Magic Paper Pocket Study Tool

Picture of Magic Paper Pocket Study Tool
I teach my students how to make a 4-sided magic piece of paper to use as a "pocket study tool" to help them prepare for tests. Brain research (and experience) teaches that the mind is much more able to learn, process, store, and recall information which is (1) chunked into digestible bits, (2) rehearsed at frequent, short intervals, and (3) entertaining to the "inner kindergartener." This foldable study guide does all that! Carried in the pocket, this tool helps students make the most of those random bits of otherwise-wasted time during the day (standing in the lunch line, riding the bus, eating breakfast, brushing teeth...). Just whip out the Pocket Study Tool 5 - 10 times a day, and you are done studying before you even get home! Now you can go have fun!

This is my first instructable - hope I can do it right! (-:
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Step 1: Materials

All you need to make a magic pocket study guide is a sheet of paper, a pair of scissors, a writing utensil, and a piece of tape. I encourage students to use colored paper. You can remember better if it's in color!
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wchang21 year ago
These are really amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing and I can't wait to use it to study for Biology.
NicOmbra4 years ago
 I just made two of these! They're awesome! I'm actually in a hotel right now, so I made them with note papers (tiny) and tore instead of cut. Still awesome!
rickharris6 years ago
In 1939 a Princeton graduate student, Arthur Stone, played around with a strip of paper trimmed from his notebook and created the first flexagon. A flexagon is a polygon, usually made from paper, that can be folded in certain ways to produce a series of faces. But I guess he won't mind this innovative use of his idea. :-)
That was a hexaflexagon. This is a tetraflexagon.

In fact, it is a tetratetraflexagon, being a tetraflexagon with four faces.

(A ditetraflexagon is a plain piece of square paper.)
thanks NERD!
It took you ten months to think of that??
ha! no! we don't need nerds!!! and it only took me 1 second nerd! *wedgies nerd*
hey if there weren't any nerds the microchip wouldn't have been invented and you wouldn't even be on Instructables or be able to type and by the way this sentence "ha! no! we don't need nerds!!! and it only took me 1 second nerd! " sounds quite babyish! so ha! you got bombed I thought this was supposed to be a friendly place anyway!
it was my ANNOYING older brother |:|
Coming from you, who hasn't posted any instructables, where as he has posted... 89.
PKM Kiteman6 years ago
Is there a limit to the order (or valency, or ordinality or whatever) of flexagons you can make? Could you make a dodecaflexagon with twelve faces? An icosaflexagon with twenty? I would imagine, paper not being perfectly 2-dimensional, after a certain number the thickness of the paper would be restrictive.
Kiteman PKM6 years ago
I don't know. I've heard of dodecas, but never seen one.
I like the hexaflexagon better its smaller and I like to use it as a toy
nerdnurture (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
We do hexaflexagons too! That one is like a hexagon that flips inside out, right? Thanks for the tips!
nerdnurture (author)  nerdnurture6 years ago
I posted my trihexaflexagon study tool today: so check it out and tell me what you think! By the way, I found a SWEET vid for a dodecaflexagon at

