Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Wonderful World of....Foldables?

I am like my middle schoolers in some sense....there are "cool kids" in the "class" with whom I really, really want to hang out. Go to the mall, braid each other's hair, share secrets....you know? I just haven't quite figured out how to infiltrate their world yet. Obviously, I am talking about foldables. I see teachers who do these elaborate interactive notebooks and I think....those are SO COOL!!! But do I have time for them? Will they be helpful or are they just a bigger waste of time? How do I get a class of 28 to listen to elaborate directions for a foldable without wanting to pull my hair out?

So today, I decided to go over to the cool kids lunch table and sit right down. We tried a (very simple) foldable for slope intercept form in Algebra. My students spent extensive time last year studying the topic, so I'm not dwelling on it for long. A foldable seemed like a good way to re-establish our relationship with good old m & b, then do some practice. Thanks to Sarah at Math=Love for the idea!
The kids LOVED it. To some extent, it was the "anything different than what we normally do is AWESOME" syndrome. But I genuinely think the found it informative and useful.

My geometry class recently finished their own "foldables" project....making pop-up cards using triangle vocabulary. We established what an altitude is and what properties it has without even cracking a textbook. It was a nice transition to a really dense chapter (Euler line project, anyone?).

Came out pretty cute, right?

The turkey card was from a pattern the students followed.  The Easter card was one the student designed on their own, then wrote out directions using chapter vocab.

I've seen tons of foldable ideas, but anyone have any that really hit the ball out of the park for Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry?

Anyone have any tips on how to make and use them most effectively in class?

In the meantime, I'm going to keep creeping on their lunch table. Cool kids, here I come!