What Is Hands-On, Project-Based Learning?

We believe that hands-on learning is the best method to engage students in their education and create deeper connections to the material (and one another).

In both our classrooms and tutoring sessions, we prioritize hands-on learning because it allows our students to feel more involved in their educational experiences. Rather than being passive learners and simply observing, a hands-on approach creates oportunities to engage.

Here’s what this looks like and how we incorporate this into our sessions:

1. Hands-On Learning is Multi-faceted

There is no ‘one-size’ or ‘right’ way to adopt hands-on learning; in fact, depending on who you ask, this type of education will look different based upon location, student age, ability, and classroom/environment.

For us, hands-on learning looks like manipulatives (things you can touch), projects (allowing for conversation, movement, and collaboration), creativity (art and making messes), and multisensory components (to feel, move, and experiment with).

2. We Incorporate Multisensory Aspects

We prioritize multisensory learning. This is a type of learning that involves multiple senses, primarily auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Regardless of student age or ability, multisensory components can be added to allow the student to experience learning through multiple means.

For example, if a student is learning phonics and sounds, we may have him/her hear and echo the sound (call and response) and then write the sounds/words with shaving cream or playdoh to reinforce the sounds and spelling. This combination of sound, sight, and touch, can build upon the skills and create stronger learning connections.

3. We Provide Opportunities For Students To Work Collaboratively

A large part of hands-on learning is allowing for students to work together. For us, hands-on learning and project-based learning go hand-in-hand. Project-based learning means that we use projects to help reinforce concepts. Students will learn a concept, study the concept through multiple means, and then work with peers to represent concepts through a hands-on project.

For example, after learning about greenhouses, precipitation, and measurement, students were asked to create a model mini-greenhouse to reflect their acquisition and understanding of science and math skills.

4. We Prioritize Higher-Level Thinking

Hands-on learning provides opportunities for higher-level thinking. Rather than students having to memorize, recall, and represent skills in high-stakes assessments, students will have to think both critically and creatively to reflect their learning in a project.

We believe this is an important way for students to show mastery and most importantly, engage with their curriculum.

Curious About Our Other Instructional Methods?

We offer a variety of learning services and options for students of all ages, grades, and abilities. Outside of multisensory and project-based learning, we also offer custom-curated curriculum and programs. Contact us to learn more!

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