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Active Learning for the Upper Elementary Classroom

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by

Whitney Kean

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of Active Learning for the Upper Elementary Classroom

How do we incorporate active learning into the upper elementary classroom?
Active Learning for the Upper Elementary Classroom
How do we integrate these strategies into the curriculum?
Boring learning leads to loss of learning.
Students are losing their motivation and excitement for learning as they get into the upper elementary grades.
Why?
The 4th grade slump
More complex texts and language
Boring, traditional teaching

We cannot afford to let our children dislike the learning process. Their future success depends on
continued, life-long learning.

What is Active Learning?
Active learning can be described as:
student-centered
opposite from passive, teacher-directed learning environment;
students make and assess their own learning goals
teacher is
mainly
only a facilitator--not a "provider of knowledge";
emphasis is on student choice

What are the Benefits of Active Learning?
Students who are involved in active learning are more likely to:
be engaged in learning
be motivated to try new things and take risks in the learning process
increase in cognitive and emotional development
have lower affective filters in the classroom
show more independence in learning
"own" their learning
use and practice their language skills more in the classroom
develop 21st century skills of:
creativity
critical thinking
communication
collaboration
The Problem
Children are known to construct learning and create their own understandings from active, playful, and inquisitive discoveries and explorations.
Yet, too often these natural learning methods are limited to the early elementary grades (K-2).
Older Elementary students are more likely to be taught in traditional and didactic methods.

Rethinking Fourth Grade Curriculum and Learning Experiences
News Flash:
This type of learning is BORING our students!
Active learning can be described as:
meaningful learning
allows for real life learning
students construct their own learning
students reflect on their learning
Active learning can be described as:
hands-on learning
students make real inquiries
students search for answers in hands-on manner
students are mindful about the learning process
social and collaborative
Active learning can be described as:
playful learning
creative and fun;
build upon student involvement, enthusiasm, and inventiveness;
utilizes spontaneous and planned play.
Research says:
Let's start with some strategies:
4th Grade Social Studies Curriculum
Pretending/Role Play
Dramatic Reenactment
Interactive Lecturing
Inquiry Science Experiment
Literature Circles
Kinesthetic Movement
Creating and Playing Games
Art and Journal Reflections
The Teacher Handbook
The teacher handbook provides:
definitions of active learning;
examples and non-examples of active learning;
active learning strategies;
4th grade curriculum map;
break-down of one unit into lesson plans;
interactive goal setting and actives for grade level planning;
active learning observation and reflection sheets; and
active learning rubric to use for lesson planning.
In order for students to gain the benefits of active learning, it is important to be sure the lessons we create are really active learning based. Test your active learning lessons by rating them against this rubric to see where you are succeeding in creating active learning lessons as well as where you may be able to improve.
A Rubric
Grade Level Planning Activity
Full transcript