It only took the first 6 weeks of school for me to get in a groove comfortable enough to spend a little time blogging. But I'm back and ready to blog! Earlier today, I asked my Facebook followers what you were most interested in reading about and this is the topic you chose! I'm actually really excited about it because I love lapbooks and the versatility they can bring to your lesson planning.
I prefer to use manila folders, but I know that the cost can add up quickly depending on how many times you use lapbooks per year. You can cover the same exact information in a research project or note taking that you can with a lapbook, except a lapbook is great for having students give presentations to the class. Lapbooks can, also, be used to create bulletin boards or special, holiday gifts for parents.
To give you a better explanation of the difference between a "regular" unit study and a lapbook unit study, I want to show you picture examples of both. I'm going to use my States and Capitals Research Project paper version and lapbook version to show you how the same information can be displayed in the vanilla way or the exciting strawberry-banana way.
Putting the lapbook together can be done in many ways, but for the most part, a template is given to the students. I always make sure that I have a completely finished lapbook as a sample to show to my class. This gives them an expectation to meet, as well as a tangible guide.
Do you see the difference?
Not only do us teachers have barely enough (if ever enough) time to teach everything we are supposed to in the time frame we are given, we have loads of paperwork, meetings, professional development sessions, and lesson planning to handle. We get 28 minute lunch periods after you take away the time it takes to walk to and from the cafeteria. If we're lucky we get a 2 minute pee break and a planning period. Now we are supposed to make learning FUN!? What does that work even mean, am I right?
All jokes aside, lapbooks are educational fun. They spice up the monotonous lectures and tediousness of scripted lessons. Lapbooks are fun for the kids, too! We all know how much fun it is to sit through 7-hour professional development sessions. Sometimes the 45-minute faculty meetings seem to last forever. Imagine how it might be for our students. Even with all of our other teacher duties, learning needs to be fun for our kids!
Sure, in the beginning it will take time for your kiddos to get used to researching, coloring, cutting and pasting. And yes, in the beginning it will be time consuming. But once your students get the hang of it, they can complete parts of it as homework to save you valuable classroom learning time.
If you weren't convinced that lapbooks are a great time, you can pick up my Halloween Lapbook for FREE here, but only until next Sunday! It's the least I can do for you making it through this entire blog post! Give it a try with your kids and get ready to transform your lesson plans!
P.S. Lapbooks are not only great for individual projects, but they work for group projects as well! All you need to do is split up the foldables and TA-DA!