Thursday, July 9, 2015

Learn Like A Pirate - Chapter 6

Hello everyone! Welcome back to our "Learn Like A Pirate" Book Study hosted by The Primary Gal. Today we are talking about Active Learning in the classroom. I'll begin with a question Solarz asks:

What's easier to remember: something you've read in a book or heard in a lecture or something you've experienced? Experiences, of course! 

Same with our students. As I think about my 2nd graders, they need to be active throughout the day. They need tangible objects, experiences, space to move, lots of visuals, and discussions. So I sit and wonder....do I want my students to just learn something for a day or for a test...or do I want to make their learning more permanent? Experiences make learning memorable and permanent. 

In this chapter, Solarz gives specific examples of how he achieves this in his classroom. Here is a brief summary/take away of each example Solarz presents in this chapter.

1) Simulations: Students "travel" back in time and participate in research, write scripts, and act out their skits in front of green screens. Students are definitely grasping the content and will remember these experiences for years to come.

2) Debates: Students become experts in a topic and prepare a defense. They also write persuasive/argumentative essays (yayy for integrating writing)!!! Although there is some competition....there is so much more collaboration going on!

3) Fairs: If done at school, science or any type of fair allows the teacher to oversee the process, provide feedback, and truly see what they student is capable of without any adult interference. Students are truly reflecting and learning throughout the process.

4) Project Based Learning: Oooohhh I like this one. In a PBL project, students are learning through projects not learning content and then creating a project.

5) Technology: When students work with technology tools they are collaborating and problem solving; however, technology should not be used just for technology's sake. Use it when it will truly make your lesson memorable!

6) Reader's Theater: When students simply read a script once....it is done at a very superficial level. In an active learning classroom, reader's theater takes reading to a whole new level. Students are becoming the story and get to learn all of its nuances! How fun!

Which of these strategies will you be using in your classroom? Which ones do you already use successfully?

Join us next week as we talk about Twenty-First Century Skills.

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