Tuesday, July 22, 2014

fLiP BooKs!

Hey there friends!

Have you ever made or used a flip book in your classroom?? What did you use it for and how did you feel about it?

Last school year, I was preparing to teach long division to my third graders, and was super nervous for them about learning and remembering the steps. I wanted them to have something that would show them step-by-step how to solve a problem, with an example problem as well. I didn't want them to see the steps along with the entire problem already, and I knew I wanted it color coded. While talking with my 3rd grade colleague about different ideas we saw on Pinterest, I realized I needed a flip book of sorts. I also knew, though, that it needed to be smaller, more referenced sized rather than the size of a notebook or large on an anchor chart. I wanted them to each have their own..... so that night, I quickly got to work!

Eventually I came up with My Long Division Flip Book.

Each section of the book shows one part of the long division problem. Each section then builds upon the last, so that students aren't overwhelmed looking at the entire problem and trying to go step-by-step that way. When it's assembled (I just used two staples at the top) it looks more like this:

When it's assembled, you can then see only the steps themselves. It provides two different ways to help your students. Some students just need prompted with the steps, others need to see how to complete each step. Either way, it gives them a little more independence when they are working so YOU don't have to take them step-by-step, they can try on their own! 
I used the black and white template in my classroom because it was easier for copying and printing. I then had a pre-made color version for myself. When I introduced the book, I let the students color the cover and write their name to make it their own. We then went through each step and they color coded it to be EXACTLY like mine. I liked doing it this way (rather than just handing them a version already in color) because they went through each step completely and thoroughly with me. They reaallly had to pay attention too, in order to color each number or letter(s) I told them. I made them use the same colors I used in the color version for two reasons: a. so that their final version matched mine and b. so that it would match the anchor chart we had previously made. I used those same colors to demonstrate a problem to hang in the classroom for another reference point. This made everything cohesive while working through this tough concept. 
Eventually, some students didn't need to use the books anymore. Others needed to just have it out on their desk, in case. Some students who were struggling, used it often and flipped through it frequently. It was a great tool that became differentiated the more we worked on this skill.

Sooo....you may be wondering.... why am I blogging about a skill taught later on in the school year!?!? Well, for one thing, it's never to early to be prepared! Another thing... you might teach it earlier in the year than I do, especially to gifted students. Another reason, it would be a GREAT resource for review at the beginning of 4th grade. It would also be a great RTI tool for older students still struggling. No matter when/how you use it, it can be a GREAT way to help your students. I definitely saw success from my students and feel that it was because of this tool.

The other night I was laying in bed thinking about other TpT products to work on (as I usually do because once I go to bed I don't seem to be tired anymore). My brain went to other flip book ideas and then it dawned on me...why not make an editable, blank template!? That way, you can make a flip book for EXACTLY what you and your students need! Everything about the booklet is already set up for you, so you don't have to worry about making the pages the right size in order to line up okay. You can just add in the text boxes, select YOUR font choice, and add in clip art if you want. Then print, and go! You can make it colorful or leave it black and white, and you can make AS MANY AS YOU WANT!

You can check out all of my flip books here in my TpT store... more to come soon!

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