Experiential Learning: Invitations to Learn

For my Experiential Learning course, three classmates and I created a workshop to teach our peers about invitations to learn. Invitations to learn allow for children to direct their own learning using tools that are strategically placed in an “invitation” area. An example may be a painting invitation, with paints, a paint brush, paper, and other materials placed in a manner that invites the child in.

Through my experiences as a student-teacher, I have come to realize the importance of allowing children to explore, inquire, and guide their own learning experiences. Setting up invitations to learn in the classroom means having materials set out for students to explore on their own. Sometimes it is difficult for teacher’s to give up their “direct” teaching methods; however, experiential learning is known to benefit a multitude of students as it fosters inclusion, diversity and individuality in the classroom environment.

To begin our presentation we created a video to show what we believe a classroom should not look like. Then we created two different invitations to learn through the use of literature. One invitation was based on the Stella book series by Marie-Louise Gay and the other was based on the book “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick” by Chris Van Allsburg. Literature is a significant source of inspiration for children to engage in invitations, but also an idea generator for teachers thinking about how they can create invitations! After allowing our classmates to engage in the invitations, we provided different picture books for them to look at, and asked what kinds of invitations they would create using the books that they had! The workshop turned out very well, and I am so glad to have learned about the implementation of invitations to learn in classrooms.

If you are interested, please have a look at the introductory video that my classmates and I created for the workshop, and provide any feedback that you have about what you saw. I would love to hear from you. Thanks!

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING ROCKS! 🙂

Below is a list of fabulous resources for teachers who are interested in setting up invitations to learn in the elementary classroom!

Childhood 101  (BLOG)

Creating Invitations for Learning (SK Ministry of Education Brochure)

Snails and Puppy Dog Tails (BLOG)

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