Thursday, July 22, 2010

Folding Paper

On both Tuesday and Wednesday, after Santiago finished his work, he would go and get paper.  He then constructed some flower from it.  It wasn't until yesterday that I had the light bulb flash.  Santiago might like another challenge.  (I looked online for what this flower looks like, but I've had no luck.)

Several years ago, I covered a 7th grade English/world history core class.  (I mentioned them here.)  They had a unit on Japan, and one of their assignments was to fold an origami crane.  Unfortunately, the instructions were less than helpful, and I was unable to decode them.  Since I returned to that class again and again, I looked to the Internet for help.

I easily found this instruction sheet.  I printed out a copy and tried it.  After that, I saw how hard the instructions the class had were to follow, so I let various students look at my printout.  They easily made the crane from those.

I held onto my printout.  I put it in the folder I keep for emergency fill in activities.  I easily laid my hands on it yesterday.  I was going to give it to Santiago.

The instructional assistant (IA) made copies so that my copy wouldn't get lost.  And then Santiago angered the IA, so she didn't give him the sheet.  (As I feel it my duty to back up the IA in such circumstances, I didn't give it to him either.)

Today was a different day, and when Santiago finished his first morning assignments (with minimum fuss), I gave him the crane instructions.  He was ready to learn a new paper folding trick.

Two other students in the class were interested as well, so I gave them each a copy.

The instructions are very detailed.  They were also a little over the heads of the students.  They needed help.

I'm not sure if they had trouble with all the words, or if they just didn't have the patience to sit and read.  I had to translate everything.  So, I showed them the next step, and then I walked away.  Santiago made a mess of his first attempt, but he made like three or four today, and the last one looked pretty good.  Diego 2 (there are actually two Diegos in the class), made five or six.  Diego 1 (the boy mentioned yesterday) couldn't get through a second attempt.

After this I insisted that certain assignments get completed.  And things went downhill from there.  The less said about the rest of the day, the better.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry the day went downhill. But it sounds like you were thoughtful and gave the children something challenging and fun to do. That's what good teaching is all about.


I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.