Educational research has shown that children do not learn well when the teacher stands at the front of the room and imparts knowledge. The amount of knowledge retention increases dramatically when children are involved in their education. That is why today’s educator creates an interactive learning environment for their primary school classroom.
Interactive means many things. New technology has inspired today’s teachers to get their children up and moving. An interactive board, like the Smartboard, allows students to interact with the material projected on the board. Many free lessons are available on the Internet. Interactive boards captures the attention of the students, making the subject come alive for the students, The entire class works together, interacting with the material.
Computers and Ipads are also tools that are used to involve students in an interactive learning environment. Primary classrooms with computers easily adapt to programs, like Raz-kids, where students can read stories on-line, recording them as they read. Students needing extra tutoring are able to have the on-line stories read to them. It opens the door to many advances. Ipads are used by teachers and students alike. It is easy to use them from anywhere in the classroom. Students can demonstrate their knowledge, which is projected on to the television or screen for all of the class to see.
Project-based learning opens the door for a different type of interactive learning. Students work together to solve a real-life problem that is posed to them. Students work together, interacting as they solve the problem. It is easy to do at the primary level, but the teacher must be organized and prepared. Watch this kindergarten classroom demonstrate how project-based learning has helped them learn about many different subjects.
Interactive lessons, such as writing, involves all of the students working with the teacher on a writing project together. Students offer ideas for what they are writing. They write parts of the story on the board under the teachers direction. The teacher’s role is to ask questions that will allow students to figure out elements of their writing material. For example, she will ask what kind of a letter a sentence starts with or where do we begin writing. These short lessons allow students to work and learn risk-free.
Reading groups encourage interactive learning as students control their own discussion groups. This is not your round robin reading group. It involves students reading the same book of their own choice, discussing it as they explore the lessons and concepts presented in the story. With training from the teacher, primary students can handle these groups with ease.
Setting up an interactive primary classroom takes time and effort. It is all worthwhile when the teacher assesses student learning and finds the children learning while developing excellent skills that will help them throughout their educational process and beyond.