Let’s be honest, classes can be long and students have short attention spans. So how do you keep every student engaged as the minutes tick forward? Consider creating an active learning space out of your classroom. It’s not just an education trend, it’s working with the natural rhythm of your students. And to engage your students with active learning doesn’t have to be expensive.
However, before you can implement an active learning space, you have to understand active learning. Active learning, by definition, requires students to be engaged in the material. Naturally, that means intellectually engaged, but many people make the mistake of overlooking the physical aspect of learning even though the connection between movement and learning is nothing new. Since the 1930’s, scientists and educators have been studying the links between student’s movements and their ability to recall information. Generally, movement is thought to help create connections to the material.
So, why not create an active learning space in your classroom? Instead of straight rows, try having pods or diagonally facing rows where students can engage in group discussion about the material. Or try using mobile seating so students can move to accommodate their learning.
Another way to create an active learning space is through technology. With a few QR codes and a worksheet, you can create a webquest for any subject. For example, while studying the Odyssey create stations around your room for students to seek details about each of the stops on Odysseus’ journey. Through this type of webquest, students use a hybrid of physical activity and technology to make a connection to the subject matter.
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