I attended a regional NCTM conference a few years ago here in New Orleans and was recently able to find a presentation online that I remembered from then entitled “Patty Paper Geometry on the Go!” A few weeks ago, I did some paper-folding activities with my students to reinforce some of the concepts I taught in class–Pythagoras’ Theorem and squaring binomials.
We did not have any patty paper, but I was able to use origami paper (sold online or at Michael’s) with no problem. We did problem 5 on page seven and the Pythagorean Theorem activity on page 10 of the presentation. The students really seemed to enjoy these activities. In my effort to incorporate technology, I often forget that students also enjoy hands-on activities, especially when they clarify abstract concepts. Paper-folding is a cheap, easy way to get your students’ hands “dirty” with mathematics!