Why Concrete Materials for Learners

Gavin McCormack recently posted an article on why we need to provide concrete materials for children when teaching them. I have always believed in hands on learning practices for students and I totally agree with McCormack’s views on the importance of concrete learning materials.
Children learn best when there are tactile and movable materials, which help develop a sense of individuality and independence that textbooks don’t offer.
These kinds of teaching materials allow children to:
– practise until they are ready to move onto the next task.
– become familiar with an exercise until they too are an expert at using it.
– develop leadership as your students teach each other using your tactile materials.
– replicate and create similar materials to allow them to teach younger students.
– be taken home to allow parents to understand how the learning happens.
– develop a sense of freedom of time limits, children can repeat until they reach mastery.
– be used in small groups, rather than always working alone.
– they are fun to make and can be created as a community project involving parents.
McCormack states that he has templates which he is willing to share.

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