In our effort to make learning more practical, engaging, hands-on, and relevant to students' lives in and outside school, we created a technique called “REAL” learning and trained teachers in our partner schools on how they can make learning “REAL!”
R.E.A.L. is actually an acronym to describe the key ingredients you need to make a lesson or learning experience impactful and memorable for your learners. When a lesson has all 4 R.E.A.L. components then learners will care about what you are teaching them, they will be excited to be in your lesson, and they will learn very effectively!
These are the four R.E.A.L. components:
What you are teaching learners should be related to their lives. It should be easy for them to see how your lesson is important to their lives outside of school. When you make lesson content that is relevant, then learners CARE about what they are learning…this motivates them to study hard and learn the content very well!
As the teacher (or trainer), it is your job to keep energy high in your classroom! When the learning environment is dull or boring, learners lose interest and become disengaged. Keep your lessons energizing by involving learners in demonstrations, giving them activities to do in groups, letting them move around the classroom for certain activities, and also by running quick 2 minute active “energizers” when energy levels drop.
Get your learners to participate by having them work on practical, hands-on activities in groups. Every lesson should ALWAYS have at least one group activity where learners are actively working together in small groups. This allows them to practice the 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, and negotiation. The more learners actively practice what you are teaching them, the better they will remember it later!
In traditional teaching, the teacher is the center of the lesson. However, when learning is REAL, the learners become the center of the lesson. This means that in every lesson, your learners should do most of the thinking, talking, deciding, and leading. When you structure your lessons this way, learners are more proactively involved in their learning and as a bonus, it is less work for you as a teacher! Example: when teaching geography of the seven continents, instead of making/buying maps for learners ahead of time and trying to get them to memorize using these learning aids…you can assign each group of learners to make a map for one continent, and then have each group teach all the countries in their assigned continent to their fellow learners. This is less work for you and also learners will learn more by becoming the teacher!
Below are some pictures of the four REAL components in action, in different Yiya lessons and trainings!