An entire classroom of students rarely responds well to traditional lecture and review, yet this is how most direct instruction occurs. This format works well with linguistic learners. While this format is sometimes necessary, vary teaching methods for greater student learning.
Break Things up a Bit!
Direct instruction should include students. Ask different students to come to the board and write important points as the class discussion takes place. Break a textbook chapter into sections, assign students different parts, and allow them to teach part of the class. Provide students with different graphic organizers so they can find one that suits their learning style. Have them take notes as you present the lesson.
Allow Students to Get Creative
Capitalize on your students’ diverse learning styles. If you have a classroom that is extremely visual-spatial, encourage them to add to their written summaries of chapters or stories with drawings. Spatial learners may especially enjoy making flash cards for new science terminology that includes mnemonic devices in picture form.
Ask kinesthetic learners to act out a play, pretend to be the solar system, or model the circulatory system for the class. Musical students could make rhymes for remembering mathematical formulas or a song for learning literary terms.
Give students grades for completing creative assignments and share their products with the class. This not only teaches understanding and diversity, but may help other students learn in a new manner.
Change up Locations
Spice up lessons and renew student interest by moving the class out of the classroom. With the principal’s permission, this encourages naturalistic learners. Read under a tree or on the football bleachers. Do a writing lesson in the basketball gym or the cafeteria. Use the school and its surroundings to your class’ benefit.
Look for beneficial and educational field trips. Family and consumer science classes could learn about cooking, management and budgeting from meeting with a restaurateur. Social studies and reading classes could learn about college, skills needed and desired preparatory work from meeting with a lawyer. Search the Internet for local businesses and develop a list that relates to your class. Oversee the students writing letters to the businesses, asking them for a meeting. This activity, quite interesting to interpersonal learners, will teach them proper decorum and social graces, all important life skills.
Sometimes students learn best with simple teaching methods, such as a caring attitude and a safe learning environment. Gather students in a large circle on the floor and read aloud to them. Ask them what story they would like to read, or what an appropriate homework assignment is. Encourage their writing by allowing them to free write on the subject of their choice – a sure pleaser for intrapersonal students.
No matter the method, all teachers’ goals are to utilize children’s learning styles. Reach your students by trying an assortment of activities for their maximum success.
What activities have you utilized in your classroom to reach all different learning styles?
- Based on Author’s experience as a High School English teacher.
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