Effects of Foldables® on teacher instruction.


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Teachers are continuously seeking effective methods for presenting, processing and practicing concepts that they are responsible for teaching. Note taking and graphic organizers, in many forms, are common instructional tools used in the classroom for the delivery of new information. Research suggests that presenting information in a more structured or pictorial form helps students focus on key ideas, easily access information, and stimulate learning. The majority of research on the effects of note taking and graphic organizers has involved the use of traditional outline notes and two-dimensional graphic organizer formats. The specific instructional strategy studied in this research is called a Foldable®, which is a three-dimensional tool that combines note taking and graphic organizer strategies with a kinesthetic integration. An instrumental case study design was used to examine the effects of Foldables® on teachers’ depth of knowledge, planning, and instructional practices. In an effort to closely examine variables, the researcher observed three teacher participants in their classrooms, conducted interviews, reviewed lesson planning data, and collected Foldable® reflections. Using Gagné’s (1985) Conditions of Learning and Bruner’s (1960, 1961) Concept Learning, along with Gagné and Driskoll’s (1988) Learning Outcomes as frameworks, the researcher analyzed the individual teachers’ cases and then conducted a cross-case analysis to identify the effects of Foldables® at the teacher level. Overall, the findings suggest that Foldables® are beneficial to teachers by increasing their depth of knowledge about the standards they are required to teach. Teachers also reported an increased awareness and attention to content-specific vocabulary during their planning process as a result of integrating necessary vocabulary, definitions, and examples into the Foldables® they created. Additionally, Teachers reported feeling more organized during instruction when using Foldables® due to the high level of structure and the breaking down, or task analysis, of standards required when creating Foldables®.



Foldables. Graphic organizers. Note taking. Elementary teachers.