Understanding the Different Types of Learning in Your Classroom

Learning in the Classroom

As a teacher, you are bound to come across a variety of students in your classroom with different backgrounds, tastes, abilities, etc. Inevitably, you will also find that your students receive information differently. Being able to recognize these varying learning styles is so important because you don’t want to teach everyone the same way and you must be able to adapt the way you teach to accommodate everyone and give them the best chance at succeeding. Take a look at the different learning types in the classroom and best practices to work with them.

 

Visual Learning

Someone who is a visual learner best receives information when they can see it in front of them. They might ask for a demonstration to see how something is done before they feel comfortable to dive into it themselves. They learn best with the use of maps, charts, and diagrams to better understand what is presented before them. Here are some things to do when working with visual learners:

 

  • Using flowcharts, webs, and charts to organize information

 

  • Use highlighted or color-coded notes to relate material better

 

  • Write checklists for formulas and commonly misspelled words

 

Auditory Learning

These students learn best through listening whether it be from spoken word or various sounds and noises. Some of these students might be very musically talented, so they may sing, or play in the school band. While your lesson may not be based on music, there are still many ways to accommodate these learners so that they can also feel part of the lesson. Best practices when dealing with auditory learners include:

 

  • Strike up a conversation with the student about the particular lesson

 

  • While in class have the students recite the information by asking questions for students to answer out loud

 

  • Get creative and have them put the material to a tune or rhythm for them to go over with you later

 

Kinesthetic Learning

Kinesthetic learners are going to want a more hands-on and physical experience with the material. Simply put, they learn best by doing. They enjoy actively going through the motions and feel the material within their body. Unlike visual learners who want to see something before they give it a shot, kinesthetic learners will want to dive right in and pick things up as they go along. Some best practices for working with kinesthetic learners are:

 

  • Having them write down notes on paper while they listen to the lesson

 

  • Maybe dramatize different concepts and have the students move objects around to act it out for themselves

 

  • Use some body movement while explaining something such as finger snapping, foot tapping, or even just mouthing ideas.

 

Honorable Mentions: Social and Solitary Learners

There are also some types of learners that are not as common as the three listed above but are still worth being aware of. Social Learners are the ones who work great in group settings. They are the students who are active in the school participating in clubs and sports and have no problem working with others. Solitary Learners are students who take to themselves more often than not. They typically come off as shy because they aren’t quick to raise their hand to ask/answer a question. They will usually try to figure things out on their own before deciding to come to you for help.

Introverts in the Classroom

Most often, when we talk about trends in education, there is a big shift towards student centered learning. By this, we mean group projects, classroom discussions, and even seating arrangements that resemble little pods of students. Naturally, this shift has had positive reactions from students and teachers alike. The only group we fail to ask input from are the introverted students. This blog will explore introverts and what kind of education best serves them.

What is an introvert?

An introvert is someone who is extremely introspective, has a deliberate need for solitude, and is a more effective written communicator than conversational. Introverts also spend a fair amount of time reflecting on the world around them to sort out all the stimulation we face every day.

Solitude is extremely important to introverts. When introverted people are out in the world interacting with other, they become drained from overstimulation. Part of this is due to the consistent reflection and introspection that comes naturally to them. It can be exhaustive to work through every interaction, sound, and environment change. The retreat to solitude allows them to process the day and recharge. This last part is extremely important when it comes to a classroom setting.

Recent shifts

Recent trends in education have turned towards a much more extrovert focused system. You have heard buzzwords like, flipped classrooms, student centered learning, and project based learning, which all focus on group interaction and discussion. For an introvert, this can be extremely exhausting! Especially if every classroom moves towards this type of learning. For introverts, a six hour period of interaction and stimulation can be hard to process. We need to begin doing things to help out students escape this, even for a little while, to recharge and engage in the next lesson.

Here’s a few things we can work on:

Quiet spaces

Make a space or time within your classroom that is for quite, individualized learning. This could be a reading nook or just a dedicated area that enforces a strong “individual, quite learning only” policy. You may find introverted students heading here after a particularly noisy lesson or after a group project. They are going to recharge, process the day, and will be ready to tackle the next group activity in no time.

Think first, then answer

Create a classroom policy that is “think first, answer later.” This gives all students a time to reflect and come up with their own answers before someone else has the opportunity to shout out the first thought in their head. This not only helps introverts process, it also teaches the rest of the classroom how to apply deep learning techniques to even the simplest of tasks.