!

You could make a class set, make one for each student, or make a set for any students who are struggling with this skill. Have students keep them in their desk and practice reading their words when they finished work early.

You could also have them practice in pairs or small groups.

Place them in a center and have students use them to write sentences or stories using as many words as they can. The possibilities are endless!

Here’s my adorable niece trying it out. She is a fan! 🙂


Since you all are so awesome, I decided to post a few of the short i flippers for free!

Click the picture to download them. If you like them, check out the whole pack! It will be on sale for $1 off for the next 2 days only!

File Folder Flipper Short i freebie

I’m linking up this fab freebie with Charity over at Manic Monday.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I hope your students are flipping for my flippers as much as my students and I are!  I’m starting on my long vowel version next week, so keep an out for them as well!

Have a great week!

Primary Paradise2

Martha from Primary Paradise

Primary Paradise

Primary Paradise

I have always had a passion for teaching and sharing with others and look forward to sharing my ideas with you!


  • Jessica Goodrow
    March 25, 2013 7:36 pm

    Super cute! Thanks for sharing!

    Literacy Spark

  • Nathalie Balduck
    August 21, 2013 9:54 am


  • Tammy Wathen
    May 27, 2014 12:19 pm

    I love that it is something different to do! Cute and practical:).

    Tammy @ The Resourceful Apple

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      May 28, 2014 9:43 am

      Thanks Tammy! 🙂

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