The breakthrough year for Wendy Hill and The Learning Carpet was 2003! A teaching method that she had so successfully developed and used extensively in her K-6 classrooms in the Peel School Board (near Toronto), was approved by The Ministry of Education. Their recommendation was for one in every K-3 classroom in Ontario, Canada.
How does it work? The children sit around the 6′ 100 square carpet while the lesson and concepts are taught. Due to the size of this teaching manipulative, the children must move on the carpet placing themselves and appropriate cards on the squares to fulfill the task at hand. This process is called kinaesthetic learning.
Why does it work so well? Wendy is a believer of the known fact that we all “learn better by doing”! Young learners need to be active participants and not simply passive observers. We all know that children respond and learn best when given positive experiences, opportunities to succeed, make mistakes and time to develop their own skills. Research regarding what makes children effective learners has confirmed that a child’s learning is largely dependent on their personal interest, emotional engagement, social interaction, physical activity and the obvious joy in mastering the task at hand.
Children need to manipulate, move, use trial and error, and observe their attempts until they find the answers. Just as with today’s popular video games, children are not able to move on to the next level until they have mastered the previous one.
Through their movement and manipulation of materials on The Learning Carpet, children gain a deeper understanding, confidence and increased skill level. Concepts in all five strands of math can be taught at all grade levels through the use of this valuable classroom resource. The students soon learn that math is full of patterns! It is those patterns that they retain and trust in individual applications. More difficult concepts such as fractions, analog time, area and perimeter, transformational geometry, coordinates and tessellations can be mastered through regular use of TLC.
Even many language concepts, including rhyming word families, spelling, alphabetical order, prefixes and suffixes and phonemic awareness, are easily taught and learned using this popular teaching tool. Any concept that can be taught at the desk, using paper pencil, can be more effectively learned by using The Learning Carpet and THE KIDS LOVE IT!
Currently, there are over 26,000 Learning Carpets sold around the world. Children in all parts of Ontario, other Canadian provinces, most U.S states and several countries in Europe and the Far East are learning math and language using this exciting an open-ended manipulative.
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