Friday, July 14, 2017

Double Lapbooks (& More!)

Hello! Thanks for swinging by for Week #3 of the Undercover Classroom Summer Fold-a-thon! If you like to use foldable tools with your students, then you are in the right spot! Check back every Friday through August 4th for a new project. If you are new to folding in the classroom, welcome aboard! Folding is an easy way to spice up your teaching! If you are late to the Fold-a-thon party, no worries! You can learn some easy to fold mini-books here, and become a master at envelope books here.

Learn how to make a double lapbook, plus some other variations on the standard lapbook.
Now for our next topic. . .lapbooks! I absolutely LOVE to use lapbooks in my classroom. A lapbook is basically a folded file folder that is used to make a collection of information about a single topic. A few years ago, I made a video about my love for lapbooks. You can watch that video here if you would like. :-)

I personally enjoy teaching with lapbooks because they are engaging to my students. Additionally, lapbooks have enabled me to consolidate the units that I teach. Instead of sending home many loose papers throughout a unit of study, my students are able to make a collection of information in one central location. The lapbook can be used as a reference tool or study guide when the unit is complete.

A single lapbook is easy to fold and works well for most topics, but sometimes a little extra space is needed. On such an occasion, you may need a double lapbook!

To make a double lapbook, begin by making a single lapbook. Open a file folder on a flat surface and fold in the left side until it meets the center fold.

Then fold in the other side until the two edges meet in the middle. I always tell my students to match it up like a puzzle.

Repeat the process with a second file folder.

Please note that I used two different colors for demonstration purposes only. It is easier to understand the pictures this way. I actually prefer the look of a single color double lapbook. Of course, you can make it any way you like!

Take one of your single lapbooks and fold back on the mid-line to make a "w" shape like this.

You are about to attach that "w" shaped lapbook to the top of the other lapbook. Squeeze some glue on the front, right side of the flat lapbook.

Line up the left side of the "w" with the glued section of the flat lapbook.

Press and seal. Wipe off any excess glue that seeps out the sides.

Now it will look like this. Give it some time to dry.

Learn how to make a double lapbook, plus some other variations on the standard lapbook.

Close it up to see the cover of your lapbook. Sometimes the tabs will match up differently in the front, depending on the original location of your file folder tabs (top, middle, bottom), and the way you glue it together. It works in any direction, so try not to fuss about the location of the tabs.

The double lapbook has many nooks and crannies. It will give you lots of space for a very thorough unit with lots of information. If you need even more space and are feeling really wild and crazy, try a triple lapbook!

To make a triple lapbook, you just add a third "w" shaped lapbook to the other side of your double lapbook. Go ahead and fold a third lapbook. Squeeze some glue on the other side of your double lapbook.

Line up the right side of the third lapbook with the glued section of the flat lapbook. Press and seal. Wipe off any excess glue that seeps out the sides.

Learn how to make a double lapbook, plus some other variations on the standard lapbook.

There you have it! It's a triple lapbook with a boat load of space!

Learn how to make a triple lapbook, plus some other variations on the standard lapbook.

Of course, there are always those times when you just have a little bit of information to collect. For small topics, try out a half lapbook!

It is so easy to cut a lapbook in half. A paper cutter is very helpful in this case, but scissors will also do the job.

Then you get two for the price of one. What a bargain!

Here are some examples of double lapbooks that I use in my own classroom. Both of these lapbooks last for an entire school year. My students add a new piece every time a new skill is introduced. Click each image for more information.

And that's a wrap for Week #3 of the Undercover Classroom Summer Fold-a-thon! Come back and visit again next week with some paper lunch bags in hand. See you then for some more folding fun!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Easy Fold Envelope Books

Hello! Welcome to Week #2 of the Undercover Classroom Summer Fold-a-thon! If you missed the first post about mini-books you can fold in a jiffy, be sure to get caught up here. Today, I would like to show you one of my all-time favorite books to make with students. . .envelope books!

I actually use two different types of envelope books with my students. This post will focus on the type that is made with one, large envelope. I usually use the 10 inch by 13 inch envelopes, but any large, top-folding envelope will work. You can see from the picture that the 6 inch by 9 inch envelopes fold into a smaller version of the book that might be better for some projects.

This type of envelope book works well for topics that can be divided into five or six sections. One especially nice feature of this book is that it has a pocket inside that is perfect for flash cards or other small pieces. I like to call it a secret pocket. :-) The folded book will have six sides and one pocket. I use one side for the title/cover. Then, there are five other sides to write on, plus the pocket for storage.

The following pictures will explain it best, so grab yourself one large envelope, a pair of scissors, and a bottle of glue. Let's fold one together!

