How to Tap Into Learning Styles for Home and Classroom Pt. 4

“The mind of the wise acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15

Here are some strategies for you to use for the last four Learning Styles. There is some overlap in strategies and you will probably see that your students will fall into more than one style where they overlap.

Verbal learners love to read; in fact you may have trouble tearing them away from a book once they are reading. Because of this love for reading, they immerse themselves in very rich written language and in return they are good writers too. They are good with word play and easily pick up on new vocabulary. They will use this new vocabulary in their writing as they become comfortable with it. They know the meaning of many words and will question what a word means if it is new to them. They are talkers; where Aurals talk to hear themselves as they learn, i.e. read aloud, Verbals talk through steps or procedures. Verbal learners talk with knowledge.They may want to work with a similar partner or group so they can “discuss” the content.

Logical learners are mathematical and see patterns in just about everything. They like order, lists, and use systematic approaches in their learning. They like games that challenge their thinking and are great at building puzzles, Legos, and models. They are curious learners and wonder how something works or is put together. They can easily get caught up in the process and while they may look busy, they aren’t moving toward the goal at hand.

Social learners, you would think are the talkers, however they are very good listeners too. They like to work in groups and when they work on their own, will check in with the teacher to make sure they are on track. They don’t have often come to the teacher with a question about understanding, they just have a need to interact and so they check in without the need. They show empathy, are problem solvers, and like to bounce ideas off of peers. They are team players and enjoy those kinds of sports activities.

Solitary learners are reflective and like to really put some thought into what they are working on. They prefer to work on their own and rely on themselves to get the work done. They don’t always trust that other members in the group will do their part and they tend to do some of the work of others to make sure that everything is complete. They are independent and like to have “think time” before answering a question or starting their work. They want to know how their learning relates to their life and world. They are the ones to ask, “Why do we need to learn this?” They want to know why it matters and this is where learning objectives come in to play.

These are the last four learning styles of the seven in this series. Let me know how these strategies work for you in your classroom.

How to Tap Into Learning Styles for Home and Classroom Pt. 3

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths.

Now that you have had the chance to take the test and perhaps have your students take it; I want to give you some helpful suggestions that your students can do independently after you have taught your lesson. It is difficult to change a teaching style because you teach the way you learn, however, you can give your students options and as you learn from these different styles you will be able to tweak your lessons to help with all the learning styles. So, I am not here to tell you how to teach your lessons; I want to give you the tips and tools that are in your classroom to help your students complete and understand the lessons.

Since these Learning Styles focus on the senses, I am going to concentrate my discussion there. We will focus on environment in another post.

Visual learners want to “see” the lesson. Use your white board for words, numbers, and pictures; if you have a computer that projects to a screen or a smart board, even better. Find ways to give your students a visual of the lesson being taught. This is one of the most common ways of teaching in the elementary school. In middle schools and even more in high schools, lecture is the main focus of a lesson. By adding a few key words, phrases, or diagrams to the white board allows visual learners to focus in on the lesson because they have a connection that is being made in their mind.

Visual learners may have several colored highlighters or pens out. They underline, highlight and doodle on their pages. Let them! They may choose to have manipulatives out as they are working but may not touch them. For the visual learning it is about seeing, picturing and imagining.

                                                               

Kinesthetic/Physical learners not only need to move, they need to work with “things.” Have manipulatives available, such as counters, number-lines, whiteboards, markers etc. Kinesthetic learners need sensory motivation, they are very tactile; some things are texture issues and some are stimuli. Allow Kinesthetics to get up and move after a lesson. Sometimes just getting up for a tissue or allowing them to work standing up will help calm the fidgetiness that they are feeling. Give students an opportunity to stretch, some will some wont, that’s ok. The ones that don’t, may want to get out the supplies for the lesson work and that is movement enough. Also, deep breathing can help calm and refocus their minds back to learning.

