Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 8: Foldable® Frayers for Math Vocabulary

The Frayer and I have had a love-hate relationship. The hate part happened when I taught summer school and had to make 2-4 chart sized demonstration models on a daily basis. I hate charts. My handwriting is not the best and I'm left handed. So, despite my best efforts I often smear everything. Plus, we had to move through them so quickly that the kids barely had time to get everything down - let alone remember and understand it.

That being said, I think they're a great way to   investigate vocabulary - particularly in math. I always loved the part about non-examples. I know that some people really hate the non-example section and find it frustrating to include something that doesn't explain as part of an explanation. But for me, it has always been a helpful tool - a kind of "show me what NOT to do." 

In the past I've included Frayer models when introducing prime and composite numbers. But this year, as I planned the lesson for those concepts I thought about whether or not I could make the Frayer into a Foldable® to make it more interactive. And when I looked at it, at first I thought - 4 door shutterfold. Then I had a better idea - an envelope fold with the middle cut out to show the word.

You need to start with a square piece of paper. I would suggest folding it into quarters first (although you really don't have to). Then you fold each corner into the center. The kids will recognize this because it's the first step in making "fortune tellers." After you fold all of the corners in - unfold them and then refold the papers into quarters. If you snip off the loose corners, when you fold it back into the envelope it will leave a space in the middle that is perfect for your vocabulary word. Then each of the four triangles become places to put: definition, characteristics, examples, and non-examples. 

So, today our Frayers were Foldables®. And I have to say that the students were much less reluctant about it then when I've done simply the models in the past. What I really like is that doing the model this way gives space to go back and add more ideas as needed. I have a feeling that these Foldable® math Frayers may be making a debut in Language Arts in my class sometime soon perhaps as part of our spelling and vocabulary...hmmm....something to think about.


  1. I like this idea! I'm one of those who is a bit hesitant about the whole "non-examples" part of a Frayer model. For some things, I get it. For others, not so much. I do like the idea of making this into a foldable and a little bit more meaningful. Great idea!

  2. This was actually a big hit at the training yesterday. You could always change the non-examples part too. I know when I did summer school math, we had a Frayer that had WAY more than 4 sections. If you use it for math, some you could use some of those instead. A few of them were (as I recall): picture (model), word problem using the word, and related words.I think I've got the template for it somewhere if you want.