Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Popcorn Party - Section 2: Explore


Teaching middle school has many challenges, and a few that I seem to face often are getting unmotivated students to do their work, as well as getting my students to retain skills and information given during instruction. I try to keep this in mind when assigning homework, projects and other work, but while motivated students readily accept the responsibility of completing assignments, there are always some students who don’t.

This is where I am challenged to get through to unmotivated students. Science may not be their forte, so I look for other ways to allow them to excel or draw out their hidden or unknown talents. I always work to get to know and understand my students in the beginning of the year so I can give them the support they need to be successful throughout the school year.

I have noticed that those who seem unmotivated or unable to overcome certain barriers are easily distracted. I decided to change this fast.

Foldables were my answer. Foldables are 3-D interactive graphic tools that help teachers and students organize and master complex information. They are a fun and engaging way for students to create a learning tool for themselves. Paper is folded, stapled or cut in a certain way and information is written inside or outside so that topics can be practiced and learned as the paper is manipulated.

Kinesthetic learners enjoy using foldables because they involve hands-on activity, as opposed to worksheets or pencil-to-paper drills. Visual learners are intrigued as well, usually with graphs and diagrams they draw when creating foldables.

The students create their Foldables under my guidance as I model the construction, which I check before they place them in their science notebooks. Because I often pre-fold, cut, etc and I am also modeling how to create the Foldables under the document camera or in front of the class, students can focus on the content and not the correct way to cut or fold. This saves time and energy for all of us. In addition, the visual creativity that came from Foldable has carried over into other scenarios. I have started receiving colorful, artistic, creative, outstanding notes and projects from students who had rarely turned in completed assignments.

Keep in mind that Foldables work not only for science, but can be used across the curriculum. Students are incorporating reading and writing and are organizing information in ways that will benefit them in any classroom.


Information courtesy of

  Why Foldables?
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Why Foldables?
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Popcorn Party

Unit 7: Chemistry and Cooking
Lesson 3 of 12

Objective: SWBAT compare and contrast three specific ways that heat is transferred: conduction, convection, and radiation.

Big Idea: Cooked foods can be prepared in many ways, but all require some sort of heat. In this lesson, we will learn the methods heat can be transferred to food, as well as everything else!

  Print Lesson
41 teachers like this lesson
Chemistry, Science, cooking instructions, heat transfer, conduction, convection, radiation, foldable
  75 minutes
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