7 ways to boost hands-on learning in your classroom

Keep positive reinforcement in your tool kit, too.

November 1, 2016

As a former English teacher, I saw my students succeed when they were provided space to explore curricular concepts with creativity, imagination, and confidence. This holds true for any subject – from english to art to math and science.

Creativity and imagination go hand-in-hand with individualized instruction and collaborative partnerships. This means that kids can think outside the box to problem-solve and strategize. And, when young learners are enabled with confidence, they’re not afraid to fail because they’re too busy exploring a pathway to learning.

So, how can you boost creativity and confidence within your students? Here are 7 key ways to increase those skills.


Photo by JJ Thompson

1. Explore outside of the classroom. Visit learning centers, museums, labs, makerspaces, and more to engage curiosity and interest.

2. Change up the learning toolkit. Sure, you can have your students make presentations and Prezi slideshows, or you could ask them to produce video trailers, speeches, dioramas, speeches, songs, and more for assessment projects.

3.Encourage them not to be afraid of failure. Success is not a straight line and includes setbacks. Teach your inventors to embrace trial-and-error methodology.

4. Work across the curriculum. Team up with other subject teachers, coaches, and youth programs to foster learning success. Perhaps your students will be inventing at their parkour meetups!

5. Strengthen the bonds between parents and schools. Parents bring the community together and activate creativity and confidence at home. Plus, they are a great source of support for awareness, fundraising, and innovation.

6. Power up your professional development. Attend seminars, conferences, and get the latest books and white papers. Then, test it out in the classroom.

7. Surf the internet (seriously). Subscribe to newsletters, listservs, and join forums to engage your own learning practice and knowledge base. You might not have time to read or make all of the things, but you can join makersites to upload inventions (like ours!) and get inspiration.

H/t via The Washington Post

Stephanie Valente
Content Manager