So as well as Lapbooks, I LOVE using Factballs in the classroom as well.
Factballs are easy to assemble and are a unique way to display research content in your classroom. This content could be recorded in your students’ books, never to be seen or looked at again, but with Factballs, student work is on display all the time. It becomes a talking point, reminding your students of the work they are covering in class. Parents are also easily able to see what their child is learning, creating an opportunity for conversation between child and parent or teacher and parent.
So how do I use Factballs?
I use Factballs in a variety of ways in my classroom. I often use them in my Literacy centres. Because each Factball comes with a fact sheet to complete each section of the Factball without the need for researching on the computer or borrowing books from the library, they provide the perfect opportunity to become a comprehension task with a difference. At first it appears that students are simply filling in another Q&A comprehension worksheet but upon completion of the worksheets, they transform into something far more exciting than a normal comprehension task sheet.
I usually try to match up the Factball with the topic we are covering in class to integrate other subjects into our Literacy rotations. It often means we can get on with other investigations during our allocated Science and History lessons rather than getting bogged down in teaching content.
I also like to use Factballs as a means of getting to know my students. At the start of each year I have my students complete these Back to School Factballs (available in my Free Resource Library). It is a great way to get to know them and get some of their work hanging up in the classroom straight away.
At the beginning of each term, I then get my students to complete these Goal Setting Factballs. These are a great way for students to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and set goals for the term/semester/year ahead. Having them hang up in the classroom means the students can constantly refer to them throughout the term/semester/year and it keeps them accountable for their own learning.
But how do you assemble your Factball?
I have digressed. I should really get down to the purpose of this post. How to assemble your Factball.
Factball assembly is quite straight forward really. All you will need is:
- The completed Factball template
- Glue Stick
- Hole punch
Now before you start I will put a disclaimer in. While the assembly of the Factballs is quite straight forward, assuming that a whole class of seven year olds can complete it without assistance may be a little fantastical. I will give you instructions on how they are assembled below, but please consider how you would communicate this to your whole class based on their age and needs. Personally I prefer to deliver these instructions to small groups rather than the whole class. I find this easier to manage in the younger grades. If I am lucky I will have a teacher aide assisting another group at the same time. But consider the instructions below and do what works best for you and your students.
- After students have completed the details on their Factball and coloured it in, allow students to cut around the outside of each circle and rectangular labels (there should be two of these).
- Once all the pieces are cut out, punch a hole at the top of each circle.
- Fold each circle in half, keeping the title of each circle at the top. I like to use the hole that I’ve just punched into the circle as a guide. Don’t unfold the circles.
- Take one folded circle. While still folded, add glue to one outside half of the circle.
- Place the next folded circle on top of where you have just added the glue.
- Continue adding glue and circles until you have no circles left.
- On the last circle that you glue on, add glue to the remaining exposed side. Open up your Factball and secure this glued side to the remaining exposed side of your first circle. The Factball should now form a sphere.
- Through holes at the top of your Factball, thread a piece of string. I like to flatten my Factball out (as in the image below) to make this step easier.
- Putting your Factball aside momentarily, take your rectangular headings.
- On the back of one heading add some glue.
- Place the string of your Factball on top of the glued heading.
- Place the remaining rectangular heading on top of the string.
Aaannnd… You are finished!! Well done! Easy hey?! Here a few examples of finished Factballs.