5 Active Learning Techniques: Stand Up & Study!
Having three boys has taught me that active learning techniques deliver the best results. If they simply read it silently or hear it in a lecture, only a small portion of the information seems to stick. It is hard to sit still for that!
This article is inspired and sponsored by the Post-it ® Brand. We use Post-it ® Products every day, so this is a natural fit for Kids Activities Blog!
Why Active Study Techniques?
There is so much sitting in modern life! I have observed when my kids stand up, start to move around and become an active participant while learning, it goes much smoother and they are able to recall more information. Recent data from a Back-to-School STEM research study conducted by the Post-it ® Brand supports my theory. According to the study, 54% of parents think their students learn most easily by touching or participating in a hands on activity.
Today I am going to share with you 5 ways we do this with my High School Freshman’s Biology class. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) classes on the surface may seem daunting when it comes to active study techniques, but subjects in these fields are among the easiest to adapt to a stand-up game because of the emphasis on vocabulary, sequencing and subjects building on one another as the year progresses.
What this means for the student is that it is really important to get a grasp of concepts early in order to retain that information for future classes.
5 Active Study Techniques for Students
I prefer to use Post-it ® Super Sticky Notes from the World of Color Rio de Janeiro collection to to get my kids out of their seat and interacting with a wall. Post-it ® Super Sticky Notes are recommended for use on vertical surfaces for a strong, firm hold (you might want to dust or clean the surface first for best results). We have used a wall, the side of the fridge or even a window.
Active Learning with Word Matching
Word Match is easy to set up on the lined Post-it ® Super Sticky Notes. On one super sticky note, put the vocabulary word. On another note, write the definition.
Match the word to the definition on the wall. Check it with the vocabulary section in the book. Post-it ® Flags from the World of Color Rio de Janeiro collection are a great way to mark your spot in the textbook so that you can easily identify important information when needed. Remove the definition squares that were incorrect and try again after mixing them up.
Tip: When we create an active study set for a chapter, concept or list of vocabulary words, we tag that part of the book with the corresponding colors of Post-it ® Flags from the World of Color Rio de Janeiro collection which helps my son identify the Post-it ® Super Sticky Note bundle with that series which are stored in a Biology study box. Because Post-it ® Super Sticky Notes are easty to restick and rearrange, it makes it simple to review previously used study sets when needed for a test or information refresh.
Vocabulary Memory Game
Using the vocabulary Post-it ® Super Sticky Notes from the Word Match activity, spread them out on the wall into a grid with random placement. Add a blank Post-it ® Super Sticky Note on the top of each word and definition.
Lift up the blank super sticky note and try to find the corresponding word or definition. When you find a match, remove the blank notes from both the word and definition. Continue until all words and definitions are matched.
Tip: We use a different color super sticky note for each chapter. This allows groups of words to be considered together in the same sequence that the course intended.
Active Learning Sequencing
Many concepts in STEM classes are easier to grasp when the student fully understands the start-to-end sequence of the concept. Placing these single sub-concepts onto blank Post-it ® super Sticky Notes and then having the student put them into order can help them remember and recall information.
Secondary concepts can be easily included as more information is learned. For instance, in the pictured example:
- First step was to place the levels of classification in the binomial six kingdom taxonomy system arranging them from general to more specific.
- Second step was to breakdown each classification for humans by adding the orange level descriptions.
Flag Match Active Learning Technique
I love Post-it ® Flags from the World of Color Rio de Janeiro because they have so many uses! Sure they are great as a bookmark or reminder, but they can also be used as arrows or learning aids.
The Post-it ® Products we are using for these examples come from the Post-it ® Brand World of Color Rio De Janeiro collection. The Post-it ® Brand World of Color Rio de Janeiro is available in Super Sticky Notes, Flags and Tabs, which allows us to easily color code important subjects and information.
What we do is link a concept or word by the color of the Post-it ® Super Sticky Note and then use the same color Post-it ® Flag to identify it in another location. So, when orange means “Atomic Number”, anytime the orange Flag is used, it is recognized as the same. This works great when there are multiple times a word or concept would be needed in the same lesson.
Active Learning Through Grouping
Grouping concepts by subcategories is key to any STEM lesson. This can easily be practiced by visually mapping out the concept using a series of Post-it ® Super Sticky Notes that relate to each other.
In this example, the blue Post-it ® Super Sticky Notes contain prefixes, the yellow contain abbreviations and the pink contain the factor of the base unit. A fourth column could be created on green that gave an example or even a fifth on orange with the factor expressed as a decimal.
You can find out more about Post-it ® Products by visiting Post-it.com. Please follow the Post-it ® Brand on Twitter & Instagram. They have more STEM-inspired ideas on the Post-it ® Brand Pinterest boards and on Facebook.
A big thanks to Post-it ® Brand for sponsoring this post and supporting our active learning efforts at home!