I have a deep love of learning. There’s nothing I enjoy more than discovering some new historical hero or diving headfirst into a great work of literature. Much of this is thanks to a unique renaissance in educational games which took place during my childhood. I learned algebra while scaling snowy peaks in Treasure Math Storm and reading while diving in Treasure Cove. Studied history and geography by hunting Carmen Sandiego and developed my reasoning and inquiry skills alongside the ClueFinders.
These games taught me something I never learned from any homework assignment: to love learning. No matter what grade level or subject we teach, there is one thing that all educators hope to instill within our students, and that is a love of learning. If children can develop a passion for education, it will take them farther in life than any given lesson on algebra, chemistry, or grammar. But where do we start?
The Tools are Everywhere
We all know there are countless resources available which can help students engage with their learning. But which are the best? Here are just a few ideas to consider when fostering a love of learning within your students:
- Board Games: Board games aren’t just fun; they can also teach students about teamwork and communication. Many boardgames are great tools for learning practice because they’re centered around subjects like mathematics, literacy, or spatial awareness. It’s a great way to sharpen students’ minds while providing them with a fun pastime.
- Books: Whether it’s classic literature or comic books, reading is a great outlet for a student who needs help navigating their thoughts and emotions. Be sure to keep your classroom library well-stocked with a diverse mix of books to help students feel seen. You can also pair reading with writing by using tools like reflection journals to better help students focus their engagement.
- Nature: You might be surprised how a simple trip outdoors can regenerate your classroom. Just begin with observations of the space around your students. What do they see? What do they smell? Feel free to integrate challenges like plant identification, nature journaling, or predicting weather! You can even combine the outdoors with reading to get students better acclimated with their environment.
- Project Based Learning: Above all, project-based learning gives students a chance to exercise their curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking while making a real difference in the world. By giving students organic, hands-on learning experiences, we facilitate learning in a way that keeps them engaged and allows them to apply the knowledge they acquire. Not only that, PBL gives opportunities for students to express their emotions and foster social-emotional growth.
Love of learning is where it all begins. When we model this kind of curious, creative mindset, we teach our students to do the same. It’s a wonderful feeling to grow and discover, and it’s best when we share these experiences with our students. With the new school year about to begin, now is the perfect chance to try something new with your classroom!