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Benefits of hands-on learning in the classroom

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By Lilly Jensby, TAG Member, Christie Elementary, Plano, TX

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I learn." – Unknown

As a math instructional coach on a Title I campus, one of my biggest challenges is to keep my students engaged with the content and to make the learning experience meaningful to them. My most effective strategy to accomplish this goal is to offer frequent authentic, hands-on experiences that bring mathematics to life!


Last year, when my fourth- and fifth-grade students were working on area, perimeter, and volume of three-dimensional figures, the students were challenged to design and create a cost-effective package that could hold an object with unusual dimensions. I found several packaging samples and then we reverse-engineered them to determine the dimensions of the sides and the number of cubes they could hold.
Students then worked together to develop a prototype of their own design and were asked to create a blueprint by sketching a net of the package.

Students had an undeniable need to know the content in order to design a successful package. The mathematical concepts held significant meaning and students were able to apply their knowledge and understanding at higher cognitive levels than simply working practice problems on a worksheet.

Our winning design used the least materials; that also resulted in the the least waste. There was so much discussion on how to best accomplish this goal! Students must interact with the information before it can make sense and they can move beyond rote memory. Not only were the students engaged in the process, but they were also able to utilize 21st-century skills of collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.


By having hands-on experiences, learners were able to dig deeper, discover pitfalls, problem-solve solutions, practice perseverance, and feel empowered to overcome challenges. As Immanuel Kant remarked, “The hand is the window on to the mind.” The more hands-on opportunities students have, the more minds on they will be.

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Pitsco's In the Classroom blog is moving

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Pitsco Education regularly reviews processes in hopes of improving or eliminating unnecessary materials or tasks. With this in mind, we've had three blogs at community.pitsco.com/blogs for a few years now and recently evaluated if there were any improvements we could make. There is, and the first step is to consolidate all of them into Education Highlights.
What does that mean for our readers? After today, the In the Classroom blog posts will be published along with other homeschool, robotics, and other general news in one place.

All the subscription lists will be combined, and we'll be sending one blog update email monthly instead of three separate ones. No action has to be taken by you unless you choose not to receive the email any longer. If so, please use the unsubscribe option in the email you receive.

You will still be able to find archived posts, which will all be transferred to Education Highlights. The post search option is a great way to find all the blogs we've published about specific topics.

Pitsco is excited about the upcoming changes and hopes the consolidation streamlines how you're receiving your blogs. So, thank you for following the In the Classroom blog. We look forward to continuing to provide you with blogs about classroom experiences from educators on Education Highlights.

If you have any questions about these updates, please comment below.

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Pitsco's Homeschool News blog is moving

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Pitsco Education regularly reviews processes in hopes of improving or eliminating unnecessary materials or tasks. With this in mind, we've had three blogs at community.pitsco.com/blogs for a few years now and recently evaluated if there were any improvements we could make. There is, and the first step is to consolidate all of them into Education Highlights.
What does that mean for our readers? After today, the Homeschool News blog posts will be published along with classroom, robotics, and other general news in one place.

All the subscription lists will be combined, and we'll be sending one blog update email monthly instead of three separate ones. No action has to be taken by you unless you choose not to receive the email any longer. If so, please use the unsubscribe option in the email you receive.

You'll still be able to find archived posts, which will all be transferred to Education Highlights. The post search option is a great way to find all the blogs we've published about specific topics.

Pitsco is excited about the upcoming changes and hopes the consolidation streamlines how you're receiving your blogs. So, thank you for following the Homeschool News blog. We look forward to continuing to provide you with blogs about homeschooling on Education Highlights.

If you have any questions about these updates, please comment below.

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