Let’s be honest. Notes are not fun. They are probably not your favorite thing to give to your students and I highly doubt they top the “favorite things to do in math class” list for them! Notes though, are necessary. Whether you use traditional lecture style notes, fold and flips, etc., you have to get the information to them in some way!
I’m a big supporter of hands on activities in class, even if that means taking a few extra minutes of instruction time (gasp) for things like cutting a few pieces of paper and stapling somethings together. Enter – mini tabbed flip books.
I LOVE these books for quite a few different reasons. First and foremost, they are so versatile. That’s usually my number one reason for loving a resource! You can these in a variety of different formats – complete, scaffolded, blank, etc. There are so many options.
Mini flip books can be completed as part of whole group instruction, partner practice, stations and more!
- Whole group instruction : Have the books prepped as much as possible. Usually you can have each page cut down almost all the way so students will just need to snip off the tabbed sides. Use the books however you see fit. My mini flip books come complete (perfect for students with IEPs), scaffolded (great for regular use) and blank (for those who want to put their own spin on the terminology and examples). Use the books to either introduce new skills, or as as an end of unit/chapter review. The books make perfect little study guides!
- Partner practice : I prefer partner work for the mini books when students are exploring a new chapter/unit. They can either build the books before completing the pages, or complete the pages before the “earn” the right to get the front and back covers as well as the stapler. For partner practice, you can give students the five tabbed pages and either a text or completed set of notes. They work together to search through the text/notes to complete the mini book. This will give them exposure to new information before you officially introduce a new skill to the class. This method also works for end of chapter review!
One of my favorite classroom tools is stations. Having students rotate through stations to complete the flip books gives them the movement of stations with the hands on activity of building the books and the review skills. It’s kind of a win – win – win in my opinion!
- Before starting : Prep the books as much as possible by using a paper cutter to cut down each page. You’ll be able to cut 3 of the 4 sides. Students can easily cut the fourth side (the tab side) at the station.
Think about whether or not you’d like them to have colored front/back covers or blank covers. Blank covers work well when students may finish a station early because they can use any spare minutes to color.
- Station Prep : Get your students ready for the stations by providing them with directions while they are still in a whole group setting. You will also want to pass out the front and back covers, as well as a paper clip (I love mini clothes pins just because they are more fun) so they can collect their book pages as they travel from station to station. You will need to have exactly 5 stations since there are 5 pages in each mini book. Students should NOT have to rotate through the stations in order.
- Station Rotations : As students rotate through each station, they will complete a different page of the mini book. You can choose how you want them to do this. I suggest having a text book, notes or some other resource at each station they can use as a reference (if needed) to help them complete both the notes and example(s) portion of each page. Each station should also have any materials the students will need such as calculators, markers, etc. Since these mini-books are a more engaging way to take notes, I love the idea of letting them use colored markers and/or highlighters to make information stand out.
- Finishing up : When students have completed their final station and final flip book page, it will be time to assemble the books. You can either choose to have them do this at their final station (have a stapler or two there) or have them come back together has a whole group. Since these mini books provide excellent study guides, it is recommended that you go over the correct information with the students either at the end of class or at the beginning of the next class!
Regardless of how you decide to have the students complete the books, storage of the mini books can be an issue for some. Many students are quite forgetful and disorganized so the books can easily get dropped out of a binder or left on a desk. My preferred method of storage is to use a page protector in the front of their binders. If they don’t use binders – consider a greeting card sized envelope glued into their composition books or interactive notebooks. Both of these methods work great for storing fold and flip notes too!
I’m excited for you to try using mini flip books in your classroom if you haven’t already! If you’d like a FREE set to take a look at, you can grab them by providing your name and email address below!