Meaningful learning teacher-tips


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This document represents tips for teacher in making learning meaningful for children in the classroom. The document shares three ways to make learning meaningful: (1) create opportunities to link children's new knowledge to what they have learned; (2) relate new learning to children's everyday lives; and (3) bring concepts to life by putting learning into action. In addition, the document provides examples of what each of these actions look like in the classroom and examples of what these actions do not look like in the classroom. And finally, the document shares that these actions can take place while students are working in centers, while students are engaged in whole group instruction, while students are eating food during meal and snack time, and while students are transitioning.

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Meaningful learning teacher-tips

  1. 1. NCQTL TIPS FOR TEACHERS MAKING LEARNING MEANINGFUL FOR CHILDREN Making Learning Meaningful for Children is important to their understanding of the learning concepts and the world around them. Teachers make learning meaningful when they: • Link new learning to children’s previous experience. • Relate concepts to children’s lives. • Provide children with hands-on learning. WHAT STRATEGIES CAN I USE TO MAKE LEARNING MEANINGFUL FOR CHILDREN? Here are some suggested strategies and examples of what this looks like in action. There are many other ways children’s learning can be made meaningful. Please note that some examples may include more than one strategy. Create opportunities to link children’s NEW KNOWLEDGE to WHAT THEY HAVE LEARNED. What this looks like in action: What it is not: When playing on the playground the children see beetles on the grass. The teacher says, “We talked about different kinds of insects when we read our story this morning. What kind of insects do you see?” When on the playground the children see a beetle and the teacher says, “Oh look, there’s a beetle. Can you say beetle?” Relate new learning to CHILDREN’S EVERYDAY LIVES. What this looks like in action: What it is not: While playing with clay at centers, the teacher makes a clay taco shell. She asks the children, “What should I put in my taco? What do you eat in your tacos at home?” When playing with clay at centers the teacher makes a taco and fills it herself, saying, “Look I made a taco.” Bring concepts to life by PUTTING LEARNING INTO ACTION. What this looks like in action: What it is not: After spending a week learning about construction through books and having a “construction center,” the teacher arranges for kids to visit a local construction site to see how concrete is poured out of the concrete mixer. Kids are taught about construction through reading books and looking at pictures of a construction site. WHEN DURING THE DAY SHOULD I DO THIS? Making learning meaningful for children can be accomplished throughout the school day in many classroom activities including centers, whole group instruction, meal and snack time, as well as transition. What is important is that teachers think intentionally about finding opportunities to do this at different times during the day, and not just during a structured instructional activity. For more Information, contact us at: NCQTL@UW.EDU or 877-731-0764 This document was prepared under Grant #90HC0002 for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, by the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning. January 2012 V.1