St. Lawrence O’Toole’s Learning through Exploration

Learning through exploration at St. Lawrence O’Toole. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Matteson, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Today’s students are a complicated bunch and therefore the teaching of these unique students has changed. The teachers at St. Lawrence O’Toole are using technology and hands-on exploration to give students every opportunity to truly grasp the knowledge that is being imparted to them. Recently, the 2nd graders were armed with cameras and went on a school wide hunt for nouns. Next, after downloading the pictures to a computer they classified them as person, place or thing. Finally they were able to create their own personal noun booklet using a program called Pixie.  

By experiencing first hand the hunt for nouns the students were able to really experience nouns instead of reading and classifying the nouns in a pencil and paper manner. However, St. Lawrence O’Toole teachers have found that hands-on learning can occur throughout the curriculum. In science students created volcanoes and watched them erupt. This lesson most obviously taught about chemical reactions, and landforms which are all science related but our teacher also added reading and vocabulary to the lessons, thus truly enhancing the cross-curricular study. Other teachers have created plays for the study of the Underground Railroad, George Washington and many other social studies lessons or created apple pots to study Johnny Appleseed in literature. The list of hands-on learning experiences for our students is endless.

Ultimately St. Lawrence O’Toole teachers and students have found that experiencing learning leads to life long retention which is every teachers goal. Hands-on exploratory learning is not a new concept by any means and teachers have always included this in their lessons but now it is a core of education. Teachers and students are having fun exploring our world and becoming educated at the same time. Proving that learning can be fun and is purpose driven.