Experiential learning resources for the innovative educator
Happy Wednesday, everyone! Hope you're having a great week. People in Minneapolis are stoked to have our first sunny day in what seems like three weeks. Still cold, but sunny. In November that's a big win!
Ok! Down to business. Most of you know by now that I am currently a stay-at-home-parent, running a TpT store on the side - Experiential Learning Depot - where I post experiential learning products. Some are free and others are for purchase. Check out my updated store front! Experiential learning, if you don't already know, is exactly what it sounds like. It's learning through experience.
Before I became a teacher I was a field technician on endangered species projects around the world. I got amazing grades in college, passed all my tests, memorized what I was asked to memorize, and yet felt completely clueless about this career that I was about to dive head-first into. I felt completely clueless about life in general to be honest. And I was.
I got an internship in the field right out of college. I moved to Hawaii to work with USGS on their palila translocation program. Palila's are small, critically endangered song birds on Mauna Kea. I very quickly realized how ill-equipped I was to be working with this group and how little real-life experience I had. I spent so many years with my face buried in textbooks that didn't prepare me for this career I just signed up for. I spent the next four years building a career in endangered species research by putting myself in the thick of it, by doing and experiencing. I learned more about endangered species work in two days on the job than I did over the course of my entire undergraduate experience. I needed to experience it to truly understand it. That is experiential learning.
Experiential learning is the learning approach I use with my own children, my students, and the with the products I sell and give away in my store. I want to encourage you to explore experiential learning in your own classroom.
I like to provide a lot of free resources for a few reasons:
1) I think sharing is an important part of the teaching culture. Supporting each other is essential to curtailing teacher burn-out.
2) To give you an idea of what you're paying for if you ever decide to purchase any of my products. It's a difficult decision to spend $50 on a bundle that you haven't seen. Even previews don't always do justice. My "freebies" are snapshots of what you'd be paying for.
3) I want to encourage you to explore experiential learning. It can include travel, community collaboration, hands-on activities, stem, inquiry, problem-based learning, project-based learning. It doesn't have to happen outside of the classroom, although that's better. But there are ways to tap into experiences for your students without leaving the classroom. I'll write about that another day.
Check out these free resources and reach out if you have any questions. I LOVE to talk about experiential learning! Have a great day filled with experiences!
Free Experiential Learning Resources from Experiential Learning Depot
Follow Experiential Learning Depot on Pinterest, Instagram and TpT for great experiential learning resources and teacher tips.
Observe. Question. Explore. Share.
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.