Teaching on its own is a difficult thing to manage, and it’s becoming more difficult as our classrooms are being moved online. Getting your students to sit down at home and learn effectively is turning into a challenge for many teachers.
How can you make sure that your students are absorbing the information that you’re trying to teach?
Knowing how to manage the different learning styles of your students is important in helping them learn your subjects. Here is a guide to help you teach your students and have a good time doing it!
Understanding the Different Learning Styles
Before you jump into how to teach kids with different learning styles, it’s crucial to understand what those learning methods are. Here are the four common learning styles that you can expect to see.
Visual learners take in the information that they see. They often work best when dealing with graphs, charts, and other visual forms of information. They also learn best through pictures instead of verbal or written explanations.
The visual learners in your classroom are likely the doodlers or those who spend most of their time observing the area during your lectures. This helps them absorb verbal information since they can pair it to a visual double. Remember, just because they are not solely staring at you does not mean they aren’t paying attention or gathering information; they may just need something else to study in order to properly hear what you’re saying!
Next up are your standard auditory learners. They work best by listening, whether they are intently hearing you give your lecture or listening to a recording of your speech after class.
You may find that auditory learners are a bit slower when it comes to reading or taking notes, but they will be great at verbally reciting notes back to you. They may even be better at summarizing your lecture than you were.
These students are going to be your hands-on learners. Tactile learners may struggle to listen to your lecture or paying attention to slideshows; instead, they prefer to get right into the material and try it for themselves.
Tactile learners tend to work best when they are able to get up and move around during lectures and excel in sports and other physical activities. However, you may find it a struggle to teach them things like math or English where they have little physical activities that they can do. While they may seem like trouble-makers at first, all they need is a way that they can get out their energy while you teach to help them absorb information.
Reading/writing learners are going to spend a LOT of time taking notes and looking over whatever textbooks you assign for your class. They absorb the majority of their information through written information and will benefit from written guides of your lectures or textbooks with any information they will need.
Combined Styles of Learning
It’s very rare that you’ll have a student who can only learn one way. You are more likely to find students who have a mix of these above styles of learning, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different classes to find what works best for them!
How to Manage These Learning Styles
Now that you know what the various learning styles are, how can you incorporate their needs into your classroom? Here are some tips to help you teach your students effectively!
To help your visual learners absorb the information properly, you may find it useful to include plenty of pictures in your slideshows or presentations. Make sure you use action shots that properly describe what you’re teaching rather than simple stock photos or clipart.
Also, if you notice one of these learners doodling in class, don’t stop them. There is plenty of science backing the idea that students who draw are able to learn better when doodling. Let them work in their own way!
When you’re giving your lecture, make sure to speak loudly and clearly so that your auditory learners have a chance to hear what you’re saying. If you’re worried that your voice may not carry well enough, you can either let your students record your lesson or post an audio file of the lecture later on so that your auditory learners can relisten to your class.
Your tactile learners are going to want specific things that they can do while learning in order to absorb the material. If you are able to get anything physical that they can use to practice what they’re learning, do it! If you’re teaching math, there are math blocks that you can supply them with as a physical activity to practice with. If you’re learning English, give them a worksheet so they can try it for themselves.
During the lecture, let them get up and move around if they need to as long as they aren’t disrupting your other students. These learners have a hard time sitting still and paying attention, so use their need to move to your advantage when you can!
Like visual learners, reading/writing learners may seem like they aren’t paying attention to you as their faces are crammed in their notebooks. However, let them take notes and read along as you speak so that they can gather what you’re saying.
It also helps to supply a physical written copy of your lecture to your class so that they can take it home and read it in their spare time. This will help them absorb anything they couldn’t pick up in class.
Teach With Confidence
Understanding the different learning styles and how you can manage them is the key to being a good teacher. Use these tips both in and out of the classroom to help your students learn, and don’t forget to allow plenty of time for questions! Having a suggestion box for your students to recommend more teaching methods can also open you up to more possibilities, so don’t be afraid to ask what they think.
How do you like to teach your students? Are there any unusual ways you’ve helped them learn?
We’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment down below with your experiences and continue reading our blog for more helpful tips.