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The Effect of an Active Learning Environment

Many of us find ourselves in the position of explaining the potential benefits of Active Learning.  Some people may be reluctant to try using an Active Learning approach, in the belief that the purchase of expensive specialized equipment is a pre-requisite to getting started.  Sometimes expectations get in the way.  If a child is sleepy we may think that they are not interested in being active, while they may be falling asleep because they are bored.  A review of the Dynamic Learning Circle reminds us that awareness and interest are key to the first stage, and learners can move into Stage 2 when they become curious and active.
A boy who is covered by a blanket lies on a swing in the top image and same boy explores Active Learning materials in bottom image.
In the top image, a boy lying on a swing is covered by a blanket.  In the bottom image, the same boy has been uncovered and Active Learning materials have been placed all around him.
Notice the difference in expectations in the video, as shown in the two photos above.  In the top photo, the expectation is that the boy will  "rest" or take a nap.  In the bottom photo, the expectation is that he is ready to learn, and that when materials are placed in close proximity to all parts of his body, he will become active.

We believe that ALL children are capable of learning!  We need to be attentive to their preferences and aware of their developmental level, and provide opportunities for them to explore and experiment.

Multi-Functional Activity Table

The Multi-Functional Activity Table (MFAT) is designed to allow the learner (child or adult) to initiate a large variety of cognitive activities while sitting on the floor, or in a chair, or wheelchair.  Our colleagues at Narbethong State Special School in Queensland, Australia have been kind enough to share the video below of two students using the MFAT.

Join Our Next Webinar!

We are hosting a series of three study group webinars during the 2018-2019 school year for teachers, therapists, families, and anyone who is interested in learning more about Active Learning.  All of our webinars are free, but you must register for each individual session.  They will be recorded and archived on our site for viewing at a later date.  You can watch them later for delayed viewing credit.

January 24, 2019:  Constructive Play 

This is the second of a 3-part series presented by Patty Obrzut and Jessica McCavit, who are both Occupational Therapists at the Penrickton Center for Blind Children.  This session will focus on Constructive Play for learners in the Preoperational Stage (starting at approximately at the developmental level of two years).
       Register now
4:00-5:00 EDT
3:00-4:00 CDT
2:00-3:00 MDT
1:00-2:00 PDT

We welcome participants from around the world and will be happy to help you figure out what time it will be in your local area, should you wish to participate in the live broadcast.

April 18, 2019:  Oral Motor Activities

This is the third of a 3-part series presented by Patty Obrzut and Jessica McCavit, who are both Occupational Therapists at the Penrickton Center for Blind Children.  This session will focus on Oral Motor activities.

Upcoming Training Events

Active Learning: Train-the-Trainer Workshop
Kate Hurst will present this one-day workshop on January 31 in Austin, TX.

Patty Obrzut, M.S., O.T.R, will present a two-day workshop
 June 10-11, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.
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Copyright © 2018 | Active Learning Space, All rights reserved.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Perkins School for the Blind
Penrickton Center for Blind Children

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Perkins School for the Blind · 175 N. Beacon Street · Watertown, MA 02472 · USA

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