Fast forward to the vision that woke me up...... My brain had been working on the problem while I got what little sleep most of us are used to the first few weeks of school. I saw the perfect foldable in my mind; now, I just had to construct it!
Have you ever tried to design a foldable at 3:30 AM???? It's far more difficult than one might expect! :) I wanted to make sure that my foldable emphasized the fact that multiplication and division are done as we move left to right through the equation and that it is true for addition and subtraction as well. In my mind, I could finally see what it needed to look like, but my brain just couldn't get it onto the paper. Finally, at 4:45.... Success! Here's what it looks like all folded and nice after one of my students constructed it today ....
Notice that the P and the E flaps extend across the foldable, but the M and D share a row, just as the A and S do. I wanted to make sure that students graphically saw this on the foldable. And it worked!
I had students choose a color for writing the "P". They then chose a different color for the "E". They picked a third color that they used for the "M" and the "D" because, as my students said, they share a row. :) The fourth color was used for the "A" and the "D" for the same reason.
After we made the outside of the foldable, we turned to the inside. I wanted the students to label each step and we also worked through a problem together.
Once we finished the right side of our INB (our input side), we turned to the left page (our output).
We worked through a problem together, labeling each step as we went. Students then worked through a couple of problems on their own, underlining each step. Finally, I had the students answer a generalizing question at the bottom of the page.
All in all, this was the smoothest introduction to the order of operations I've ever experienced. Students LOVED the foldable, they LOVED getting to choose the four colors that they would use with intentionality (my word, not theirs :)), and I loved how easily students picked up the idea of doing multiplication and division and then addition and subtraction as they moved from left to right in their expression! :) :) Success!
Here is the elusive foldable pattern I came up with early this morning.....
Just cut out the larger rectangle, cut out the black spaces, and then cut on the dotted lines. Fold the smaller flaps in towards each other and fold the larger flaps across the foldable to the right.
I would love feedback..... If you try the foldable, how did it work for your students? Did you make any changes or modifications that worked well?
Some things I'm wondering.... How can the process be streamlined for my sixth graders (Some of them take forever to cut the foldable and even to write a single sentence!!!) but still keep the educational value intact? What are the "have to haves" or the "have to do's that I need to keep in the lesson so that my students get that innate sense of the steps (especially MD and AS)? Suggestions? Ideas?