Teachers always look for inventive ways to get students to remember their math lessons. One unique way is to use foldables. Not unlike origami or kiriami (the use of scissors in an origami project), foldables entail folding and in some cases, cutting, a piece of paper into a particular shape. Students then write math facts on them to use as a study guide. It is a fun, practical, and tactile way to help students to learn.

Foldables can be made in all shapes and sizes. Try using different ones depending upon what lesson you are teaching. For instance, tri-fold, diamond-octagon and the volcano shape are all clever designs that spark creativity and allow students to take pride in their work. Use foldables to show cause and effect, compare and contrast, and also Venn diagrams.

Ever wonder what the difference is between the distributive, commutative and associative properties without looking it up? Use a foldable to make it easier to remember. Students can show the steps used to solve various math problems using a 4-fold foldable. Other math concepts that work well with foldables include how to do computations using decimals. Mean, median and mode also work well in foldables, and so does geometry. Quick and easy, these foldables make a perfect reference guide to use while studying for a test. Students can also integrate literacy into these by incorporating word problems they create on their own.

Some foldables can be made that include a positive message that the student reveals after each time they answer a question in the foldable correctly. These might say, “Good job,” “Well done,” or any other saying you feel is appropriate to show positive reinforcement. Students will appreciate this as it takes a personal approach to their learning.

No need to bore your students with a dull lesson where you simply stand up at the front of the room and teach at the board. Incorporate some foldables into your lesson plan and watch your students’ imaginations run free. With so many foldable designs from which to choose, the hardest part will be deciding which one to do first!

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