Interactive Learning Fun that Promotes Literacy, Content Learning, Reasoning, Problem Solving, and "Mindful Learning"
With the innovative, one-of-a-kind teaching tool called Flapboards, you can teach vocabulary, concepts, and content through delightful interactive stories and meaningful play. Use Flapboard stories and activities to tap into young learners' curiosity; develop children's literacy skills including vocabulary development and important comprehension skills such as sequence of events, predicting, and cause and effect; guide children to reason and problem-solve; and help children approach tasks in a mindful way.
How Flapboards Work
Each series of four separate Flapboards is used to tell interactive stories. Each board clearly shows part of a vocabulary-rich social studies or science content story through exquisitely detailed art. The sequence of events (first, next, then, and last) is distinctly represented. Incorporated into the art on each Flapboard is a lift-the-flap door shaped like a triangle, circle, square, or rectangle. As children listen to a story, they are invited to predict what is behind each flap and interact with the story.
Once the first story is told, children might think that they know what is behind each flap - but there is a surprise waiting for them! Away from children's view, teachers insert magnetic Flap Fillers behind each flap, which changes the original story into a new, completely different tale that explicitly teaches a literacy or math concept. The surprises do not end there - write-on/wipe-off Blank Flap Fillers are provided with each set of Flapboards so children and teachers can create their own original Flapboard stories. Imagine the possibilities!
The back of each Flapboard displays an easy-to-read script for the original story, with built-in prompting and questioning. Flap Filler story scripts are available and can be clipped over the original scripts. Seven Flapboard sets are included in the complete learning system. An Alphabet Flapboard and Magnetic Math Board are also included.
Research Supports Flapboarding
The built-in element of surprise on each Flapboard heightens the curiosity of young children. The authors of "Curiosity, Pleasure, and Play: A Neurodevelopmental Perspective" explain the usefulness of tapping into a child's curiosity: "A child is curious; she explores and discovers. The discovery brings pleasure; the pleasure leads to repetition and practice. Practice brings mastery; mastery brings the pleasure and confidence to once again act on curiosity" (Perry, Hogan, and Marlin, 2000). The Flapboard stories will pique children's curiosity over and over again—they never know what will be behind each flap.
Three dimensions of children's experiences during preschool and kindergarten years are linked to literary success:
- exposure to varied vocabulary
- opportunities for conversations that use extended discourse
- stimulating environments (NAEYC, 2003)
Flapboards are a strong link to literary success. Each story has rich, varied vocabulary that children are invited to use. Embedded discussion prompts in each story extend discourse and real conversation. And the changeable flaps and new stories ensure cognitive and linguistic stimulation.
Research also suggests that in preschool, problem solving should be taught more indirectly by providing supportive environments and verbalizing the methods used (Joyner et al., 2000). Flapboarding clearly supports this pedagogy by providing problems for children to solve and explicit direction for discussing the problem-solving techniques used.
Perhaps the most compelling evidence supporting the use of Flapboards comes from Harvard Psychology Professor Ellen J. Langer, Ph.D. In The Power of Mindful Learning, Dr. Langer states: "A mindful approach to any activity has three characteristics: the continuous creation of new categories; openness to new information; and the implicit awareness of more than one perspective." As children experience Flapboarding, they become active participants in the creation of new categories, such as story characters, settings, problems, and story endings. Children learn to be open to new information and perspectives.
Dr. Langer goes on to explain that varying the target of attention, whether a visual object or an idea, improves memory of it. Flapboards consistently vary the target of children's attention, helping them to improve their memory of the social studies, science, literacy, and math skills and related vocabulary presented in each story.
Bring Flapboards into Your Classroom
Flapboarding is an easy and exciting way to help children develop important skills. When teachers bring Flapboarding into their classrooms, children will become actively engaged in social studies, science, literacy, and math content. Through novelty and the element of surprise, content-related information in the Flapboard stories will become meaningful and relevant to children—relevant enough to be remembered and internalized. Children will be active, not passive, in their own education.
Try Flapboards today—you will transform your traditional story time into a dynamic learning experience!
Joyner, J., Andrews, A., Clements, D., Flores, A., Midgett, C., and Roitman, J. (2000). "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics" www.standards.nctm.org/document/chapter4.
Langer, E. J., Ph.D. (1997). The Power of Mindful Learning. De Capo Press (A Member of Perseus Books Group), pp. 4, 42.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2003). "Fostering Language and Literacy in Classrooms." Spotlight on Young Children, pp. 4-12.
Perry, B. D., Hogan, L., and Marlin, S. J. (2000). "Curiosity, Pleasure, and Play: A Neurodevelopmental Perspective." Child Trauma Academy. www.childtrauma.org/ctamaterials/Curiosity.asp.