Back to School

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See it, Hear it, Do it.

What is your learning style?  As the kids go back to school, this is a good time to remember that we all learn differently.

While there are many theories out there, most agree that learning styles fall into three basic categories. *Visual, *Auditory, *Kinesthetic (or tactile)  Knowing how you, or your favorite students learn, can be helpful while we face another year of studying.

A Visual learner understands and remembers things by sight, either by reading or seeing pictures.  They want to see what they are learning. They can picture things in their heads, and often will close theirs when then want to remember or recall something.

Suggestions for a visual learner include; sitting at the front of the classroom to be able to see things easily.  Check eyesight regularly.  Use flashcards to learn new words. Write down new ideas, key words, and instructions.  Drawing pictures can help to explain new concepts.  Color code things.  Avoid distractions while studying.  See it!

An Auditory learner remembers what they hear.  They store information by the way it sounds, and have an easier time understanding instructions when they are spoken rather than written.  Reading out loud is important because they need to hear it or speak it to know it.  Sometimes they will hum or seem to be talking to themselves while listening, and it might look like they are not paying attention, but they are actually learning.

Suggestions for an auditory learner are; sit where you will be able to hear well.  Have hearing checked regularly.  Use flashcards, and read out loud to learn new words.  Read stories, assignments, or directions out loud.  Record yourself spelling new words, then listen to the recording.  Have test questions read out loud to you.  Study by reading out loud.  Hear it!

A Tactile learner uses physical movement to understand and remember things.  They learn by doing and touching, by being hands-on.  They love to move, build, draw, touch as they learn.  Learning is better when some type of physical activity is involved.  Frequent breaks and activity is usually needed, as they may have difficulty sitting still.  They often speak with their hands.  Taking things apart and putting them back together is a common way to learn about things, so they tend to find reasons to tinker with things.  They communicate by touching.

Suggestions for tactile learners include; participating in activities that involve drawing, moving, building.  Do lots of hands-on activities like art projects, acting out stories, or going for a walk.  While reading or studying its okay to chew gum or rock in a chair, or even walk around.  Trace words with a finger to learn spelling.  Take frequent breaks while studying.  Using a computer can reinforce learning through touch.  Tapping a pencil, shaking a foot, or holding on to something helps while learning. Do it!

For a fun way to discover what your, or your student’s, learning style is, take a quiz at one of the following sites.  You may be surprised by the results, or you might already know, but either way, knowing how you learn can make things easier and more effective as you head back to the classroom.

http://www.howtolearn.com/learning-styles-quiz/

http://www.educationplanner.org/students/self-assessments/learning-styles-quiz.shtml

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