I think that in order to have active learning in the classroom as a teacher you need to have a plan. A structured plan that helps you access, that the students are learning what they should. A great way to do this is to follow the five stages of sequence for teaching and learning. Also known as the five E’s of learning, and they are as follows: Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, and Evaluate.
The first part Engage, means to get the students excited or ready to learn about the lesson that you are about to present. This stage is really important, because if the students are not interested in the material then why would they want to learn it? To get students engaged you could start off by introducing the lesson with a game, or something that really catches their attention.
The next stage is Explore. Really get the students involved. Work with them on what their prior knowledge is and how they can connect that with the lesson. If you can relate the lesson back to something that affects their life, then it will be that much easier for them to learn and be engaged. Get them moving around during the lesson; really have them work hands-on to explore what they are learning about.
Explain the third E! Give the students an opportunity to communicate what they learned to you. Some sort of activity that will test what they learned. Maybe a review over what they learned during the lesson, just to re-emphasize what they learned about. The fourth E is to Extend. Allow the students to use what they just learned. Incorporate what they just learned into a fun activity. Or have them do something outside of the classroom, where they really get a good chance to use what they learned in class in the real world. This is a great idea, because it would really reinforce how important the information was and how they can use it in the future.
Finally the last E is to evaluate. This stage is really important because this is the stage where both student and teacher determine how much they are learning. You can teach your students what they need to know but if you are not accessing if they are actually learning, then there is no point in teaching it. This step is necessary in all learning phases, in order to make sure that you are doing your job as a teacher.
As a teacher we need to be structured, we need to have a sequence that we follow to make sure that what we are teaching is accurate, learned, and then later used outside the classroom. This structure of the five E’s is a great process to make sure that you are implementing all the right things in the classroom. I am positive that I will be using this structured strategy in my classroom. Below is also a great website to go to as a teacher to learn about other strategies, and what other teachers think about them. It great because you get to hear other teachers views, on what could be better about lessons, or even learn about some new lessons that you can implement in your own classroom. http://www.teachability.com/index.jspa?gclid=CPmHg9LngbMCFU6mPAodLWAATw or the same website is: Teachability.com