Auditory/Aural learners need to talk everything out; want peer and group work and can thrive when given the proper instructions/objectives for the group goals. They also tend to talk to themselves so that they hear their own thinking. However, if they need to focus on work, sound is incredibly distracting because they will tune into the noise instead of the work in front of them. Think about offering headphones to Auditory learners who need to tune out ambient noise around the room. They enjoy sounds and even learn to music, but it can also be a distraction when not used for a learning purpose.  Allow them to come up with mnemonics if they can, or if you know some, use them in the lesson to help them make a connection (HOMES – names of the Great Lakes – Heron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior).  Auditory learners are very good with word play because they enjoy sounds and playing with sounds.

These are the first three of seven. I will add the next four in another post. Until then, try a few of these tips with your students and let me know how it goes. Did you find other ways to implement strategies for these learning styles? Please share in the comments.

3 Short Steps and 3 Starters for -THE INDOOR DAY CRAFT PROJECT

“Life is like a rainbow. You need both the sun and the rain to make its colors appear.””

Unknown

So the weather outside isn’t cooperating and you need to stay indoors today and what better to talk about than indoor day projects. Most homes with children are filled with crafty objects in many places throughout the house. It is true, even non-crafters have the stuff that crafts are made of.

  • Start with a scavenger hunt in the house for anything that can be used for a project. Need help? Here is a get started list for you:
    • Crayons, colored pencils, markers, paint
    • Paper of any and every kind-think color or graphics. Newspaper and wrapping paper can be fabulous in a project.
    • Scissors, glue ,glitter glue, tape. Got duct tape? There are some super duct tape projects out there!
    • Found items such as, old t-shirts, cardboard, buttons, straws, toothpicks, rocks, kid’s meal toys, etc.

Getting the picture?

  • Now, spread it out on the table and let the kids brainstorm. Remember, this is a project to keep them busy. Don’t stress over what they choose to make. Let THEIR imaginations take over and enjoy the process!
  • Let them choose items from the table that they want to use. This may be a good time for a sharing lesson…

Let the creating begin!

Stuck for ideas? Here are a few to get you started:

1. The Simple Rocket Ship

  • The plastic cup rocket ship supplies:
    • 2 plastic or paper cups
    • 2 rubber bands
    • Tape
    • Paper and crayons (markers or paint)
  • Cut a piece of paper into the shape of a rocket and let your little one color it as you prepare the cups. A simple rocket ship pattern is shown below.
  • Punch 4 hole in one of the cups as shown in the picture.
  • Cut the rubber bands to open them.
  • Push them through the holes in the cup to make a crisscross shape and knot them on the outside of the cup. Tape above the holes (especially if using paper cups) on the inside and outside of the cup to prevent tearing when pressure is applied.
  • Have fun and 3…2…1…blast off!

This can also be a jumping frog, or a jumping boy or girl use your imagination!

2. The Picture Collage:

  • Picture collage supplies:
    • Paper
    • Glue (tape)
    • Anything that will make a picture!
  • Glue on objects in a random order, or create a specific picture (a scene from outside).
  • This collage can also be themed:
    • A leaf collection
    • A sticker collection
    • Favorite color
    • Favorite foods (use magazine picture to create it)
    • A wish list ( toy catalog)
  • Create a few to have a revolving picture display on the fridge or in a frame.
  • Tape them up in the playroom or bedroom to add your child’s decorative touch to the room

You can find some more ideas from these fantastic websites. Click on the pictures for the webpage.

 

3. The Pet Rock

Do you have a rock collector or perhaps there are round river rocks in and around the yard? That’s me, a rock collector.

  • Gather some smooth rocks
  • Get the washable paint and brushes out
  • Cover your surface (floor or table) with newspaper or a vinyl table-cloth.
  • Paint the rocks in a rainbow of colors and make labels for your garden. Or paint ladybugs, turtles, hearts, dots, lines, rainbows, whatever you like. You will have a colorful rock garden in no time.
  • These would also make great paper weight gifts for friends and family.
  • Think about a theme; paint them red, white, and blue for a Fourth of July BBQ. Make them look like Easter eggs for an outdoor hunt. Let your kids hide and find them and you have created a game for your craft!
  • Paint numbers, letters, and symbols on them and make them a fun learning game to play outside!

