I discussed a particular folding graphic organizer – a 4 Door Book previously, and I would love to share a couple more interactive graphic organizers that allow students to collect information in a kinesthetic way. I used these a LOT during my first year of teaching because I found that eighth grade earth science required students to retain a significant amount of information and vocabulary. I admit, I used them to give notes. Lots and lots of notes…
As I continued teaching, I learned to utilize folding graphic organizers a bit differently. My AHA! moment came when I realized that students were perfectly capable of using the foldable to find their own information instead of me feeding all of the information to them. This is where the formative assessment piece comes in to play. During the work period, circulating and checking in with students allowed me to give instant feedback. These graphic organizers were easy to collect and quickly analyze – look at one or two important sections! I allowed students to modify and add to their foldables the next day based on my feedback to clarify targeted learning objectives, so everyone had accurate information to use and study.
Check out two of my favorite folding graphic organizers below!
One of my favorites is the Frayer Model. I love the way this foldable could be 2D or 3D – I prefer the 3D version with the flaps shown in the picture below! To make the 3D version, start with a 8.5″ x 8.5″ square, then fold all four points to the middle. Fold back a small triangle using each point in the center, and you have your Frayer Model! Students can use different labels than the ones pictured, but these were the four I typically used: Definition, Draw a Picture, Examples, and Non-examples.
MULTI-TAB VOCABULARY BOOK
Another favorite that I utilized quite often for vocabulary is the multi-tab book. The greatest part of using this graphic organizer is your ability to change the number of tabs as needed! Since I utilized interactive notebooks in my classroom, we were able to make the “top” of the book with the tabs and use the notebook as the “back”, which saved paper because each student needed just half. These tabbed books can also be made by folding a standard sheet of paper in half and cutting just the top half into tabs. Here is a great instructional guide and visual – see Page 2!
Do you see how a teacher could easily gather formative assessment data using these foldables? I could glance inside the necessary tabs and make adjustments to my lessons. How do you use foldables as tools in your classroom?