Fall 2016

ATPE News is the official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the largest educator association in Texas. The magazine addresses the most important issues affecting public education in the state. Learn more at

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Page 19 of 43

t's Tuesday morning, and a sec- ond-grade class is exploring the water cycle. Students are using the exact same materials but working at different levels of support, challenge, and com- plexity. Several students are creating a product to help them remember vocabulary words. Another group is crafting a model of how the water cycle works. Other groups are producing public service announcements addressing water issues. The teacher has organized all of these activities with- out having to create any extra materials. How is this possible? Foldables to the rescue! A Foldable is simply a piece of paper that is manipulated into a visual presentation for learn- ing. Foldables help students take complicated ideas and break them down into manageable chunks. This helps students stay actively engaged in the learning process and retain the information better. Students enjoy making Foldables because they have a choice in what they create, unlike when a teacher assigns a standardized worksheet. Because they give students an opportunity to show their creativity, Foldables often become treasured pieces to look back on for review. Students will be proud to share their finished products with friends. How can you use Foldables in your classroom? Here are a few tips: • Foldables can be used in all subject areas and grade levels. See page 23 and ATPE's Pinterest page for ideas. • Practice the folds several times before teaching the folds to your students. Use phrases such as "corner to corner," "lining the sides up," and "creasing the line." • Explicitly demonstrate the procedures for sev- eral folds at the beginning of the year. Make sure students are capable of designing and constructing Foldables on their own. • Teach your students the basic folds, such as hamburger, hotdog, shutter, and taco fold (see page 22). You can use those basic folds to cre- ate matchbooks, pocketbooks, or vocabulary books. • As you are planning your lesson, think about the different parts of a concept. If there are three focus points, make a three-tabbed foldable. Developing materials that meet the needs of a diverse group of students can be challenging, but allowing students to create their own product of learning results in more buy-in from students and less work for teachers. So what are you waiting for? Get folding! Unique graphic organizers provide opportunity for differentiation and creativity IN THE CLASSROOM 20 ATPE NEWS BY WENDY MORGAN, SECOND-GRADE TEACHER, ABILENE ISD

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