Happy crafting! And remember, if you make a mistake make it part of your art!

How to Tap Into Learning Styles for Home and Classroom Pt. 2

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.~ Proverbs 19:20, NLT

These are the scores from my test. I have taken these types of test before so my scores are no surprise to me. I have three strong strengths and a couple minor ones. As you can see, I use all learning styles and it usually depends on the task.

The scores are out of 20 for each style. A score of 20 indicates the style is used often.

Style Scores

Visual 16

Social 9

Physical 16

Aural 6

Verbal 10

Solitary 13

Logical 16

  • Visual (spatial). You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.

I do prefer using images, pictures, colors, diagrams and maps to organize information and to communicate my thoughts. I can easily visualize objects, room plans and design ideas. I sew and I can take a look at a piece of fabric and see the finished product. I also have a good spatial sense, which means I have a good sense of direction.

I use underlining, highlighting, and jotting notes adding stars or check marks. I like an organized space with color supporting my organization. I have a good sense of furniture placement and color coordination.

When I teach, I use a lot of visuals. I circle, underline, draw awful pictures (I am not an artist), I use charts and pictures. I love the white board and all of the color markers I can use in my lessons.

If I was dominant in any style, I would have thought it would be this one. I talk with my hands no matter what the situation! I am a mover; I don’t like to sit in one place for long and like to keep busy when I am. I am also tactile, which means the feel of things factors into my learning. When I shop I feel the fabric because that means as much to me as the look of an object. Gardening and sewing are some of my favorite activities because I am moving and manipulating the items I have selected. I read and listen to podcast and think out problems while I exercise. I would rather go for a walk or clean the house if something is bothering me.

However, because I am also visual, if I am not comfortable with a project, I will seek out plans, drawings and instructions instead of just jumping in and working with the objects.

I am a logical thinker. I look for patterns and connections to help me understand and learn content.

I don’t typically work out problem in my head because I am visual and kinesthetic I like to see and work through calculations. However, I am very systematic; I create charts and lists and organize my routines very precisely so I use my time constructively.

I use examples from research or from information I have read to back up my statements. I am not always grammatically correct, but I can usually pick it out when I hear or see it is incorrect.

I know, strange for a teacher. I earned my Masters online and now I am blogging. Remember, this is one of my learning styles and it is a 13/20 so I would consider it a minor strength.  I decided to pull the statement below directly from the information on the test results site because it explains me quite well in this style.

“If you have a solitary style, you are more private, introspective and independent. You can concentrate well, focusing your thoughts and feelings on your current topic. You are aware of your own thinking, and you may analyze the different ways you think and feel.

You spend time on self-analysis, and often reflect on past events and the way you approached them. You take time to ponder and assess your own accomplishments or challenges…

You like to spend time alone. You may have a personal hobby. You prefer traveling or holidaying in remote or places, away from crowds.

You feel that you know yourself. You think independently, and you know your mind. You may have attended self-development workshops, read self-help books or used other methods to develop a deeper understanding of yourself.

You prefer to work on problems by retreating to somewhere quiet and working through possible solutions. You may sometimes spend too much time trying to solve a problem that you could more easily solve by talking to someone.

You like to make plans and set goals.”

I am not dominant in any one category so I don’t have all of the strengths in one category; this is a good thing in my profession. I also know I need to have an understanding of each of the learning styles in order to help my students identify their strengths and to know that they may have many and are able to look at a problem or a lesson in many ways in order to gain understanding from it.

After taking the test for yourself, did you find that you understood yourself a bit better? Think of how our students will feel when they discover their learning styles.

In the next few posts I will offer classroom, homework, and lesson ideas to help you and your students use the learning styles to achieve the objectives in each lesson.

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