First, cut a thin strip off both sides of the envelope. Basically, you want to cut off the fold line on each side.

Once the strips are removed, you will be able to open the envelope flat like this.

Fold the right side in until it meets the folded line. You are about to make the pocket.

Open it back up and squeeze a thin line of glue on each side as shown.

Then fold it back over.

Press and seal the glue lines to secure the pocket. This will need to dry before using the pocket, but you can keep on folding.

Now, on the other side, fold the envelope flap out of the way temporarily.

Fold that side of the envelope in until it meets the fold line.

Turn it around so the pocket is on the left side like this.

Finally, starting on the left side, fold over twice until you have your envelope book!

Add a title.

Then add headings for each section. Your students can take notes and draw pictures under the headings.

You can insert cards or other pieces into the pocket once it is dry.

If you want to get fancy, you can cut and paste diagrams, charts, graphs, you name it! Here's an example of one that I use in my classroom. Click the image to see other envelope books.

Thanks for stopping by! The Undercover Classroom Fold-a-thon will run through August 4th, with a new post each Friday. Be sure to check back again next Friday for some more foldable ideas for your classroom. Bring a few file folders next time so we can explore a variation (or two) on lapbooks. See you then! :-)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Easy Fold Mini Books

Learn how to fold two mini books with your students that require minimal materials and prep work.

Hello! Welcome to the Undercover Classroom Fold-a-thon! I'm so happy that you are here! If you like to make and use foldable tools in your classroom, then you are in the right place! This blog series will consist of six posts. Be sure to check back for a new foldable idea every Friday through August 4th. Enjoy!

I have been using foldable tools in my classroom for more than 20 years. I must confess that my obsession with folding paper probably started with childhood note passing in the '80's. Back then, text messaging looked more like this. :-)

Modern graphic technologies have made foldable resources much easier and even more user friendly in the classroom, with pre-printed fold lines and words. Sometimes, however, I still just grab some plain old paper for a quick tool when I want my students to take notes. It is a great way to boost student engagement for any topic.

Cutting and folding is good for kids! I do often worry that in this digital age, cutting and folding will become a lost art. It is actually kind of scary to think about what might happen to fine motor skills in general when pencils, scissors, crayons, and glue sticks are replaced by computers. For this reason, I am on a personal mission to keep folding alive, at least in my own classroom and perhaps yours, too!

Today, I would like to kick off the series with two very simple mini books that you can make with students in a jiffy.

The no-cut layered book is a perfect tool for outlining a topic that has about five to seven distinct parts. Of course, you can increase the number of layers by adding more pages, but the sections will get shorter with each layer that you add. This book is super easy to make. Basically, you just stack and fold!

For this layered book, I used three pieces of paper to make a book with six layers. Start by holding the three pieces of paper in a stack.

Then, carefully spread out the papers so they are situated about an inch apart.

Keeping the papers lined up, bend the stack forward.

Match it up and fold where the layers meet, spacing the middle layers about an inch apart.

Then, staple across the top, and you are ready to go!

Fill your pages any way you like! In this example, I used the top layer as a cover and then filled the other five layers with story summary prompts. Think about the curriculum that you teach. Can you think of any topics that could be divided into five parts? The possibilities are endless.

This next mini booklet is made from one single sheet of paper, and it does not require any staples. It may look complicated at first, but it is actually really easy once you understand the cuts and folds. My third grade students can make these without any difficulty.

Start with one sheet of paper. Hold it horizontally.

Fold it in half to the left.

Then fold it in half again, this time folding up.

Open the paper back up and you will see four parts. Cut all the way across the long, horizontal fold. Then you will have two long pieces, each with a fold in the middle.

On the bottom piece, cut a slit on the top and bottom of the fold that is about one inch in length on each side.

Then, fold the other (top) piece in half on the fold. Along the fold line, cut and remove a thin strip of the fold as shown. Leave about an inch of the uncut fold at the top and bottom.

Now you will join the two pieces. Open the top piece as shown. Gently roll up the bottom piece like a hot dog roll.

Insert the rolled paper into the open slit.

Once it is half way through, the slits will pop into place at the fold. Carefully unroll the paper.

Close it up on the fold line and you will have a four-page booklet. If you use every side, there are enough parts for a cover, plus seven sections. Here's an example. Again, there are so many possibilities.

I hope you will take out some paper and give these a try. Go ahead and get your fold on! Make each book one time and you will likely remember them for life. They are very handy in the classroom and can be made with minimal materials and prep work.

Stay tuned next Friday for an interesting foldable tool made from a large envelope. If you happen to pass a dollar store in your travels this week, pick up some 10 inch by 13 inch envelopes (or something similar). See you soon!