Friday, April 20, 2012

Following Directions with Oragami

Hopping Frog and Star Box
We all write goals for basic concepts and following directions, but there are only so many lines we can draw, pigs we can move and coloring direction sheets.  I saw this idea online somewhere and was so excited to have something fun and different to do.  This was such a hit with my students, I thought I'd share it with all of you!

Before actually giving directions for the oragami, I explain the different folds to my students.  Origami is a really different skill than most of my students have, and while the activity is challenging, I didn't want it to be impossible.  I give the directions one step at a time to the group.   I've found that patterns that are more than 8 or 10 steps long are typically too long for a group of 3-4 students to complete in a 20-30 minute speech session. 

I always make sure that I can fold any pattern relatively easily before trying to give directions to my students.  If I can't explain it clearly, I can't expect my kids to be able to follow the direction. 

Origami is a great way to practice many math and geometry concepts (half, diagonally, triangle).  The activity can be paired with the introduction of these concepts in the classroom or used to review some of these terms before the state standardized testing.

Where did I get the patterns?

There are tons of free origami patterns online.  My favorite site is Origami Fun.  It has a lot of great PDF patterns that are one to two pages long.  There are also lots of books available either for purchase or at the local library.  If you are new to Origami, there are tons of videos on You-Tube to walk you through specific patterns (Jumping Frog) or basic folds.

 Where did I get the paper?

For the paper I cut some legal sized paper down to size.  On the free table by the office at the beginning of the school year I found a ream of blue legal sized paper.  I've been using it for lots of things, and it has been perfect for origami paper.  I cut a square off the end for the majority of the possible projects and then have a rectangle left over for the hopping frogs.  My handy-dandy paper cutter was made for scrapbooking, but I find it absolutely indispensable when making my materials.  (I use it for quickly cutting down all printables down to size).

I've been looking for small scrapbooking squares to use for some Origami sessions for added fun and color. 

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