Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 3: But I can't fold with only one arm!

It was Foldable® pandemonium in my classroom today as we finished setting up our math journals and created the field packet* which will be our science notebook for the next nine weeks. Today was the first time the kids got to utilize some of the organizers from the Notebook Foldables®  book. This is one of the books that I have less experience with, since it was only purchased last year. But, one of my goals has been to make my math journals more interactive so I'm planning on trying to use it with a lot more regularity.

Things went fairly well. We added a pocket in the front of the notebook to hold things and only one child glued down the entire pocket which was fairly quickly  noticed and corrected by her tablemates. We also added a 10 tab to our vocabulary section. I was worried they would balk at the space restraints for writing words - but they were actually really excited about it. I made sure to reiterate the, "glue before cutting," mantra and we added our first few words - digit, place, and value. As I said, things went well - with one slight snag...

One of my students didn't show up for the first two days of school. His mom had called in and said that he'd broken his arm, but would be back soon. That should've been a clue for me. There's always one or two kids bouncing around school with a technicolored cast. And I know when I broke my arm in high school, I still played in our varsity soccer games - with my cast wrapped in bubble wrap so that I couldn't hurt people. And even when he walked in the door on Monday with his left arm in a sling-type contraption that pinned his arm to his body with only a hand sticking out - I still held out hope. How many students are left handed - right? Well, in my class there's just one --- the one who can't move his left arm until September. D'oh!

Foldables® work for almost any age or ability level, but I can say with some level of surety now that they do not work if you only have the use of one arm. Even if the child can manage some level of dexterity to do the cutting, they can't hold the paper in place. And (as we say in the South), bless his heart - he tries. But it's definitely a no go. So, in the meantime he's enjoying a good bit of computer time and i've seated him close to one of my Foldable® prodigies. But, it's definitely given me a new perspective. It'll be interesting to see what he's retained come September when all limbs are a go.

Top left -View of front cover of closed field packet
Top right - Open field packet with ten-tab vocabulary Foldable®
Bottom left - Back of field pocket with unit standards
*this is created using a 10x13 mailing envelope - It's my new favorite Foldable® and the kids ADORE it!*

1) Fold mailing envelope in half hamburger style.
2) Shave the edges of the three sides opposite the pocket i.e. cut just enough so they are not connected which will make book "pages."
3) Cut in approximately one inch on the crease on each side of the envelope and then place a rubber band around the middle - file sized ones work best.
4) To add papers to the middle make cut ins on each side as you did with the envelope - but less deep. Burrito the papers to slide them under the rubber band.

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