Sunday, October 5, 2008

Teaching and Learning in Style

Are you a proponent of learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) as a concept we can use to improve both teaching and learning for many individuals? Whether your answer is yes or no, you will find some good ideas in Heather Johnson's article.

The Art of Learning Better: 101 Tips to Find and Fit Your Learning Style
provides suggestions for preservice and inservice teachers as we’re learning new ideas. Ideas presented encourage us to use our personal learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) as we learn. That’s a great idea. However, we can also use these recommendations to help us reach students with different learning styles as we teach.

For each learning style, Heather Johnson provides ideas for organization, in class activities, studying, and using other learning methods.

Visual learners understand better when ideas are represented visually: pictures, drawings, graphs, charts, even text. Johnson recommends the use of color coding, making lists, sketching, creating a timeline or an outline, watching videos, creating mind maps, using the computer, keeping things quiet, and many other ideas.

Auditory learners prefer hearing new ideas; so, sounds work well for them. That includes music and talking as well as other sounds. Tips for auditory learners include creating auditory cues and leaving yourself audio messages, participating in discussions, asking for things to be repeated, studying with others, using audio books, creating oral stories that include the ideas you want to remember, creating songs, watching videos, listening to podcasts and music, using headphones, creating rhymes, and other tips.

Kinesthetic learners need to learn with hands-on opportunities. Interactive computer programs or web sites as well as labs or demonstrations work well for them. These learners benefit from using notebooks with distinct surfaces, being active, using the computer, interacting with teachers and other learners, chewing gum, typing notes, going on field trips, taking lab classes, studying in short blocks of time and with others, participating in role play, drawing, creating models, tracing letters, moving while studying, making learning aids such as quizzes or flash cards, and many other ideas suggested.

I can’t help but think about ideas previously discussed in this blog as I look at some of Johnson’s suggestions…
  • Audio Books: LearnOutLoud
  • Audio Messages:
  • Charts: Gliffy
  • Creating Songs: GarageBand (Mac only)
  • Drawings: Comic Life, Kerpoof!, Glogster
  • Field Trips: National History Education Clearinghouse, search for field trip at the top left of the blog web page and click Search Blog
  • Graphs:,
  • Music: GarageBand (Mac only)
  • Pictures: Creative Commons, check the clip art label to the right, Kerpoof!, Dumpr, LunaPic, Picnik
  • Podcasts: Gabcast, check the podcast label to the right for many resources
  • Quizzes: ClassTools
  • Timelines: HyperHistory Online, Xtimeline
  • Typing Notes: Word, Google Docs, many others
  • Videos: Kerpoof!, LearnOutLoud, TeacherTube, YouTube, UnitedStreaming
  • Web Sites: check the web sites label to the right
BTW, there are two ways to search for ideas in this blog. First, you can simply click on any of the labels listed in the right sidebar below the listed blogs. The second way to search for an idea is to use the search box at the top left of the page. Type what you want to search for in the search box and then click on Search Blog.

These tips for working with learning styles are found at Teaching Tips, a web site for both preservice and inservice teachers.


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