(this is nerd heaven right here.)
mo54 years ago
wow this thing is a life saver... great instructable and actualy useful in life
nerdnurture (author) 5 years ago
If you have not done it correctly, the tape will utterly prevent you from being able to flex the shape. But if you've just made some lazy folds, the tape will be mostly stuck to the right places, and a little stuck to the layers beneath. Just pull it apart where you know it needs to be pulled apart, and you should be fine. If all else fails, start over. (-:
dude, i keep trying to flip it but the piece of tape is in the way. can u help?
That is SO COOL I wish I knew about this earlier. You sound like an awesome teacher I wish at least one of my teacher knew about instructables at least. THANK YOU YOU ARE AWESOM :)
This is a really cute idea! I don't know that it'll work with biomechanics though. I'm actually studying that right now and ending up searching for "study" on instructables during a break. I think I'd need to make a few of these for each chapter. :P
like the idea and I think it would be great for notes but I can't figure out how the fliping works, if you added a video I think it would be clearer
nerdnurture (author)  robocrazy1556 years ago
yes, sorry about the missing vid. If you look at the picture comments in the second to last step, you should see how you are going to open it up at the crack, just like I am starting to do in the last photo. There's no vid because I actually use this instructable with my students, and I feel they need to be able to read and follow the instructions. Thanks for the feedback though!
SeaLion6 years ago
I love this idea...sadly my exams finished a while back...or I'll give it a try and recommend it to all my friends! But al(all)l <-- all in all :P, a very good instructable!
nerdnurture (author)  SeaLion6 years ago
Thank you, I'm glad you like it!
nerdnurture (author)  iamthemargerineman6 years ago
Hey I'm glad you enjoy it! I thought it was awesome too. That was until I started looking to see if anyone else had done an instructable like it. Seems I am just small-time creative. You should see the one with the tiny mirror made out of a CD mounted to the top of a coffee can on top of an old speaker. It wiggles to the beat of the music. I wonder how to combine the fun geometry of my design with one that responds to sound... Your go. (-:
nerdnurture (author)  nerdnurture6 years ago
oops! HAAHAA I thought your comment was about my laser toy - how would you make a flexagon that responded to music?? SHEESH - sorry, I need to pay better attention apparently. (-;
no no. i'm sure if i made a laser toy i would have the same response, :}, but i'm talking about the paper thing. i didn't reallu understand how it worked at first... but now i dooo! ad it is the coolest. i'm going to make one on axons and the differnt lobes of the brains. thanks nerdnurture! i'll get to the laser toy soon!
this is very cool. but if you could upload the video that would make it extra extra cool. becuase i get the flip and turn... but i'm not sure how it would help me study. but i'd really really like to know. see i'm on my way to becoming a nerd. i was for a while this year... but next year, i'm going to be a full throttle nerd. or if it's on youtube or something... if you could just post the link. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
nerdnurture (author)  iamthemargerineman6 years ago
This is a good study tool when you can divide what you are learning into 4 separate categories. You basically just write what you want to remember on each of the 4 surfaces, and then keep it in your pocket. Whip it out during those odd moments of otherwise wasted time and use it to review. It works for two basic reasons - one, you always have it on you, so you can use it all day, thus reducing the amount of time you have to spend studying at home, and two, because it is so gosh-darned entertaining to your inner kindergartener. You will actually WANT to use this study tool. And the fact that it was 3-D and manipulable and whatever means the material will be easier to recall when you are taking the test. Making each face a different color multiplies this effect. Unfortunately, I don't have a video on how to be a nerd. You'll have to enroll in my class for that lesson. I teach all of my students to be nerds. (I am, after all, the nurturer of nerds! LOL!) Good luck to you in your quest to find and nurture your inner nerd. (o:
haha. thanks. i dunno if you know about this little device, but in japan, and in japanese bookstores, they sell these study packs that have a green pen, red pen, red filter, green filter. so you highlight some stuff in red and some in green. thenn, come study time you use the green filter on the red stuff and fill in the blanks. for key words and definitions. that type of thing. anyways. so the four things are just separate. not like this is hidden, that is not what is missing, fill in the blanks, test yourself type of thing?
nerdnurture (author)  iamthemargerineman6 years ago
That's fantastic! I think I can rig something like that. We have some old colored overhead sheets somewhere... Thanks!
anytime. }:) (
casey321b6 years ago
my school has us make stuff like these. they call them lap books and you turn them in every confrence. (PTC). there made of a file folder with stuff glued in.
Browncoat6 years ago
Good idea! For some students, this will combine playing with studying. :)
Chunk6 years ago
I made these templates so if you want to print out your flexagon you can see which square corresponds to where when its all folded up... or something like that. I thought I might make a miniture photo one with 4 photos on it.
nerdnurture (author)  Chunk6 years ago
I have a template too, I will add it later, but it doesn't look anything like this. I don't really understand how yours works. It should be made up of 12 equally sized squares. How do you fold yours?
There is 2 templates there, one for each side. Its not a template for the actual folding its just so that you can see where each square will end up after it is folded. This is only one way of orientating it though as there are actually 6 different combinations depending on which side you look at when its folded each way. I only made it 'cause I was bored, lol.
nerdnurture (author)  Chunk6 years ago
I posted my template too - did you see it? Let me know if you think it works. I just can't figure out how yours works with so many different sized sections in the middle.
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