AL Community

Active Learning Community and Links to Resources

The Active Learning Community consists of its practitioners, teachers, therapists and parents, the learners, and all the support troops: friends, family, aides, etc. Active Learning is an international practice (Europe, Canada, Australia), and is popular in Texas, the Michigan region with a growing practice in California. See “Who Does Active Learning”.

LilliWorks Foundation has in the past focused upon supplying Active Learning equipment, and held a major convention in 2005. As we have made progress in the equipment and financial, LilliWorks is shifting focus to include more outreach and community support.

Active Learning Forum/Group

The Active Learning Group is a Yahoo email group that is now moderated with Diane Montgomery, a teacher who has been practicing Active Learning for years. We’ll get the best possible answers to your questions, including asking Dr. Nielsen, herself.

Here is a sample:

I have a 10 year old that is cognitively in the 18 mos-3 yr level. He’s on home/hospital school due to medical issues.

I’m putting together a hanging pegboard that I was thinking to put on the wall. He is able to scoot over to what he wants, so I hope that he will go over to the pegboard. So far I have different textured items, a couple that make noise and some bright colored plastic toys. He likes to put things in his mouth, so I’m looking for ideas of things to put on the pegboard that won’t be a hazard to him.

I’ve not read any of the books, but have been to a few talks on Active Learning.

I would like to incorporate his pegboard into his IEP with a goal. I haven’t a clue where to start.

Could someone recommend a book to start reading? His teacher and Vision therapist are also interested in reading up on this. I’ve also heard that the Functional Scheme is a good place when trying to figure out goals and levels?

Thank you in advance for any help.

Good Morning,

Yes, you are off to a good start. I also started off with position boards. Which books you want to read depends on your focus. Step by Step focuses of developmental levels and the equipment. It is one of my favorites. Educational approaches is a variety of essays written by Dr. Nielsen that cover different topics. The comprehending hand focuses on vision, but it also applies to all children with disabilities and has a list of objects that would be good for children to grow with. Are you Bind? focuses on the emotional levels and theory. And space and self focuses on developmental levels and the little room. They are all good and I recommend reading all of them.

As far as goals go, a possible goal could be something like this:

By __(date)__, (name) will reach, touch, grab, pull, push or otherwise interact with objects, for his developmental level, tied to a peg board by means of elastic covered with tubing (to prevent injury), when given the board either on a tray or standing up for 15 to 20 minutes for 3 out of 5 days.

Objectives would then state the minutes at 10, 15, with the goal to 20.

The goal doesn’t have to be so specific as to the construction of the position board, but I don’t know how much is understood, so I described it instead of stating the name. If you would like me to tweak it, I would be happy to do so if you give me a direction that it needs to go in.

The functional scheme is highly recommended. It will tell you exactly which level your son is on in each of the 20 areas that are assessed. It is also very good to give you ideas of what to offer your son. If you purchase it, come back here and I will guide you through using it.

Please continue to ask questions and do your research. I wish you well. Diane

Thank you,

Diane Montgomery


LilliWorks offers the following to the Active Learning community:

An Active Learning Group A Yahoo email group that acts as a forum to help answer your questions about Active Learning. We’ll ask experts to answer your queries.
Active Learning Newletters that have a variety of articles, tips and tricks.
Used Equipment List for some bargains.
An Active Learning IEP with sample Active Learning goals.
An Active Learning Convention: now planning for the next one
Articles and Stories on this website

Share your story…

If you are practicing Active Learning, we want to hear from you. Share your experience and your success. A short paragraph or two and a photo, we’ll add to the “Who’s Practicing Active Learning” section of our website.


Here are some useful links, relevant to Active Learning.

Penrickton Center for Blind Children, Taylor, MI—specializes in treating blind children ages one through twelve with a least one additional handicap such as deafness, cerebral palsy, brain damage, developmental delay and seizures.
Texas School for the Blind and The Visually Impaired (TSBVI)—”A Center for Educational Services for All Blind and Visually Impaired”
National Federation of the Blind
Vision Associates—carries a full line of resources for specialists in visual impairment.
Evansville Association for the Blind
CTEBVI is a unique organization of: -Transcribers, Educators, Parents, Librarians, Paraprofessionals, Exhibitors and Students and many other advocates for the special needs of individuals living with blindness and visual impairment in Southern California.