Origami in the Classroom—Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

You might think origami lessons are fun: a good way to teach spatial relationships and following directions.

If you think these things, you probably have not tried to teach origami to 30 elementary school children.

Teachers don’t like origami!  Teaching the lessons is difficult—students don’t pay attention, they don’t understand, and the lesson quickly devolves into one frantic teacher rushing to help 27 students at once.  (Three understood perfectly the first time.)

There’s another reason teachers dislike origami—paper-folding doesn’t stop after the lesson.  Students will make origami all year if you don’t develop and enforce a strong policy.  Your paper supply will be gone, and in its place you’ll find:

> Cootie catchers
> Claws (dozens and dozens of them!)
> Paper Airplanes
> Poppers
> Origami balloons
> And, or course paper cranes (You read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, didn’t you?)

I learned this lesson from one of my fifth grade classes.  It started innocently enough, with two boys making origami claws.  The other students tried to warn me to ban all origami, and I should have listened.  I didn’t institute the ban until after finding that somehow, these boys had had cleared us out of Kleenex by creating dioramas inside their desks.  They had cute little scenes, with Kleenex props and origami figures.  What a mess!

…And that is why I highly recommend that you outlaw origami in your classroom.

Posted in Classroom Management,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ Mar 4, 2011

 

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