Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 2: I fought the Top Tab and the Top Tab won

I'll be the first to admit that I am NOT good at cutting more than one piece of paper at once. It seems like a small (and perhaps stupid) thing to worry about, but as a teacher who is frequently needing many many multiples of things, it is quite frustrating at times. I marvel at people who can cut out 4 hearts at once or letters or even cut multiple pieces of paper in half! I have to do it one at at time or mine, without fail, end up crooked or deformed in some way. And as someone who is very much a perfectionist with just a little bit of OCD if I'm truthful - that just doesn't (forgive the pun) cut it. I'd like to tell you that I'm better at it with the paper cutter - but it just isn't true. And I'd like to blame it on the fact that I have small hands, but I'm fairly sure it's just one of those things that I'm simply bad at.

I remember when I was taught the Top Tab at the academy that our teacher told us that it was a more difficult fold and would be the kind of thing that might be better to use with the class at the end of the year. And I know she was right. But, on the first day when I talked to the kids about how we were going to be doing a lot of folding this year I brought out my academy sample (which I must say I actually did a pretty darn good job on) to show them what they were going to be able to do by the end of the year. So, later that afternoon it was still sitting on my whiteboard and as I stared at it I thought, "This would be perfect to use for our Spelling program!" There were 9 tabs on the example which would give the kids one page front and back for every week. Plus, the half page size could be conveniently tucked in a notebook.

I decided to make one to try it out. I got out my book and reviewed what to do and was able (although not nearly as neatly - perhaps the academy scissors magically aided my cutting last time) to make a Top Tab. But, I did realize that to have the kids make one at this point would probably be too much. I still think I'm going to do it though. I think I'll just go ahead and assemble them and let the kids use them.

That should've been the end of it, but as I looked at the examples in the book, I noticed one where the tabs went all the way around the book. I know I don't need that many tabs, but I decided to try to make one anyhow. A pile of paper later and I was about ready to stab myself in the eye with my scissors. My cuts kept getting messier and my book kept looking more and more unlike the picture.

I kind of have an idea about what I'm doing wrong, but I'm not exactly sure how to get around it. The current score is Top Tab 1, me 0. Maybe I'm more like the kids than I thought. It will be good practice for me to make that class set and then maybe I'll tackle the one that goes all the way around. Until then, I'm using a post-it to cover up the picture of it in the book.

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