top of page


Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Color coding classroom materials by level is one of those things that wish I had started my first year of teaching. It's been a life changer in my classroom! Most often, our special education classrooms are full of students whose instructional levels vary greatly. I like to have materials and activities that are easy for students to access independently and for my paras to assist with, but I want my students to complete tasks that are at their level.

To do this effectively with minimal interruptions, I use a colored-coded level system. Here is how it works.

This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the qualifying links at no additional cost to you.


As I purchase and prep new activities, I organize them into one of 5 colored levels. Each year, I assign students a color. When it's time for independent work or when there is downtime due to a schedule change or behavior, students can just grab a task of their color and get to work! I use this system for file folder activities, task cards, and centers.

Color coded file folder activities
labeled centers bins

My color coded level system looks like this:

Red: 2nd-3rd grade reading level, numbers over 100, multiplication, division, fractions

Yellow: 1st grade reading level, counting and numbers to 100, WH questions, addition, subtraction and calculator math

Green: writing words, CVC words, sight words, counting & numbers to 20, letter sounds

Blue: identical matching, tracing, counting & numbers to 10, letter identification, etc.

Purple: Errorless

Here are some of the items that I use to keep everything organized. The images are affiliate links- you can click on them if you're interested in purchasing!

Colored file folders:

For file folders, I prep them on the correct color folder so leveling is super easy!

Colored book bins:

These are perfect for storing file folders or adapted books!

Colored dot or star stickers:

If you have regular manila file folders, just place a sticker on the tab to level. You can level task cards with these as well.

Astrobrights paper:

I print all of my center labels directly on Astrobrights paper, then attach the label to the baggie.

Do you level your classroom activities? I'd love to hear how!




bottom of page