What is a mini office?
Mini offices are reference tools for students to use during individual work. It promotes autonomous – independent learning.
How can I get one?
You can make it yourself, or with the help of your students.
– a file folder
– photocopy of alphabet charts, colors… all the resources to create their own mini office
– laminating film and laminator or packaging tape
Mini offices for kindergarten level native speakers are made with two or more file folders attached together. For ESL students from 3 to 8 yr old I believe 1 file folder is more than enough. For older students you can make bigger and more elaborated ones with several file folders.
I use the one-file-folder style so that putting them together is quite easy. You just have to choose which charts you want to have in your mini office (some might need to be coloured by the students), arrange them and finally glue them.
How can I use it?
Use the first lessons to create them and then use them throughout the year. Some charts will be nicer if your students color them and this will help students to feel involved in the process. You can use many different charts. The most common ones in native speaker classrooms are: colors, alphabet, shapes, numbers, left and right, days and months, family words, coins, phonics, star words and earth-state-country. I’ve come up with a list of those that can be useful for an EFL class. I have divided it into basic items and other possible alternatives.
– Days of the week and months
– Family words
Other possible charts
– Word walls
I suggest having an empty page where students can record the new words of each unit.
– Question words
You can find a mix of charts to use in mini offices
Why should you use mini offices in your English class?
Mini offices are conceived to be used where individual work takes place. This way students can work independently and autonomously. Basic concepts which appear in every lesson such as colors and numbers can be reviewed. Teachers can have more time for students who need more help while the others have the means to answer their own questions instead of constantly asking the teacher “How do you write …?”
To write this post I have used the following pages: