Interactive Foldable Book

I love foldables!

I’ve been a fan of foldables for years – I just love the way so much content can be summarized in one handy location.  Many of my 8th grade Algebra students are visual learners and all of them seem to enjoy the change in pace when we create foldables.

Even though the foldables individually were helpful to students as we created them and used them in each unit, this year we’ve gone one better!  Borrowing an idea from a colleague, we have glued the foldables into a marble notebook as we’ve created them.  We have a table of contents to help keep track of all of these great resources, and students can easily refer back to previous content as needed.  This is hands down my “new favorite thing” I’ve tried this year!  We have many different types of foldables covering key major Algebraic concepts.  The picture on the bottom right shows a foldable for graphing linear equations. 

My favorite foldable so far is one that includes a little bit of paper weaving that then opens into another space.  My students call it the “coolest foldable EVER.”

To create the foldable students need one 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.  In addition, they will need half of another sheet, cut in half.  Start by folding the larger piece in half, and then fold each of those sides in half again (so it likes like an accordion).  Set aside the two smaller pieces for the moment.  

If you hold the big piece so it looks like a W, you will next cut a slot down on the pointy, middle part of the W all the way to the fold.  Make this cut at the half way point length wise, then make two other cuts half way on either side.  This will result in three cuts that divide the paper into fourths.

Fold the paper back out flat and weave one of the smaller pieces over and under the slots on the left hand side.  Then, take the other smaller piece and weave it in the opposite way, under and over the slots on the right hand side.  It should look like a checkerboard.

This is a pretty cool foldable as is, but wait!  There’s more!  If you fold the pointy part of the W back up, you can gently pull those two pieces apart and Voila!!  There’s another “hidden” part to the foldable for recording more info!

My students are usually quite taken with this foldable and will spend some time opening and closing the middle piece to try to figure out exactly how it works.  I’ve used it this year for recording Property Rules and also Exponent Rules.

I’m always looking for cool foldable ideas so if you have some please share!  You can find me on twitter @merryfwilliams or email me at  Happy folding!


About merryfwilliams

High school math teacher and mom of 3 amazing kids. I have a high maintenance husky and am adding a knitting obsession to the juggling routine. @merryfwilliams on Twitter
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27 Responses to Interactive Foldable Book

  1. I Speak Math says:

    This IS beautiful! I can’t wait to try it. Are you coming to TMC? I would love for you to bring a finished one to my Foldables session. 🙂

  2. Great idea! I will share with my college math students and also share link at my math blog if you don’t mind. Thank you!

  3. I Speak Math says:

    I got this in the mail yesterday! It is so beautiful! I can’t believe that you even sent me one so meticulously filled out. You are amazing and thank you again! 🙂

  4. I just made mine and have to admit that I also spent time folding the middle part.:) Thanks for the idea!

  5. Tried this today in class, both classes loved it! Thank you for such a great idea.

  6. Marcy Thayer says:

    Do you have a thought on whether it is better to do the foldables in a composition book (I like the table of contents idea) or use manilla folders (maybe one for each chapter?)…I’m trying to decide how to do it in my 8th grade Algebra classes next fall. Thanks!

    • I really like the composition book! I don’t put everything we do in the book – it’s more like a resource they are building to refer back to. They also have a binder for homework, and for some of the exploration activities we do in class. In our district students go from Algebra 1 -> Geometry -> Algebra 2. I hope I’m building a resource they can use to go back to when they get to Algebra 2 🙂

  7. Mr. Peña says:

    Excellent ideas! I teach 4th grade & see this as a great way to review in ALL subject areas. Thanks for the idea.

  8. Tina Quinonez says:

    What a great idea. I teach 6th grade math. I am definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks! It’s SOOO awesome for math – helps them develop skills in being resourceful too. I love it when I see them whip it out in class to go back and review how to do something (like dividing fractions).

  9. What an awesome foldable! I’m going to be using them with my 7th and 8th graders this year. Everytime I find a cool foldable, I get more and more excited about implementing Interactive Notebooks!

    • I am looking to do more Interactive Notebook kind of things this year but love the foldable book for housing all of the foldables. It’s kind of like a collection of the most important things we do. I’m always on the lookout for cool foldables, and have some new ones I need to blog about!

  10. Sarah says:

    This is great! Do you have happen to have a template to print headings for this foldable? I was playing around with making one, but I havent quite figured it out.

  11. Pingback: Mission #1: My one thing is a foldable book | Dividing By Zero

  12. pagano777 says:

    Than you so much for this! I love folds les too but have never seen one like this!!

  13. Ajar says:

    I am going to try this with little kids tomorrow.. I think it is really great. And they may agree with me.

  14. Stephanie says:

    This is so perfect for exponents. I love it. Can’t wait to use it to review exponents before EOG’s! 🙂

  15. Thank you so much for sharing! Are you putting this into regular spirals or comp. books?

  16. Pingback: Analyzing Claims & Evidence Foldable – All Kinds of Learning Adventures

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