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The Benefits of Using Hands-on Activities

The following year the teacher moved up to the third grade with the same students. During the first term they had a review on verbs (that the teacher assumed was going to be easy), but when the students were asked what verb a was, they gave all kinds of answers except the right one. At this time the teacher realized that the lesson should be taught using a different method. The teacher then made a spinning wheel with four adjectives, four verbs, and four nouns. The students would spin the wheel and whatever word they landed on, they would ask themselves if they could do that word.

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If they could do it they knew it was a verb. Hampton City Schools had citywide language arts assessment four months later and there were two questions on the test asking students to identify the verb in the sentence and no one in the class missed either of those questions. Using manipulatives to teach the other components of language arts can be just as effective as it was for the researcher when teaching grammar. Many teachers have become conscious of the fact that not all students perform to the best of their capabilities. There are many different reasons that could affect student performance.

They have short attention spans and have a propensity to become bored quickly. Many other children are capable, but they are just underachievers. “Basic human values are involved in the problem of success and underachievement. These values involve such old-fashioned but irreplaceable virtues as self-discipline, commitment to goals, the ability to sacrifice momentary pleasures for greater rewards of tomorrow, independence in motivation, moral responsibility, and cooperative effort. Students who attain achievement in school almost always reflect these old-fashioned values.

Underachieving students who have brains but lack effort almost always reflect a lack of these values” (Whitley, 2001, p. 26). There is not a better approach when trying to keep children’s attention than to have them do something that is interesting and gives them the opportunity to be involved in a hands-on activity. Statement of the Problem The problem of this study was to determine the effectiveness of hands-on activities compared to paper and pencil activities (reading textbooks, answering comprehension questions, and worksheets) when teaching language arts to first through fifth grade students, based on student progress and achievement.

Hypothesis To answer this problem the following hypothesis was established: H1: There will be a difference in students’ achievement levels in elementary reading when determining which is a more effective teaching style, using hands-on activities to teach reading or using paper and pencil work to teach reading. The hands-on activity will be the more effective method and the students will prove this by increases in their progress levels. Background and Significance In elementary school, students are taught the foundation skills of reading that are necessary in order to achieve mastery skill level.

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