10 Strategies that Transform Passive Learners into Active Learners

Students’
forearms prop heavy heads and eye lids become fatigued and weighty. Information fills the room, but
the restless audience remains impervious as attention is stolen by fleeting thoughts
and boredom.  If this is a common
scene at your school, most likely the learning environment is passive.  Although a passive learning environment
can accommodate large numbers of students, it is often an ineffective scholastic
milieu.  In contrast, an active
learning environment should have the opposite effect on students.  This way of teaching encourages
creativity, self directed learning, mindfulness, interaction, discussion and
multisensory ways of processing. 

So what can I do to nurture active learning?
1)  
Help your students understand the difference
between active and passive learning.
2)  
Encourage your students to complete the free
Passive vs. Active Learning Profile offered free here.
3)  
Let your students brainstorm things they can do
to become active learners. 
4)  
Allow your students to brainstorm things you can
do to help them become active learners.
5)  
Integrate active learning activities into the
classroom such as acting, small group work and hands on activities.
6)  
Incorporate fun learning stations in the
classroom, so that the students can move around and process with other peers in
smaller groups.
7)  
Encourage students to preview new topics by
watching YouTube clips or doing internet searches so that they come to class
with some prior knowledge.
8)  
Give students assignment options so that they
can make a choice on how they would like to demonstrate their mastery of the
content.  Make sure the different
options tap into different learning modalities. 
9)  
Consider the 12 ways of learning and teach in a multisensory fashion.
10)  Break the class into groups where they take
opposing positions on a topic. 
Allow one student from each group to facilitate the discussion.  The teacher can act as the judge and
can dole out points for good arguments, creative content and clever
presentations. 
If you found this blog and activity to be helpful, this is
just one of the many resources available in the publication, Planning, Time Management and Organization for Success: Quick and Easy Approaches to Mastering Executive Functioning Skills for Students

Cheers,  Erica
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.com  www.dyslexiamaterials.com and  www.learningtolearn.biz 

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