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Keep Them Engaged, Learning, and Having Fun!

In my experience, kids need to move! That shouldn't keep them from learning, in fact, moving is a great way to enhance learning!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

As many of my readers know, I have studied how the brain learns and using research on the brain to design resources to help children learn. (For more information, check out these posts:)
 
Some of the common threads in these posts include movement, integrating the arts, working with others, and making it fun. Plus, we all know from developmental studies that it's important for them to move! 

(See this post: Is Digital Learning in the Best Interest of Children?)

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

It just so happens that I have a series of resources that address these needs while promoting learning at the same time! There are 15 resources in this series (so far) and they all have the exact same format: 
  • an informative text about an interesting science or social studies topic (Perfect for close reads and guided reading!)
  • 10 questions about the text
  • 4 sketching tasks to go along with the text
  • 6 brain breaks related to the text
Once they catch onto the format, less time is wasted on teaching them how to use the tool, and they become quite independent in their learning with this tool!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!
There are many different ways to use these resources! It can be differentiated for different learning levels, different organizational needs, as well as different social needs. Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

I always start off with whole group instruction! Everyone gets a copy of the text with the answer sheet, and we read through the text together. I go through some of the questions and show the students how to go back to the text to find the answers. (They LOVE using highlighters on this!)

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

We do all the brain breaks together, and discuss the sketching tasks.  
 
Once they "get" how the whole thing works, we can play a game of Scoot. (See directions here: Active Students? Try Scoot!)


Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

Some of my more challenged readers usually need more guidance. I'll bring copies of the text to some of my reading groups. We read through the text together, discussing vocabulary and talking about what we've learned. I'll let the group take turns reading the different task cards. We discuss what the answer might be, and go back to the text to find where we found the answer. (Again, the highlighters!)
 
Once the small group has gone through the whole process, (and yes, of course we all do the brain breaks together!) they're ready to do the whole process independently! (These make great centers!) 
 
Yes, they can re-read the same text and answer the same questions all over again! Why? Because there's a lot of information in those texts, and even though they've answered the questions already, that doesn't mean they remember all the information! A second (or even third) time through, especially after a passage of time, is ideal! Not only are they practicing important skills (reading for information) but they are learning interesting information!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

These sets make great centers! I often assign centers to be done in pairs. Why? Because of those great conversations! Talking about the text internalizes what they're learning. (More brain research!) Plus, they learn from each other through these rich conversations. Some may share information about the topic that's not even in the text! (More learning, yippee!)
 
Another reason to let partners use these activities? Because some children need a stronger reader to help them out. This can be a delicate situation, since we need to be sensitive about our lower readers, but you know your kids! Make smart choices for partners who will support each other without insulting each others' abilities!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

These are also perfect for your fast finishers to do independently during centers time!  Again, each set can be used more than once... hopefully, they'll remember more information each time!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

This one is easy! Anytime! I find they're perfect as centers during those last couple months of the year when their skills are strong and they've developed some independence.
They're also great for the beginning of the school year when you're teaching procedures!
Plus, if you're doing a unit related to one of these topics, these are perfect!
 
If you're interested in these, check out this link:

Reading Comprehension for Active Learners

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!
 

You can try one for free here:  

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

How do you keep your students learning and engaged?


Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!



Is Digital Learning in the Best Interest of the Children?

There's a lot of Digital Learning going on in schools right now! But is it in the best interest of the children?

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

 Developmental Psychology was my favorite course in college.

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!
I really loved learning about the stages that children went through as they developed. Piaget was my favorite! Do you remember these stages?
Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!
The Sensorimotor Stage: the babies! These are the little ones that are just learning about how their bodies work! They learn to interact with the world by using their senses.
Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!
The Preoperational Stage: These are those toddlers and pre-schoolers through about second grade. These little ones are only beginning to think in terms of symbols. These sweeties need a whole lot of hands-on learning! That's how they learn!

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!
Then there is the Concrete Operational Stage. These are the upper elementary school age children: about second grade through sixth.  They are becoming capable of some logical thought, but these children still need lots of hands-on learning!
Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!
The Formal Operational Stage begins around middle school and extends into adulthood. These children are beginning to be able to think in an abstract manner and manipulate ideas in their heads. But, you know, even adults love those hands-on experiences, and it will enhance learning! 
 
As teachers, we all know there are children who develop faster than their peers, and many who develop much slower. 

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

In the past couple of years, laptops and devices have become a bigger part of the classroom. Honestly, the children LOVE them, and there's a whole lot of learning that can happen with them! (Plus, they often make life easier on the teachers, too!) Plus, digital learning is a necessity during remote learning!

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

I'm sure you know how much the children love learning on a digital device! I'm a huge fan of Boom Learning activities, as they provide fun learning as well as easy record keeping for teachers! Plus, there's an amazing variety of learning that can happen on this platform! Check some of these out HERE

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

Those of us who work with children in the preoperational as well as the concrete operational stages of development know the importance of internalizing learning with hands-on experiences! Please make sure they get plenty of these experiences! 

I've recently developed some resources for place value that are the best of both worlds: digital learning and hands-on learning!

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

Level one gives the children practice finding a number by counting tens and ones!  Cuisenaire Rods Place Value Fun Level 1 Tens and Ones Boom Learning

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

Level two gives the children practice finding a number by putting together tens, then counting tens and ones! Boom Learning Making Tens with Cuisenaire Rods Level 2: Hands-on and Digital

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

Level three gives the children practice finding a number by regrouping to make thens, then counting tens and ones! Boom Learning with Cuisenaire Rods Level 3 Regrouping Tens: Hands-on and Digital

Or go for the bundle:

How else can you maintain the important hands-on learning while using digital devices?
Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

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