Best Trig Foldable Ever!

Posted: August 11, 2016 in Interactive Notebooks
Tags: , , , ,

Trigonometry is one of my favorite units to teach. It is super visual which is a huge plus for my students. All the problems in this unit are easily tied to real life. And when I say real life, I mean the type of real life that all of my kids can relate to and understand. My students excel at this unit. So of course when NY went common core, trigonometry was taken out of the Algebra 1 curriculum. Losing an entire unit that that gave us a solid chance of success was a devastating blow. To make it even worse, my favorite foldable is in this unit. Double whammy!

To make myself feel a little better for not getting to make it last year, I thought I would share it with you. I was hoping that maybe time had dimmed my fondness for this particular manipulative, but you know what? It hasn’t. This is still the coolest foldable I have ever found.

My students have trouble remembering the definitions of opposite and adjacent as they apply to right triangles. For some reason, labeling the triangle is the most difficult aspect of this unit for them. If they can get the sides labeled correctly according to the placement of the angle, odds are they will successfully solve the problem. Enter Mrs. Atwood. I found this foldable on her blog, Mrs. Atwood’s Math Class. While she doesn’t say a lot about it, (and really, she doesn’t need to, it speaks for itself!) she does include a template so non-creative people like me can make something wonderful! Check it out!





So cool, right?! If you want to make your own, (and I’m pretty sure you will!), you’ll need the template, an old transparency sheet that most schools have just gathering dust somewhere, some tape and thin permanent markers. Find her template here (each template makes two of these).

Print the template and cut out the squares on the dotted lines. Cut small squares of transparency to fit over the inside of each square. If you look carefully at the second picture, you can see how I taped the transparency to the inside of each square. Fold one side in on the dotted line. Use the permanent marker to label the angle and then label the sides with respect to that angle. Now fold in the other side, label the other angle and then label those corresponding sides. Voila! Your own super cool trig foldable. Let me know if you love it as much as I do!

I keep looking at it and trying to come up with something else besides trig that I could use it for, but I’m drawing a blank. Do you have any ideas? Please share them if you’ve got them. I would love an excuse to put this back in our notebooks!



  1. Tammy Rodriguez says:

    I love seeing the same types of activities/tools I use in elementary show up in middle and high school lessons. I can just imagine the kids making automatic connections “oh…I remember those interactive notebooks we did in 5th grade.” I don’t know if you have any of Dinah Zikes books (the queen of foldables) but she does have books specifically for math. I love her ideas and I find the kids to be very engaged and thoughtful as they reflect on their learning.


    • lisakmcleod says:

      Those connections help so much and make everything more relevant. I do not have any of her books, in fact, I had to google her to find out who she is. Her site looks very interesting, so thank you for the tip!


  2. Thanks for the post! I am sure I can give this post to our math teachers in the high school. I am sure that they can find this useful to help their students. However, just the simple things such as taking the transparency sheet and using it, genius! I would have never of thought of using it.


  3. lisakmcleod says:

    I hadn’t either and was blown away. I know we have boxes of those sheets just tossed in cupboards. I can’t remember the last time I saw a teacher use an overhead. There have to be other foldables I can incorporate them into. The cool factor is tremendous!


  4. This looks like something your students really enjoy doing! Makes me wish that I had interactive notebooks in high school. Maybe I’d be better at math… :))


    • lisakmcleod says:

      I have had so many people say something similar to me. One of my students’ parents a couple of years ago told her child that I was an angel. I keep that one close to my heart. As a math teacher for special education students, I am the face of the curriculum and often the comments directed my way are not very friendly.


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