Tried something new today. We’ve been using foldables periodically this year and I had one set up for the first quadrant unit circle. Together, we developed, discussed and connected key ideas around the unit circle with radians. I then handed out the foldable and my students worked in groups to complete the pieces of the foldable. This gave me a chance to walk around to the different groups, check in about their understanding and make the experience more personalized. I could clear up questions they had, focus and add detail to their responses and identify misconceptions. I’m impressed with how the kids dove into the activity. What have you tried lately to give kids more voice and autonomy in the classroom?
We are nearing the end of our initial study of the Least Squares Regression Line, fondly called the LSRL. So it’s time, once again to pull out the foldable and pull all of the vocabulary, concepts and processes together.
I like using foldables in a variety of ways: introduce new ideas, summarize an exploration, review, etc. Since I have been pushing to go “paperless” in my classes, I’m struggling with how and when to use them in class. I’ve toyed with using a composition book which contains just foldables although this seems to defeat the purpose of having notes, etc available on the iPad via Notability. Hmmm, just have to keep thinking about it until I (or maybe you the reader) think of a way to merge a paperless class and the benefits of a foldable. Any ideas?
Yesterday in AP Statistics, I introduced the Empirical Rule: 68-95-99.7 rule using a great foldable (see yesterday’s post). Today we looked at how to use the Nspire to determine areas and z-scores when we can’t use the rule. So we added to the front of the foldable the calculator commands. Also used color to emphasize the elements that go into the commands. How do you use color to emphasize critical details for your students?
Today, we did a Normal distribution foldable in my AP Stats class covering the Normal curve including the Empirical Rule. There are so many foldables for the core classes: Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2, but very sparse for the upper level classes. So, I try to develop at least one foldable per chapter to cover critical content and most of my students do find them helpful – yay! It is really interesting to me what spatial abilities (or lack of) my students have; it was hard for many of them to figure out how to fold out the area portions and then glue into their notebooks…a new learning in and of itself, huh? Part of the foldable covered the standard normal curve and many of the characteristics and for the students having had Calculus, they got the equation for the standard Normal curve.
I love foldables!! If you haven’t explored this hands-on, learning strategy, you should. Although most resources for math foldables online revolve around core course topics (Algebra 1, Geometry and some Algebra 2), many subject areas use foldables and interactive notebooks as a means for students to explore new ideas, creatively interact with new ideas and as a way for students to process the information presented in class. In the past, students have struggled with the idea of discontinuous functions and continuity at a point. So I put together a 4-flap foldable for continuous at a point calculus definition (in precalc introduction form) and another 4-flap foldable highlighting discontinuous functions. We looked at an example of the discontinuous function type and discussed which condition of a function being continuous at a point was violated. Then the students glue the foldable in their notes.
Last year in my Precalculus course, I decided I needed to really emphasize the 8 Practices as a way to approach unfamiliar and,to students, “scary” problems. This year I used a problem I call the Crop Duster problem based on a problem I found online at the University of Washington Math 120 Precalculus site…they actually share their textbook (written by David Collingwood) and it has some really cool (a.k.a rich) problems. I introduced the math practices through a foldable by having the students in groups of four read two of the eight practices to themselves, and then summarize to their group.
Then we focused on “making sense of the problem” and “looking for structures” by having the information and the diagram available to students, but no questions. Students were asked to generate a list of what they knew and what concepts from previous courses might apply to the problem (since we really didn’t know what the question was yet). Love how the student embrace a tough problem easily when there is no question to distract them!! How do you introduce the CCSS math practices to your students
One of the hardest things for me to do is learn my students’ names. I eventually do, but I’m just not good at it. So a couple of years ago, I was surfing the web via Pinterest and came across foldables as a way to engage students in key ideas using visual and tactile strategies. And during my journey I found a Name Tag Foldable over at Purple Pronto Pups blogspot. I used the ideas and have expanded to include both an opener question (usually a math problem that is a prereq for what we’ll do that day, a check to see if a skill learned earlier is still intact, a practice of a recently learned new skill, etc.) and an exit question (usually a more personal check about the students’ progress).
So this year, I decided to use the 4-flap idea with the openers on the outside flap and the exit slips on the inside. In my Precalculus class the openers for this week were : draw a sketch or icon that represents your summer, what would be your theme song and why, what activities are you involved in, solve the equation 3-2|2k-1|>-31. Exit slips included: ask any question or comment, 3-2-1 format (3 key things about today, 2 questions, and 1 connection to previous learning), tweet about today and rate your understanding of the Prerequisite and Review of Algebra 2 problems so far. Each night I read and commented on their submission. Next week, they will continue to post their name tag so I can (hopefully) learn their names. What do you do to learn your students’ names quickly?