Friday, August 17, 2012

Foldables vs Graphic Organizers

On Tuesday, I attended the online presentation Julie did on using foldables in our interactive notebooks. I liked the variety of foldables Julie showed us and I think they would be fun for my students. I appreciated the fact that the foldables would be useful in helping my students process new content and that my students could use them to practice and to study for assessments.

Earlier, I had gone through some of my old math lab materials, looking for some things to send to someone who is teaching a Math Lab this year. I found a whole set of graphic organizers/guided notes I use with my lab students. They really like them because it makes the content fairly explicit and helps them to make connections they might not otherwise make.  I pulled out one on the angle relationships created when a transversal crosses a set of parallel lines (I've used it for years and don't know where I got it; if it's yours, let me know and I'll cite you).  It looks like this:
Transversals Guided Notes

And here's what it looked like when filled in (after some hands-on activities and practice) and glued into our notebooks.
Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with this: it pulls all the important content onto one handy page and helps my normally scattered students focus their thinking and pull together connections they've made along the way. However, I thought it might be more useful for my students if I turned it into a foldable. So, here it is.... my first foldable! :)
I designed it so that after students take notes on it, it can be folded and opened up a variety of ways so they can us it to study for assessments. On the left, examples of each angle pair relationship is colored in. On the right, students describe the relationship as congruent or supplementary, and in the middle, students write out the relationships.

When opened like this, students see the same of the relationship and they can see if it is supplementary or congruent. Facing that page is a blank diagram so they can practice finding the angle pairs.

After they name the angle pair, they open that flap to see if they were correct. I like this; it gives them immediate feedback.
All folded up, ready to be taped into their notebooks.
While I really like using graphic organizers and guided note forms, I think this foldable is a much more valuable tool for my students. I like how interactive it is and I can think of tons of ways students could use it in class after they use it to take notes on.

Since this was my first foldable and I'm still learning (Julie-you forgot to tell us how looooooong it takes to get everything organized and lined up just right! :)),  I would love feedback. Where could I improve on the design? Would there be a better placement of information so that it would be even more useful to our students? And - for those of you who are farther along on this journey than I am - do you have any hints for streamlining the process?

Here's the front....
Transversals 2
Here's the back...
Transversals 1


  1. I LOVE the top tab, "Angle Pair Relationship" that you added! I have not seen that before and it is brilliant! It will get easier, but if you are a perfectionist like many of us teachers, it probably will still take forever. The math wiki has many foldables on Word docs that you can download and delete the words so you'll have a template to start with. That will save some time. I love this template though!

    1. Thank you! And thanks for the inspiration!

  2. this is great! thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Thanks! I was amazed to go to Twitter and see that you had planned out all the stations ... they are the perfect set of tasks to engage students with the content. I see my foldable as a perfect follow-up (as a way to cement their learning)to your activities. I guess great minds think alike!! :) :)

  3. LOVE this idea! I think I'm going to trash the guided notes I already have for this. I have been doing foldables with my kids for the past 2 years, but I have never pre-printed on them--although I think it's easier and probably a little faster in the classroom, I like that it is low-prep for me and it requires the students to pay close attention to detail and direction.

  4. Good stuff, fellow Oregonian! I wonder about the inclusion of vertical angles and linear pairs here. I get how convenient it is, as they sort of "complete the set", but I always try to emphasize with my students that VA and LP only require one intersection--no parallel lines, etc.--whereas the other pairs *always involve one angle from each of the two intersections.

    This is connected, in my teaching, to the way to tell what kind of relationship a pair of angles has in a diagram with more than three lines. "If the two angles are at different intersections, do they have a pair of sides on the same line? If so, that's the transversal. If not, they aren't one of our special angle pairs." And so on.

    Back to my first thought, I wonder if something as simple as a solid line (or something prettier if you like) across the center of the page between SSEA and VA would do the trick. Then you've got a nice opportunity to ask, "Why is there a line separating the four angle pair types above from the two below?"

  5. Love and would love to use in my classroom! I noticed when I followed the links that the documents are set to private and not available to me. Any chance you would be willing to share your hard work?

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your foldable. I am definately going to use this with my classes.

  7. I love this :) Some of my kids this year liked adding descriptions to the middle, so I made this one for google classroom (not cut so I can photocopy it for the kids who were absent)

    photo of it: