Posts Tagged ‘Kinesthetic or Tactile Learners’

Continuous Learning

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Everyday activities offer a wide range of learning opportunities. Let’s use shopping as an example.
Shopping can be time for:
• Keeping track of purchase prices (math skills, money management)
• Figuring tax (math skills)
• Counting items
• Shopping from a list (reading, food groups, money management/budgeting)
• Budgeting/ money management
• Read labels (reading, nutrition)
• Nutrition conversations
• Exercise (wear a pedometer or count/estimate steps)
• Cooking
• Spelling (have your kids write the list)
• Wayfinding (Make a map of the store and bring a compass. Locate specific landmarks or trails on your map.)
Tips:
• Ask and answer questions about everything to encourage critical thinking, curiosity, and love of learning. This type of method is great for tactile or kinesthetic learners.
• Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know but will find out. Follow through with finding out the answer together.
• Keep your kids so busy answering questions and thinking that they don’t have time to get bored and cause mischief on shopping trips. You can also play games like “I Spy” or “20 Questions”.
• Talk about the outing on the trip home. Ask questions and encourage conversation. This will work on improving memory and critical thinking skills.

Free or Cheap Summer Movie Programs

Friday, May 8th, 2009

There is a lot to be said about good, clean family fun for fun’s sake– especially if it’s free! Many movie theaters offer free or cheap family movies on certain days or at certain times in the summer. You can enjoy some fun outings with your children and still sneak in a few questions on the way home to work on memory and critical thinking!

Take time to enjoy your kids for the time you have them. Use any opportunity you have to get them comfortable having conversations with you.

The following links will help you find the summer movie programs near you.

http://www.regmovies.com/nowshowing/familyfilmfestivalschedule.aspx?state=CA

http://www.amctheatres.com/smc/

http://www.cinemark.com/summermovieclubhouse/index.htm

http://www.nationalamusements.com/programs/bookworm.asp

http://www.harkinstheatres.com/SummerMovieFun09/SummerMovieFun.aspx

Blue’s Clues

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Nick Jr.’s Blue’s Clues is a charming children’s television series aimed at pre-schoolers. It involves the children in searching for “clues” and solving a puzzle in every episode. A huge variety of age appropriate school topics are covered in a fun and interactive way.

It is really one of the better shows I have found for developing early critical thinking skills. I have noticed that these skills are often lacking in high-school students, thus causing problems in their studies─ especially with math word problems.

Nickelodeon offers Blue’s Clues activities and games at:
http://www.nickjr.com/playtime/shows/blue/index.jhtml

Jump Start

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Computer games are a fantastic way to help visual, auditory, kinesthetic learners connect with educational material. Jump Start, by Knowledge Adventure, has created some absolutely fantastic learning games for children. They start with toddlers and teach them basic computer mouse skills while introducing them to music, letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and more in a fun and exciting way. The grade levels go all the way up to 6th grade, and the content at each level is very age appropriate.

I am particularly impressed with the kindergarten version. There is a great game that helps children build words and recognize phonics. There is also a math game that is very impressive. I would recommend this to parents of children entering kindergarten as well, to give your kids a head start.

I am currently using several of the different younger levels with my own kids, and they love them. The “advanced” versions of each grade level provide multiple disks with extra learning tools, but kids can get a lot out of the regular versions too.

In addition, I have never had a nicer experience with customer service personnel. The people at Knowledge Adventure really go above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction.

Tip: Check the specs before you buy to make sure that it is compatible with your operating system.
Note: I have not yet personally tested the 5th & 6th grade versions, and the reviews on amazon are mixed about those. I intend to test them soon, so check back for updates.

Field Trips

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Many students will learn a great deal from field trips. They provide a great mix of sensory experiences for auditory, visual, and kinesthetic or tactile learners. Being involved and immersed in a learning environment leaves a lasting impression on your kids, and I have found that my students look forward to and repeatedly ask for field trips.

Field trips can involve a variety of locations and subjects. They can be as simple as taking young children on a “math adventure” to add up purchases while grocery shopping, or as complicated as arranging a private tour of a factory for your group or family. Of course, zoos, aquariums, and museums are great locations. Visits to historical landmarks are also great tools to make their history books come alive. Many small, local businesses are happy to take a little time to show interested students their trade as well. Don’t be afraid to ask. Just be creative. Any situation can be an opportunity to learn. In lieu of a field trip, shows like Unwrapped and How It’s Made can help walk students through situations they may not ever get to experience.

Benefits:
• Multisensory experience
• Learn about possible careers
• Learn skills
• Engage, encourage, and satisfy curiousity
• Quality time together
• Enhance almost all subjects
• Students usually really enjoy them

Suggested locations:
• Plant nursery
• Farms
• Library (ask your librarian for a behind-the-scenes tour)
• Factory or manufacturing plant
• Restaurant
• Zoo
• Museum
• Aquarium
• Symphony
• Cultural events (make sure your presence is appropriate)
• Newspaper
• Fire station
• Police station
• Veterinarian
• Hospital
• Interior design or architecture firm
• Archeological digs
• Dance studio
• Gym
• Movie theater
• Grocery store

Important tips:
• Talk about the trip in advance and incorporate what you learned into your class discussions. Choose trips that will enhance what you are studying.
• Be very polite and appreciative.
• Make sure your students are well-behaved, and have them write thank-you note to business owners who let you tour.
• Ask proprietors when their least busy times are, and work around their schedule.
• Bring a few friends. A small group may (or may not) have a better chance of securing a tour when arranged in advance. Kids also like doing things with friends.
• Take pictures and notes. (If you are allowed)
• Don’t overstay your welcome on private tours. Remember, these people have businesses to run.
• Before you go, learn about your location and think of questions to ask.
• Having older kids write a report to practice composition and solidify their memories of the experience may be appropriate.

I found the following site that helps people locate field trips in their area:
http://fieldtripfactory.com/

Learning Styles

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Each student will connect with and absorb information in his or her own way. There are many methods used to identify the unique learning styles of each child. One of the most common models (Flemming’s VARK model) breaks down the styles into four groups:

1. Visual Learners
2. Auditory Learners
3. Reading/Writing Preference Learners
4. Kinesthetic or Tactile Learners

If you are unsure of your child’s learning style, there is an assessment available at the following site:
http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire

[This particular assessment is best suited for older students (jr. high and high school).]

For younger students, you can read over the following summaries of each style:
http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=categories

Then observe your child in different situations. What do they enjoy doing? How do they concentrate the best? Do they follow the illustrations in the book to understand the story, or do they listen to your voice? Do they like cooking or hands-on science experiments? Just give it some time and attention. You will begin to get an idea of how your child learns so you can choose a curriculum that they will connect with and thrive.

Most people will have a mix of every style to some extent, with one or two styles being obviously dominant. Some may be pretty evenly distributed. Use the information to tailor the curricula and tools you use to your student’s specific needs. The following link will give you some study strategies for each style.
http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=helpsheets

I have tried to include some information about the learning styles the items I review on this site are best suited for, so try searching the articles according to your child’s style.