I typically have a somewhat challenging group of boys in my senior science class (last year... 24 boys, 3 girls!) and I really needed to change things up with them. They struggled with our long 80 min. classes, they were easily distracted and they fiddled and fidgeted. I stumbled across the idea of foldables while surfing the web one night and became intrigued. Although they're primarily used in elementary classrooms, I thought I'd give them a try. (A foldable is a piece of paper that's been folded into a 3-dimensional pop-up to help teach students a concept.)
Did I mention I teach 16-17 year olds?? and they're mostly boys?? I was a little leery the first time I introduced the idea of foldables. The boys looked at me like I was a little crazy as I demonstrated how to cut and then how to fold. I outlined what they needed to include on their foldable on the board and I had a "model" on display. My students and I have been foldable fiends ever since....
Here's what I LOVE about foldables:
1. It's a fantastic kinesthetic break for the students - they get to cut, fold, and glue while I let them chit chat.
2. Because each foldable is dedicated to a specific topic / learning outcome, it's a great way to "chunk" the information into more manageable pieces.
4. Students are required to think differently when creating a foldable - in my case I ask them represent a concept with a symbol or drawing on one part of their foldable. I've eavesdropped on some awesome conversations as students debate how they're going to represent "inorganic" or "erosion" with a symbol or drawing.
5. I love that the folder (with its foldables) consolidates an entire unit into one neat package. It's easier for students to see how all of the concepts link together.
6. Foldables can be used with every subject!
7. My students actually enjoy working on their foldables! I've seen student engagement increase, test scores improve and ultimately their overall understanding of a concept is much better!
8. It's easy to find information about foldables on-line. Although I often make my own templates there are many available for free. Here's my favorite website to get foldable inspiration and free templates. www.homeschoolshare.com
Here's a foldable you can use - I created this using MS Publisher relatively easily. My next challenge is to ask students to make their own.
If you're looking for more foldables and ideas about how to integrate them into your teaching. Head over to Corkboard Connections for a fantastic linky party about foldables!
Have fun folding!