Chapter 6 Active Learning
STIMULATE THINKING WITH SIMULATIONS
A REVOLUTIONARY EXPERIENCE
FROM MARTIAN PIONEER TO WESTWARD PIONEER
DEVELOPING DEEPER UNDERSTANDING WITH DEBATES
Although competition can have a negative impact on collaboration, I see tremendous value in debates, when set up properly. Debates are a fun way to get students researching, planning, and speaking in front of others. Bonus: Student engagement and motivation skyrocket during all stages of our debates.
Ahead of time, students are placed into mixed-ability groups of three to four students.
GETTING FASCINATED WITH FAIRS
Through experience, I’ve learned that, when children spend time exploring topics of interest to them during school, they become much more invested in the learning process. A Science Fair offers students the same benefit but focuses their attention on the sciences.
One challenge that has hurt Science Fairs in the past has been the fact that teachers have traditionally assigned them as homework; kids only presented their findings at the end. Not surprisingly, my class takes a different approach. The entire project must be done in school with me and the other students as their assistants. I offer to scrounge up most of the supplies, help with data collection, and be their gopher. Students secure time slots (using a student-managed sign-up sheet) to work on their projects before and after school, as well as at lunch recess.
Another perk of doing the entire Science Fair Project in school is that it allows me to oversee the process, provide feedback throughout, and discover what each student is truly capable of doing without adult interference. I absolutely love becoming their assistant
DISCOVER THE POWER OF PROJECT-BASED LEARNING
Buck Institute for Education, my main source for PBL information,
Elements of PBL include:
• Significant Content—
• Twenty-First Century Competencies—
• In-Depth Inquiry—
• Driving Question—
• Need to Know—
• Voice and Choice—
• Critique and Revision—
• Public Audience—
TURNING UP THE FUN WITH TECHNOLOGY
web tools can: • allow multiple students to collaborate in real time to create graphic organizers or make graphs, • enable students to revise their work • transform a boring worksheet into a piece of art that students will be proud of for weeks to come, • provide an authentic audience outside of the walls of our school, • and create a stronger home-school connection.
ROLE PLAYING WITH READER’S THEATER
think of it as a short play or skit. Students read their lines straight from the script while acting it out. The performance may include some props or costumes, but doesn’t have to. The main purpose of Reader’s Theater in our classroom is to increase our oral reading fluency.