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Thursday, August 1, 2019


It's August and I hear that school bell ringing! What an exciting time of year!

One of the buzz words in education now is ACTIVE LEARNING! Enough tap, swipe, sit and listen! It's time to get those kids moving, thinking, talking, and engaged! Each day in August I'll suggest a strategy that can be used to teach skills and standards in a more meaningful way. They are super easy to adapt to different age levels and content, and they'll energize your students and YOU! Tap into your creative powers and think about how to make teaching and learning more fun by harvesting the ideas you’ll learn each day!!!


Active learning involves students in the learning process more directly than in other methods. Bonwell (1991) "states that in active learning, students participate in the process and students participate when they are doing something besides passively listening."

Teaching is what the teacher does. Learning is what the student does! Key elements of active learning include:

     Students build on their interests and make choices

     Students communicate in a wide range of ways

     Students problem solve

     Students make connections across learning

     Students collaborate with others

     Students develop creativity and use their imaginations

     Students engage in a wide range of learning activities

     Students move and use multiple senses

In short, students are not passive, but are “doing things” and are excited about learning. Good teachers have always focused on active learning because they know the more engaged and excited their students are, the more they will learn.

For years I have shared Edgar Dale’s “Learning Cone.” Although his research was done decades ago, more recent research validates the value of his findings. It’s a powerful visual to support active learning and engaging multiple senses.

I hope you’ll join me each day to discover how you can take what you HAVE to do and turn it into something your students WANT to do!

Bonwell, C.C. and Eisen, J.A. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom. School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University: Washington DC.

Active Learning #1 STATE CHANGES

Wake up the brain by having children do one of the following to read, count, or practice other skills. It’s so easy and can add an element of fun to any lesson.

Sit Like a Boss– Children cross arms, lean back, and put feet up on their desk.

Cowboy and Cowgirl– Children turn chair around and straddle it as if riding a horse.

Change Seats– Children exchange seats with a classmate.

Backwards– Turn chairs around and face the back of the room.

Tummy Time– Lay on the floor and read, write, and work.

Stand– Have children stand as they read or do other work.

Easy Chair – Turn chairs upside down, put backpacks between the legs, and sit back and relax.