Active Learning

by Patrice on September 12, 2011 · 0 comments

in Techniques

One of the techniques a single mom can use to help her child understand and retain the information that they are getting in the classroom is the Active Learning Technique. Instead of just listening to teacher teach during the day, or reading the materials that have been handed out, mom can help her little scholar after school without taking a lot of time away from homework, after school activities and playtime.

The active learning technique will give mom some insight into what her child has understood from the day at school. At the same time it increases the retention of the information that the child has been given. If the child doesn’t understand any part of the lesson that will become apparent by using the active learning technique, and it will encourage the student to ask question to clarify his understanding. Sometimes a child will disagree with the information that he has been given because it is at odds with a previous belief that he had. Active learning will give that child a chance to question and discuss those little disputes and be able to go forward with a clear understanding.

One of the exercises used in active learning is a quick test. Ask him a question about the daily lesson and give them a minute to write down the answer. Make sure that the question is either open ended or specific. Of course, some kids will need more than a minute, but you want to keep the time short so that they give a true response. Sometimes the question can be vague, like what was the most important thing you learned in school today, while at other times it can be based on the actual subject matter that was discussed.  The quick test will let you know how the student accepted the information that was shared in the classroom lesson.

Another exercise would be to ask the child to quickly write down the one thing that they found the hardest to understand during the school day.  Again, don’t make the child sit there for a long time writing out the answer. Accept a short paragraph, or even a sentence with the response. This is not a pass or fail quiz. In order for the exercise to work properly, keep the discussion about the paper brief. Talk about it and if the child doesn’t understand encourage him to ask about it the next day. Or, you could learn more about the point he raised and have a discussion about it the next day. Just don’t turn this into a drawn out teaching session. The child has had a full day of that and will be less willing to define a ‘muddy area’ in the future.

A journal is another exercise of active learning. Each day the child will write down an important piece of information that he has learned in school. Mom can watch him progress through the topic if the journal is used correctly. If the child has a hard time making journal entries prompt them by suggesting that they start out with “I wonder about….”, “I was surprised that…”.

Active learning techniques will help the child absorb and retain knowledge and let mom spot any problems that may cause her child to fall behind.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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