Hands on the Assignment!

Student engagement is crucial to a student’s learning


Many students do not find learning fun or exciting.  We prefer to be on our  phones, games, or maybe talking to friends. 

Little distractions like those keep us, the students, from being engaged in learning. We need to understand that the things we learn right now are important to us, either now or in the future. 

Experiential learning – or as most people know it “hands-on learning” – should be included in classes more.  Currently, shop classes mainly deal with this kind of learning.  

”The only way to learn a skill is hands-on learning and practice,” Woodshop teacher Mr. Creamer said.

 We should be standing up and busy with our hands, not with our phones.  We should be occupied with the assignment and nothing else. We should be engaged in learning.

“Teachers need to find a better way of teaching,”  junior Felix Duque said.

The information taught to students may not seem relevant.  The skills we learn may not be important to us at the moment because we may not know how they will actually be used. 

“In the real world, you would never use such strategies,” senior Jonathan Reyes said. 

Some students find it hard to learn the specific way a teacher may teach. “Teachers need to understand their students better,” junior Ivan Rodriguez said. 

We are not always comfortable with how teachers teach subjects. If we are not comfortable, we are not really engaged in the subject either. “Students need to feel safe and heard in order to engage,” Assistant Principal Ms. Kontolefas said.

 In Ms. Whitney’s theater class, students work on creating sets or costumes for their plays.  “Students are given a choice to choose what set they want to do or design they want to do,” Ms. Whitney said.  “I don’t talk a lot.  I let them research and let them to get the information they need on themselves.” 

Students who have theater have a choice.  Their overall grade isn’t based on a test, but on a project that they chose for themselves. They work on creating set designs, designing outfits/costumes and plays the students themselves chose. “They don’t know they can do something until they do it,” Ms. Whitney said.

Here at Bell, there should be more group projects, and fewer tests. Students should be busy with their hands and applying themselves when learning or engaged. 

It is important that we know how to use the information we learn. Hands-on learning can trigger an interest in the class. Sitting down half asleep while copying down notes doesn’t seem as exciting.