For decades educators
have known that using hands-on activities is a more efficient teaching
method than theoretical discussion. A woodshop instructor
attempting to teach students the skills involved in building a table
without allowing the students to use of rulers, hammers, and saws is
destined to fail.
The woodshop instructor
could teach required skills piecemeal--measuring a board, sawing
a board, driving a nail. Effective teachers, however, know that a
project approach works best. For one thing, building a table is
an activity that culminates in a practical product--a table.
Secondly, all the smaller activities--measuring a board, sawing
a board, driving a nail--are obvious steps to reaching an easily
understood goal. The student can easily see that these specific
skills are necessary parts of the whole activity--building a table.
skills teaching requires a no less hands-on approach than does
woodshop. A language arts project that culminates in a tangible
product and involves listening, speaking, planning, visualizing, group
interaction, reading, and writing is infinitely superior to a
piecemeal skill development approach. The key difference between
these two approaches is that, with the project approach, the student
can readily understand why individual skills are important.
created for this site are designed to involve the imagination, inspire
the desire to create, and encourage students to become involved in
language intensive projects that culminate in tangible products.
Balance Publishing Company is owned and operated by Don
Kisner, a former classroom teacher. After graduating college with a major
in theatre and a minor in English, Mr. Kisner taught language arts and drama
in California public schools in grades five
through twelve, for over 20 years. During his years in the classroom, he used radio
drama extensively as a motivational tool for developing the skills of writing,
reading, listening, visualizing, literary analysis, thinking, and group
process. The strategies for using read-along in the secondary schools
were developed while using Read-Along Radio Dramas in the classroom. In
1996, the Read-Along Radio Dramas series won Learning Magazines'
Teachers' Choice Award.
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