By Kellianne Holland
Early Childhood Education Major, College of Education
Imagine a young student sitting in a classroom while a teacher is teaching them how to add and subtract. The teacher is speaking at the perfect pace and has a few examples written on the board. However, the young student is having a hard time grasping the concept that is being taught.
Overwhelmed, the young student begins to become restless and the teacher notices the student struggling. The teacher finishes up their lecture and pulls out five marker pens and places them in front of the young student. The teacher then explains the concept and allows the young student to experience adding and subtracting, kinesthetically. Finally, the young student understands and a big smile is planted on both the student’s and the teacher’s face. The experience has resulted in a learning success.
As a teacher, it is so important to be committed to the success of each of your students. Every student who enters your classroom is different than the one who entered before, because they have different learning styles. Being able to accommodate every learning style will allow the opportunity for every student to learn without falling behind. With this being said, here are some ideas to help you make sure that each student’s learning styles are being accommodated:
Students who learn kinesthetically are able to grasp ideas and concepts when they are able to experience the material you are teaching, hands-on. To connect with these students, try letter blocks during story time and have the students spell out certain words throughout the story for a fully tactile experience.
In addition, math concepts can be understood through the use of Lego blocks. Show how math can create and build through this favorite toy block. Field trips, preferably hands-on oriented field trips, are another way to get in touch with your kinesthetic learners. Interactive lessons and activities engage your students and allows them to use all of their senses, too.
Some students learn best when they are able to hear you explain an idea or concept. When they hear information from the teacher, classmates or even from their own mouths, they are able to process and memorize it. Class readings and discussions are an awesome way to make sure your auditory students are understanding the material. Videos and verbal repetition are also another way to incorporate auditory learning methods in your classroom.
Students who learn visually have to see it to understand it. Images help students visualize the concepts that are given to them. For a full visual learning experience, try educational video clips and demonstrations. Writing out instructions on the board helps visual learners retain important information.
Visual students also learn effectively when vibrant colors are used to draw attention to important material on the board, helping them remember the information. Additionally, encouraging students to draw or use symbols will help them feel confident about their learning style in the classroom and retain the information better than plain writing.
Reading & Writing Learners
Similar to visual learners, students who learn through reading and writing benefit from traditional note taking and textbook readings. Rather than doing a project, reading and writing learners do better with worksheets and essays. Having students write on the board or make a list together as a class is a great way to ensure that your reading and writing learners are getting the information they need.
Education is such a beautiful thing, and when we are able to get in touch with students, not only are they able to understand, but they also know that their teachers care deeply about their performance. Whether you have a classroom of mostly auditory learners or a great mix of all learning styles, each child counts and accommodating learning styles can bring you one step closer to success!
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