Active learning

Written by Sarit Levy, Elia’s National Vision Instructor, according to Dr. Lily Nielsen – Lilli Nielsen
Active learning is a learning method developed by Mrs. Dr. Lily Nielsen. Its purpose is to enable the child to learn from his own activities, through a process of reviewing, exploring, feedbacking and comparing objects from the immediate and immediate environment.
Active learning is made possible:

  • There is a rich variety and selection of objects for stimulation.
  • Allow the child unlimited and uninterrupted time.
  • The activity is adapted to the child’s level of development and interest.
  • The child has the option to repeat the activity multiple times.

This process leads to greater awareness of the environment and a wider range of skills with which the child will be able to decipher the experiences he is experiencing.
Assessing the child’s existing skills and preferences is the first step before building and adapting the means for active learning for the child. It is important to observe the child, to understand what the child’s abilities and challenges are, what activities he enjoys, what intrigues and interests him and what objects he loves and is attracted to.
Examples of using the principle of active learning:
Treasure Box
A large box containing objects with different textures and sounds (some of which the child knows how to activate and some of which he begins to recognize). Suitable for children starting to sit.
Low table

The table is suitable for a child who sits independently, or needs other support (corner chair), the table should be at the height of the child’s hips and with a raised frame around it so that objects do not fall.
Stand above Mobile
It is very important that while the child is standing he should also be active. Assemble a mobile from objects that are suitable for the child:
Comparable objects, everyday objects, objects with different sounds, colors and textures.
Little Room Little Room Size: 60X60X60
Purpose: Assisting the child to acquire spatial orientation and outreach skills.

  • The small room reduces the volume of noise from the environment and allows the child to listen and learn from the sounds and vibrations he produces within the space and the objects.
  • The child learns that he / she is the one who produces sounds that originate from the movement and the encounter with the objects.
  • It is important to have objects that are varied in texture, size, color, sound so that the sensations and sounds he will produce from them will be different and varied. It is recommended that there be between 9-10 objects hanging from the top and 3-4 objects hanging on the walls of the small room.
  • Make sure that the objects are hung in fixed places so that the child can return to them and locate them again and again.

Resonance Board
The resonant board is a large, thin wooden board, used as an amplifier for sound. Made of a sandwich panel measuring 150X150 or 120X120 and with a thickness of 4 mm around it a frame of planks 2 cm thick. (If we use thick wood and a support board at the corners or along the board, a rigid board will form without resonance).
Purpose: The child receives vocal stimulation from any movement he performs, lying down or sitting, transmitted by the resonance created on the board itself.
It is possible and desirable to place objects directly on the resonator board or to place the small room with objects hanging from it.
  
Important to remember:

  • In any position you put the child in, always make sure he has a toy or object with him that he can explore and play with.
  • When organizing a suitable environment for the child, the child will be able to play independently, even if it is for a few minutes.
  • Active learning allows all the senses to work together.

Read more:

  1. http://www.pathstoliteracy.org/blog/remembering-lilli-nielsen-and-her-legacy-active-learning
  2. https://www.lilliworks.org/
  3. https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/fr/fr31/4/fr310416.htm
  4. http://www.activelearningspace.org/
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