There are different methods that are used in classrooms that include active-constructive-interactive ways of learning. The “I do, you do” method of instruction is where the teacher demonstrates and explains what the students will be learning and doing, then the students go and complete the activity individually to enhance what they learned from the teacher. This approach of teaching allows the teacher to give direct instruction compared to the method of “you do, then come back and discuss.” This method of teaching is student focused and the students do everything with little to no instruction from the teacher. In this method the students construct or discover the material of the context being covered. While this method of teaching is good in that the students are learning how to discover information on their own, it may not always be appropriate to utilize this method in certain classrooms. The methods used in a classroom needs to work for the entire class and allow a fair learning environment for all students.
Although a teacher can choose either method to utilize in their classroom, feedback has a major impact on whether or not the students succeed. Being interactive in the classroom doesn’t only mean physically doing something. “Interactive can also refer to the amount of feedback, guidance, or scaffolding that a system can give” (Chi, 2009, p. 75). This can refer to feedback on assignments as well as the amount and helpfulness of feedback in a step-by-step process. If students don’t receive enough feedback throughout an assignment they will not be able to make the improvements necessary. The idea of feedback in a “you do, come back” teaching method is greatly important because if the students are doing the beginning part wrong, they will continue doing the rest wrong and then not understand what they were supposed to learn. Step-by-step feedback is a good way for teachers and students to see whether or not they understand the material. Feedback in an “I do, you do” classroom, allows the teacher to give the students feedback on how well they are progressing with the context. However, feedback doesn’t always have to be from the teacher. The students can give the teacher feedback on how well they are explaining the material based on the number and types of questions the students are asking. Both types of feedback, student and teacher, allows for an interactive classroom.
An active classroom doesn’t just have to be where the students are doing hands on activities in order to gain an understanding of the material and context. There are other ways classrooms can be active without the physical activity being hands on. In some classes, students are able to peddle or do some other physical activity while learning. This form of an active classroom is a good example of how students can use physical activity to enhance their learning. The idea of letting students peddle or do some physical activity while leaning has been shown to increase learning and attentiveness of students. Students with ADHD may find this idea helpful because it gives them something to do in the respect that they are moving without being a distraction to the teacher and the other students. Another way to make the classroom active is to incorporate some type of physical activity during a short break. This will allow students to disperse extra energy allowing them to focus on leaning.
While being active in the classroom is important, it is also important to have some activity that is constructive. One type of constructive activity that teachers can utilize in the classroom is constructive discussions. Having students have constructive discussions in class allows students the opportunity to work together to solve problems without the teacher giving step-by-step instructions. The idea of having students facilitate their own discussion draws on the “You do, then come back” method of teaching. The students are able to determine what they know and expand their knowledge through discussion and discovery with a peer. This type of constructive discussion could be utilized in the classroom by having the students learn about different topics and then teach the class what they have learned. One way to incorporate constructive discussions in the classroom is to use a method call the jigsaw method. The jigsaw methods is where the teacher places students in one group where they become experts on a topic, then switches the groups up to have one member from each original group to teach the other students what they know (Chi, 2009). The jigsaw method of grouping students allows the students to become the teacher of a particular aspect of the concept they are learning. By them becoming the expert the students are able to inform the other students what they learned but also, it gives the students some confidence and the sense that they are important.
No matter the method used in a classroom, whether it is “I do, you” or “you do, come back,” it is important to include activities that are constructive as well as active to enhance student learning. Whether it is having active constructive discussions or having peddle-desks in the classroom, some form of activity allows students to build on what they already know and focus on the new material being taught. Which ever method of teaching a teacher uses, it is important that they include feedback in order for the students to make improvements and be interactive in their learning.
Chi, M. T. (2009). Active‐constructive‐interactive: A conceptual framework for differentiating learning activities. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1(1), 73-105.
The Kinetic Classroom: The Pedal-Desk, ADHD, and the Mind-Body Connection – Center for Educational Improvement. (2015, June 28). Retrieved June 21, 2016, from http://www.edimprovement.org/2015/06/kinetic-classroom-pedal-desk-adhd-mind-body-connection/