Third Grade Classrooms and Foldables

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Good educators, especially in the lower levels of education, are always looking for effective ways to improve students’ learning and interest in subjects that may not be as appealing. Any activity that promotes reading and encourages critical thinking is especially valued by teachers (Angus, 1993). One of the key developments promoted by Zike is the use of Foldables in the classroom (2007). These are three-dimensional hands-on manipulative/graphic organizers. Foldables can quickly organize, display and arrange data making it easier for students to grasp concepts, theories, processes, facts, and ideas, or to sequence events as outlined in the content standards. They can result in student-made study guides that are compiled as students listen for main ideas, read for main ideas, or conduct research (Zike, 2007). This study examined the use of Foldables to promote the reading and retention of social studies information with third grade students and to enhance their attitude toward social studies (Zike, 2007). It was hypothesized that Foldables do have a positive influence on learning in the classroom, more so than using the standard lecture/worksheet technique. Specifically, comparisons on cognitive and affective assessment measures were made between those taught using Foldables and those taught using lecture with worksheets. The Experiments

This study took place in an elementary school in a rural community in East Tennessee. Manufacturing and retail are the major area employers and residents are in the low to middle income level. One out of 11 elementary schools in the county was selected for this study, based on convenience (Casteel, 2006). The K-5 school where the study took place had 625 students enrolled, with over 95% being white students. Of those 625 students, 63% receiving free or reduced lunch, which gives an idea about the income status of the family (Casteel, 2006). Out of five third grade classrooms, three were...
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