What teaching methods can I use in active learning?

When we speak to primary school teachers around the country, one of the things we get asked about is, "what different teaching methods could I try to get my children more active in the classroom?".  

Anything new is always daunting, but the benefits of getting the children active if managed well needn't be difficult, and will actually lead to a more focused, happier learning environment for the children in your class. 

In turn, for you as the teacher, the children will actually become better behaved and more engaged with what you're teaching - so a better environment for you too!

So, we've pulled together 8 amazing teaching methods so you can get your kids active in the classroom.  

Scroll down to find a short video and supporting text to help you begin to find ideas to get more activity in your classroom.  

Watch the short video to find out about 8 great teaching methods to help you get your primary school class more active!

Scroll down to read the transcript of the video. 

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Transcript from the video...

What teaching methods can I use in active learning?

Here are 8 examples of the fun active teaching methods we use to help you build activity into your teaching day and you can use to build your own.

Choose Between | This is where the children answer a question using a movement, for example — jumping up if the answer is true or crouching down if the answer is false. 

Word Action Games | These work well in literacy, especially to dramatize stories or poems. Or, they could be used for something more specific, for example, teaching children about using formal and informal speech, the teacher could read out a word and the children should either MARCH on the spot and salute if they think the word is typical of FORMAL speech, or FREESTYLE dance for words typical of INFORMAL speech. 

Top and Tail | This is when a learning outcome always begins and ends with a short dance or set of moves. This can be done effectively with timetables and fractions, for example, children do a short two to three-minute dance to warm up their brains and body, ready to solve math's problems. Then the same dance is repeated at the end as a celebration of learning. So simple, yet so effective. Our movie based plug-and-play activities work incredibly well by enabling children to follow along. 

Circuits | Use a set of 10 or 12 cards, placed around the classroom, where each one has a problem to be solved in literacy, math's or science. Children in small groups spend a short time at each circuit card before they must move on. One, two or three minutes per station work well, depending on the types of problem they are solving.

Data Collection Circuit | Another easy concept, using simple data flash cards. Stick a selection of your data cards all over the classroom using various heights and harder to reach (but still safe!) places, for example, the underside of tables or on top of shelves. They should not be hidden, but they should be placed so that the children must do lots of bending, stretching, crawling to see them. Children move around collecting data and solving math's or literacy problems as they go. 

Team games | These can work in classrooms especially for math's. The more space in your classroom you can create for team games the better. Games we use that work well are relay’s, line activity, creative group tasks, problem solving, an active board game or children could even create their own game for others to try. Top tip - Try not to make them too complicated or have too many rules.

Drama | children love to express themselves acting out scenarios and making up their own actions to stories or poems. We use this method mostly for group work, where children can share their ideas (or not) to the rest of the class. This teaching method really helps children to build their confidence around performing in public, so be sure to get the whole class clapping, cheering, and supporting each other’s performances.

Music | Music in class is a fantastic way to improve engagement and help children to learn and embed information. Moving to music is used regularly for younger children, however it’s just as an effective teaching tool with older children too.  Math's lends itself nicely to learning actively with music that has a regular beat, however we use music to engage children in literary, science and humanities to great effect.

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