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Planning Activities That Cater To The 4 Learning Styles

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People are unique, and each person has their own likes, dislikes, habits, and routines. Since people are so different, it makes sense that people also learn in different ways. The ways people learn are called learning styles, and according to an article in the April 2010 issue of Educational and Psychological Measurement, there are four main learning styles. In order to teach effectively, it's important to understand these learning styles so you can use an appropriate learning activity that caters to them.

1. Visual learning

Visual learners absorb information best by observing. They prefer to learn by watching others do things, or through pictures, diagrams, and maps. Watching videos or performing live demonstrations is a great way to cater to visual learners. During lectures, provide visual aids if possible. The use of supplemental material, such as photographs, will help visual learners retain information.

2. Auditory learning

Auditory learners perform best when they are taught verbally. This type often performs well in school, since lectures are a good way for them to learn information. While these students have a great memory for things that they hear, they may have trouble retaining information that they have read. Playing soft, unobtrusive music while they study can provide positive results. Classical music is a popular choice.

3. Kinesthetic learning

Kinesthetic learning can also be called physical learning. Kinesthetic learners understand things by doing them. Hands-on activities are the best way to teach these types of students. Provide opportunities for experiential learning where possible. Encourage students to participate in lessons by building models and dioramas. 

4. Reading/writing learning

Finally, some students learn best through reading and writing. These students may have a hard time remembering facts they have heard or things they have seen, but they can easily recall things they have read. If you have reading/writing learners in your class, suggest that they take notes during lectures. The act of writing down notes will help them to focus on the lesson as it's being taught. As a bonus, they will have a written reminder to refer to later for study purposes.

There are many different types of students, and they all learn in different ways. No learning style is better or worse than the others, and students with any learning style can succeed when they are given the right tools. Use these tips to help you plan activities to help all of your students learn in the way that suits them best.