kitchen table math, the sequel: my busy day

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

my busy day

Today I learned how to make:

  • a hot dog Foldable
  • a hamburger Foldable

Foldables weren't a new concept to me. I'd been seeing Foldables in the district's new Glencoe math textbooks all year, and of course there was the Folding House Poem Project redkudu managed to squelch at her high school.

Still, I hadn't managed to pick up on the fact that Foldables are so well-entrenched in the edu-world that we have Big Names in Foldables: people who are to Foldables what Lucy Calkins is to personal narratives.

So my friend J. called and filled me in. We hadn't spoken in awhile. She's gone back to school to get her Masters in education, after which she'll teach h.s. math. We were chatting about the general pointlessness of ed school when she mentioned in passing that her husband had told her he didn't want to hear another word about her coursework because he couldn't believe they were paying money to send her to school to learn how to make Foldables.

I perked up.

"Foldables!" I said. "What is it with all these Foldables?"

J. said her class had just had a quiz on accommodating the needs of English language learners. For the quiz they had to select a quotation from their textbook, write it on one of the panels of their Foldable, and then draw an illustration (or two) that elucidated the quotation.

And that was it. A Foldable with a quotation from a textbook and 2 illustrations. After a couple of years of this they will be certified to teach.

She says the point of the program is to prepare them to teach in an urban setting.

visual learning

why lawyers burn out
Independent George re: foldables
your tax dollars at work part 2
my busy day
not your father's formative assessment
remembering key concepts in math with foldables
south of the border
Steve H and palisadesk on foldables
homeschooling convention: no foldables

you may have to hit refresh a couple of times to load these pages:

21st century skills in Singapore
the master plan
horselaughs are heard in Singapore
more horselaughs in Singapore


Dawn said...

It's in homeschooling curriculum to. I bought a copy of a Great Science Adventures book in which the main activity was folding little mini books. Needless to say it got a five-minute scan and then shipped off to someone else.

Anonymous said...

It's in homeschooling curriculum too

Oh, I believe it.

The only thing that homeschoolers might not be able to do is group work.

If you aren't doing exactly the same topics in public school then you might be accused of having a "gap" in your child's education, and if you don't do the same activities, they aren't properly "socialized"

It's all about avoiding gaps and socialization issues.

Anonymous said...

The rigors of ed school assignments are detailed here:

Not sure there are any illustrations of foldables, but the level of intellectual acumen is approximately equivalent.

In today's teacher education program, Power Point has replaced some of the coloring and pasting. Crayola should sue.

Catherine Johnson said...


that link is amazing

Catherine Johnson said...

I don't understand the reference to stipulation errors.

K9Sasha said...

I'm working on my Master's in reading. My poor husband has to regularly hear my laments about how I'm getting stupider by "studying" the stuff they want me to learn.

Catherine Johnson said...

You must fill us in!

K9Sasha said...

Tell you why I get stupider in my Master's classes? Hmm... my current class is a practicum and doesn't have nearly as much useless, stupid, or just plain wrong material as some of my earlier classes, and I've purposefully forgotten as much as possible about my worst class where we learned about stages of reading acquisition, leveled readers, running records, and the three cueing systems. During that quarter I read as much real research about reading as I could because of my frustration with the carp I was reading in the assigned book. The book we used for the class was by Reutzel and Cooter. A good half of the research references in the book had one or both book authors as an author on the research. Reutzel is on the current board of directors of the International Reading Association, and Cooter is editor of The Reading Teacher, the IRA journal for elementary education. I've included links to a couple IRA Position Statements to show where they stand on the teaching of reading (and it's not where I stand), and I've included links to some Kerry Hempenstall articles for a needed antidote to "fuzzy reading."

IRA Position Statement on the role of phonics in teaching reading:

IRA Position Statement on multiple methods of teaching reading:

Kerry Hempenstall on the three cueing system:

A list of Kerry Hempenstalls articles for EdWeek:

booboo said...

A stipulation error is an error that is perfectly coinsistent with the misinformation presented by examples.

For ex, if you teach the concept "fraction" using fractions in which the numerator is always larger than the denominator, and then later show an example in which the numerator is larger and ask, "Is this a fraction," some kids will say No. Because the examples taught them that.

Teaching kids a large set of multiplication by ones only (as the first example of multiplication), teaches (stipulates) that the product is the name of the larger number.

More "authentic" wakawka here...

Catherine Johnson said...


I understand.


(re: stipulation errors)

Jess said...

I've been teaching for a few years and just moved to a new college-prep charter school. I'd never heard of foldables. My new textbook has a foldable to go along with every chapter; when we sat down to plan our science labs for the year, one of my colleagues had listed creating foldables in several units as tentative lab activities. Maybe I haven't done enough research, but I have a hard time understanding what can be accomplished by having students learn to cut and fold paper seventeen different ways, when a simple table could suffice. Furthermore, I've noticed that my new students struggle with filling in data tables and reading information in data tables, which is an essential science skill. I worry that an overabundance of organizers teaches students more about the various types of organizers than the actual skill of organizing.

SteveH said...

It IS ironic. Schools imagine they are preparing kids to think for themselves, but all they do is follow someone else's ideas by rote. The question is whether teachers are allowed to think for themselves.