Today, we bring you our first blog post by a guest blogger, Ms. Shreya Dhruve.
Shreya is a teacher at kindergarten classes of K. J. Bhalodia School at Rajkot, Gujarat. In a two part series, she talks about the hands on learning concept which is now accepted as the best way to teach basic concepts to preschool children. This is the first post on this topic, and she will write a follow up post next week.
I hope you will enjoy reading this as much as we did.
Hands on Learning (Part 1 of 2)
Learning by Doingby Shreya Dhruve
Hands on learning is learning by doing. It is the only way students can directly observe and understand concepts. Hands on learning make students active participants instead of passive learners who just listen to lectures. Lecture is one way teaching -- the teacher speaks while students listen. It is monotonous, while hands on learning makes the topic interesting and simplified.
As a teacher, I experience many a times how hands on learning supports lagers and slow learners. Using this method, they learn the concepts easily. If a concept is taught only theoretically, students tend to memorize the concept instead of understanding it. When they lack understanding, they gain nothing! Hands on learning is an interactive teaching process. The teacher explains a concept with practical demonstration using different objects, experiments etc. Later, children perform the same task using different manipulative objects like clay, blocks, legos, candy sticks etc.
Hands on learning can be useful to explain various topics of math -- greater & less than numbers, tens & units, addition & subtraction etc. Teaching comparative verbs like -- heavy/light or thick/thin can be easily taught and students tend to better retain most of the concepts. For e.g. when we teach patterning, we teach through various objects like -- on board, manipulative etc. Later we let children create their own patterns. Using this method, each child thinks and develops his/her creativity.
In conclusion, I urge every teacher to make learning interesting and easy for children by using hands on learning/activities. Start by explaining the concept theoretically and practically, and later allow children to apply the concept by doing something on their own. It will encourage them to think creatively and differently, ultimately helping them become critical thinkers. After all, each child is unique and special. All they need is an opportunity to learn by doing.