(Methods for Teaching the Origametria Program in Schools (Grades 1-6

Recommended Methods for Teaching Origametria in Elementary Schools

1. The e-Learning program presents:

A discussion question which requires the pupils to find an answer through investigating the folded paper.

An answer which is recommended to show only after the pupils have answered the question and a class discussion was held.

A task to work with partners (as couples and/or groups)

And …a folding instruction which is animated and allows each teacher to use paper-folding as a geometry learning tool without any previous experience of origami.

2. The description of each lesson presents the geometry topic of that lesson and gives an updated link to corresponding topics in the Ministry of Education mathematics curriculum.

3. During the activity it is recommended to avoid using phrases such as: “did you make it?”, “have you succeeded?”.

And instead positive phrases such as: “did you find it?”, “did you discover it?”.

The reason is that the word ‘success’ conceals expectations and disappointments which are dependent to the pupil’s abilities. The words ‘discover’, and/or ‘find’, allows the pupil to engage in a process of inquiry and investigation while dismissing concerns of failure or disappointment.

4. After the pupils have folded it is recommended to walk by their tables in order to make sure they have folded the paper according to the folding instruction. It is highly valuable to walk by the pupils’ tables while holding your own paper — this way, you are able to present the correct instruction, as well as demonstrate the instruction to a pupil on your paper, in case it is needed.

5. In cases of known learning difficulties (such as ADHD), it is recommend to engage in the activity through one-on-one work. After the children gain confidence in their ability, they can be integrated into the group.

6.  Refusal to fold: it is possible that children will refuse to engage in the folding activity due to past experiences and concerns of failure. In that case, it is recommended to tell a child: “I’m putting the paper on the table, but you don’t have to fold”. Often, the child will begin folding. When the children will gain a positive experience they will participate out of the understanding that in your activity they “do succeed”. It is also important to actively integrate this child in the geometrical discussions. will participate out of the understanding that in your activity they “do succeed”, and will eagerly anticipate the following class. It is also important to integrate this pupil in the geometrical discussion.

7. Paper distribution: it is recommended to create a paper fan, and let the pupils freely select their color.

In case time is limited, we will turn the paper fan backwards (to its white side) and ask the children to take a sheet at random. This way, whatever color each child receives is OK.  We can also ask the children to name the color of their paper.

8. Recommended words to know: ICHIBAN! (Japanese for, “this is/you are number one!”)

                                                 SUGOY! (Japanese for, “wonderful!” / “great!”)

9. Recommended phrases not to use: “not this way…”, “this is incorrect…”, “be accurate…”, “not good…”.

Phrases we will use instead: “well done!”.  “Open the triangle and fold…”

10. It is strictly forbidden to touch/fold a pupil’s work.

**We will not fix! We will not improve!**

Demonstrate a folding instruction and/or geometrical insight only with your own paper.

“Fixing” and/or “improving” a child’s work will create insecurity and an “im not good enough” feeling with the child.  We should show the children that their work is good, and that they can fold well by themselves. Among other benefits, this approach builds motivation in a child.
Feelings of success create the ambition to become even more successful!

**It is extremely important that teachers will dismiss their own tendency and/or reflex to touch and/or improve a pupil’s work.**

**Instead, a teacher will demonstrate in this way …**

11. Accuracy: as much as we want to push a child to be accurate, we will harm the child’s capacity to fully express their ability to achieve accuracy. When a pupil asks: “teacher, is this accurate?”, it is recommended to ask back: “what do YOU think?”, and offer the pupil to fold their work more accurately if they feel they could.

12. Verbal instructions: it is important to use geometrical terms when giving instructions.

Throughout the folding process, we will guide the class in language which describes polygons; this helps the process of learning by introducing basic terms in geometry.

In case of a discussion about the sides of a polygon, we will describe a “side”, instead of a “line”. “Vertex”, instead of a “corner”. While discussing kite-shaped polygons, it is important to describe them as members of the quadrilateral family. Even if the children does not fully comprehend the meaning of the term quadrilaterals, it is important to verbally use the term.

13. Assembling and disassembling of polygons allows the children to develop spatial and directional perceptions, and identify how polygons can transform from one to another (such as how 2-triangles can make a square, a larger triangle or a parallelogram).

14. Final outcome: by the end of the activity, each child chooses their own final model.