Saturday, September 7, 2013

Motivating Students- One foldable at a time

It's Saturday, which means I actually have time to blog. This is what I miss most about summer, no blogging. I need to organize better and I can still do my favorite link ups, even during the week. I missed them this past week. 

We finished our second week of school. I am absolutely in love with my classes. I actually look forward to work again. It's not all roses and sweet dreams, but it is absolutely the opposite of what my previous two years in middle school have been. 

Since it is Saturday, I am also linking with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Motivation Saturdays. 

I do the same thing six times a day. I have one class that is slightly varied, but I pretty much repeat myself all day. It is taxing. I have to keep it fun. Plus, hello! I teach middle school math! 9 out of 10 people are afraid of math and probably 10 out of 10 people are afraid of middle school. Most people think I am crazy. (I am, but just a little) 

This past week we had Open House and when I met my students' parents, they said things like "They say it's fun" "They like your class" "They say you use a lot of glue". The first two have never been said since I moved to middle school. The last one is absolutely true. 

I honestly believe they feel this way because of our math notebooks. We have had 10 days of school and we are on page 17 of our math journal. 

We are foldable junkies! They love making these things! 

I shared pages 1-9 here. They were resource sheets, stick in the binder and move on. We have used them though. 

The next pages have been interactive

Here's what we have done so far: 
They made the match book divisibility cards in a station. The left side was their warm up the next day. 

 The foldable we made when introducing how to convert improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa.  The inside is below. (do not adjust your eyes, it is blurry. Sorry)
The top of the left side was their warm up the following day. 
The bottom of the left side was their warm up the day after. They had to write complete sentences to explain the process of converting fractions. These writing prompts came from Danielle at Live Love Math. She has a ton and they are sorted by strand. Awesome resource. 
Side note: I bought her entire store this summer. BEST PURCHASE EVER! She teaches what I teach, (well, she did last year), in the state I teach, P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

 One day we made the foldable and took notes on the left side for examples. 
They loved this just because of the colors. 
Seriously, colored paper is a motivator!!!! 

This is how I am doing vocabulary this year. I plan for each unit to be on a different color paper. This unit had 11 words, we used the front and the back and some used two sheets. I like the Frayer model, but I don't like the non example portion. (it's just me). So I adapted it when I was reading about ESL strategies. 
The four sections are picture, definition, word, and sentence. I made them write a complete sentence using the vocabulary word. This was a challenge, but they did pretty well for the first time. 

Get the template by clicking on the picture.
Another side note: I gave my students blank copies for the most part. But for some of my students with "note taking accommodations", I gave them what you see above. I had the word and the definition written for them and they were responsible for drawing a picture and writing a sentence. 

Linking up here too, a little late, but oh well. 

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  1. Wow! Your notebooks look great! I just started using foldables for social studies notebooks, and I love them!

    I'm glad you have great classes this year!

    Enjoy the weekend!

    Fit to be Fourth
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  2. Your notebooks look incredible! I'm so glad you're already off to a great start Elizabeth! (It makes such a difference!) I love that popcorn trick! And, I couldn't agree more about the colored paper! It's changing things up that gets kids excited...colored paper, foldables, post-its, colored pens! Gotta love it! Thanks for sharing and linking up! I can't wait to see more of your notebooks-you've motivated me!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. These foldables look great! My kids are still getting the hang of cutting and listening at the same time, but we will get there!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  4. Thank you for linking up this week at Teaching Blog Addict and offering our follower such a terrific freebie! I love the "Texas Two Step" concept!!
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  5. Hodges-

    Love seeing other teachers Interactive Notebooks and even more when they use a Flippable you've created. I love how you changed up the colors of the Converting Fractions, Decimals and Percents Flippable to make them each stand out. You rocked it!