This post offers 5 experiential science weather and climate activities for kids of all ages. My own children (6&9) and I worked through these activities this week, and those experiences are highlighted in this post along with some modification ideas for older students.
Do you ever wonder how to use experiential learning in the classroom, and not just in any classroom, but in YOUR classroom? In YOUR school? In YOUR homeschool? How do experiential learning schools, homeschools, or programs, do it? How do they structure the day, the week, the year?
Relevance and real world learning in the classroom or homeschool is so important for students, not only to engage in learning but for them to care about the content.
Fostering an authentic learning environment for your students is critical. Focusing on concepts that are part of the life and the real-world, part your students' lives beyond the walls of the classroom, helps them find purpose in the experience, which is at the heart of experiential learning.
But what is an authentic learning experience, and how do you plan an authentic learning experience that engages high school students in real world and relevant topics?
YES! Winter break is upon many of us, the holidays are in full effect, and you want to spend this break, well, taking a break! So planning a New Years activity for your experiential learners when you all return is not even something you can wrap your mind around right now. Your goal is to get a break! I completely get it.
The experiential learning process is very specific. So, the experiential learning approach is similar regardless of age group, skill level, subject area, and learning environment.
My classroom teaching experience is with high school life science students at a small charter school. I am now home with my own young kids and use the same principles of experiential learning with them as I did with my secondary students. This blog post is all about how I do that; how I adapt the experiential learning process to work for all ages.
Experiential learning is a fantastic way to engage classroom and homeschool students in fun, personalized, and self-directed learning experiences. But how can you afford it? Is it possible to make hands-on learning where students are actively involved in every experience budget-friendly?
The answer is yes! In fact, I would argue that if you're working on a tight budget, experiential learning is the way to go. There are many strategies that I use to get cheap or free learning materials for experiential learning.
All kids are different. We know this. This is the foundation of experiential teaching. Experiential learning is also a process that doesn't always lead to black and white outcomes, wrong or right answers. Yet it is still common practice to evaluate all students as if they are the same.
How do we evaluate experiential learning then? How do we assess learning outcomes when those desired outcomes vary so widely among students? What are some ways to assess students or evaluate learning outcomes in a way that is personalized, isn't one size fits all, doesn't necessarily test for right or wrong answers, and measures growth and skill development in addition to content knowledge?
What are my thoughts on required state standards in education? Or national standards or any standards? I think I get this question as much as I do because of my experiential philosophy. How can a teacher like myself facilitate experiential learning experiences and teach to the state standards in education at the same time?
Experiential learning and reflection go hand-in-hand. Reflection is an important characteristic of experiential learning, so as an educator with an experiential learning classroom philosophy, I make it a point to enhance learning by reflection.
I add a reflection piece to almost every learning experience that my students have, within AND beyond the walls of the classroom. Reflecting on the process, the outcomes, the content, the goals, and the skills-acquired from the experience really drive the learning experience home.
Welcome to the beginning of my experiential learning blog series specifically on examples of experiential learning activities. I have been writing about the topic of experiential learning for over a month and have covered experiential learning importance, how to set up your classroom for experiential learning, and have even offered examples of experiential learning methods.
What I haven't done is offer you specific examples of experiential learning activities at play. For the next few weeks I will be laying out and showing you experiential learning activities in action.
To provide innovative educational resources for educators, parents, and students, that go beyond lecture and worksheets.
Sara Segar, experiential life-science educator and advisor, curriculum writer, and mother of two.