Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Adapting Lessons to Hands-on Learning

Yesterday I talked about Why Hands-on Learning is Important.  Today I want to share some ways that you can take a lesson and add some hands-on elements to it.  This will make the lesson more interesting and aid in your child's retention of the material.

Manipulatives, such as blocks are a great way to get your hands-on something.  Handwriting Without Tears uses blocks to teach how to write letters.   They also use chalkboards, sponges, and play dough as well.  You can also teach a child by having them write in sand, salt, or other textures to feel the writing process.

Memorizing Scripture and other facts is easier with motions.  Gess learned this large passage of Scripture with the aid of motions to help her remember the words.

Another activity that works well is matching words to definitions or pictures.  We learned  The 10 Commandments by matching the image with the name.  You can do this with spelling and vocabulary words as well.  You also can have the definition written out, it doesn't have to be a photograph.  Matching things physically with your hands instead of drawing a line is much more memorable.

We used felt and paper to learn about the calendar and the seasons.

Another fun project is cutting out and gluing the answers.  This curriculum already had that activity as part of the lesson but you can do this to any worksheet.  Write the down the answers and have the child glue it in the blank.  I would sometimes have the answers written on stickers and do the same thing.  This is not only good for adding a hands-on element but it's a great way to ease the writing load for those who tire easily if there is too much "written" work.

Magnets are another fun hands-on way to learn.  We used them for spelling but you can also get some with words on them to build sentences or make your own by purchasing magnet strips and use them for anything. They were nice to help keep track of the weather too.

Even just getting out of the desk and writing on the chalkboard or white board is helpful.  Gess liked standing up doing math.  Here she wrote her answer on the board while using a chart to help her find the answer.

Manipulatives are also great for things like math.  You can use any object to perform basic math operations.  We used them for learning patterns and sequences.  This hands on approach was really successful for Gess.

Of course there are tons of ways to make lessons out of cooking in the kitchen.  We played a blindfold game to help Gess learn about her senses

We even made an edible cell for science.

These are just a few ideas to help you get started. Once you start thinking about them you will find they come easy.  Tomorrow I will discuss Incorporating Manipulatives in Lessons and share simple ways to add that helpful hands-on tool.  For today check out what other members of the Crew Blog Hop are writing about by clicking on the banner below.

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