“A former math teacher, his rule was simple - the less kids touch the technology, the less likely it is to get broken and the less work that means for me.”
This made me think about my knitting. I never realized what a tactile person I was until I became a knitter.
When I go to yarn stores or a festival, I have got to touch the yarn. I want to see how it feels and see if it gives me inspiration. Sometimes I can touch a yarn and feel like it is telling me what it wants to be. Sometimes I have to touch the yarn to discover the characteristics of it. This will determine what I will make with it because different textures will not work with certain patterns.
I want my students to feel the same way about learning. For certain skills, they need to touch materials in order to learn how to do something. If I spend too much time talking or reading directions, I will lose my students. If I lose them too early, they don’t want to spend time discovering what I want them to learn.
I think it would be great to introduce a lesson by giving them the materials and have them try to figure out what we will do wit them. They can brainstorm the different things that they think it will be. Then I can have them follow the directions to see if it turns out what they thought it would be.
One time I let my students make molecules using froot loops cereal, peanut butter, marshmallows, and pretzel sticks.
Another way of doing this lesson would be to show them the finished product. I can let them touch it and turn it around so they can see it from different perspectives. This might help them when they struggle through the lesson. Sometimes I want to see what is expected of me.
I hope that I don’t forget that the students need to touch things to discover. Sometimes touching the materials is needed to understand the lesson.
Do you let the students touch the materials to discover the lesson? What kind of lesson do you teach? Please share.