Active Learning Space Newsletter, October 2016
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Girl in wheelchair with Position Board

Implementation Strategies for Active Learning 

Active Learning is more than equipment or materials.  It is an approach that can be used to implement instruction in general curriculum and expanded core curriculum, and also to support therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, and speech therapy.  These ideas can also be used in the home or community.

Some things to keep in mind when using an Active Learning approach in any type of instruction, therapy, or play activity:

  • Use the appropriate educational technique (see the Five Phases of Educational Techniques).
  • Match your pace to the learner when you interact.
  • Follow the learner's lead in any activity.
  • Don't over-react or over praise the learner - if the child becomes upset, simply move on or if the child demonstrates a skill simply comment on what he/she has done.
  • Be aware of the type of skills the learner is working on in the activity or environment, e.g., in the Little Room the focus is on tactile/motor/auditory not visual skills.
  • Select materials that are based on the child's sensory preferences and developmental level.
  • Arrange materials so the learner has physical access to explore independently.
  • Position the learner so he/she can move optimally.
  • Remain silent during the child's exploration - share simple feedback when the learner takes a break or at the end of the activity.
  • Allow plenty of time for the learner to respond - for some learners this may be minutes rather than seconds.
  • Recognize that the child needs to work at their current skill level and will attempt higher level skills when the learning cycle has been completed (see Dynamic Learning Circle).
  • Observe the child and your own interactions - video tape the child and/or the adult during instruction periodically.
  • Use a wide variety of materials with differing properties.
  • Change only one feature at a time in the materials or environment.

Active Learning Study Group

We were delighted that so many of you joined us for our first Study Group!  We closed registration at 200 participants, which is more than either TSBVI or Perkins eLearning has ever hosted before.

If you missed the first session, you can view the recorded version here.

You must register for each of the 5 sessions to ensure that you will have a reserved space, as there is a limit to how many people can participate. All sessions are FREE and ACVREP credit is available.

Dates of Active Learning Study Group for 2016-2017:

All sessions will be held at the following times: 
  • 4:00-5:00 -- Eastern
  • 3:00-4:00 -- Central
  • 2:00-3:00 -- Mountain
  • 1:00-2:00 -- Pacific
A link will be sent to registered participants prior to each session. All sessions will be recorded and posted on the TSBVI site.
Boy on support bench with hands in tub of water
In this video you will see an Active Learning approach to teaching a science lesson about plants and their growth cycle.

Follow us on Pinterest!

We post our latest ideas and videos on Pinterest, so be sure to follow us there to see what's new.

There are many pieces of Active Learning equipment you can make yourself. Please have a look at the website for ideas on what you can make.

Copyright © 2016 | Active Learning Space, All rights reserved.

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

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