These materials have been taken from Secondary National Strategy's 'Training materials for the foundation subjects'. They can be accessed from: http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/secondary/keystage3/all/respub/fs_trmat
Features of different learning styles
Kinaesthetic learner - Learns best when physically and emotionally engaged in learning.
Consequently, enjoys those lessons that provide such opportunities –
design and technology, PE and drama. Not a linear, logical thinker,
preferring to learn experientially. Particularly likes computer games,
because of the opportunities they provide for learning through trial and
error and for physical and emotional engagement.
Auditory learner - A keen participant in whole-class and group discussion, preferring to work with someone rather than alone. Would rather listen to a teacher giving instructions than read written instructions or follow a series of diagrams. One of favourite school experiences is being read to in English lessons.
When preparing for examinations reads notes aloud and makes tapes to listen to before goes to sleep. Has a logical, planned approach to learning and is most successful when teachers help break learning down into a series of incremental steps.
Visual learner 1 - Has to see things to understand them. Enjoys lessons which use videos, demonstrations and textbooks, which use charts, diagrams and pictures to convey information. When revising, prefers not to produce revision notes, but to use visual forms such as mind-maps, spidergrams or flow charts. Finds lessons more helpful if teachers begin them by connecting their content and focus with previous and succeeding lessons.
Visual learner 2 - Learns best when it is written down. Enjoys independent study and will frequently follow up lessons by reading the textbook to clarify and reinforce understanding. Tends to be most successful in lessons in which there is a textbook and is allowed to make own notes whilst teachers are talking. Is a logical, linear learner and has a keen eye for detail.
Strategies to address different learning styles and needs
- Create opportunities for movement in lessons and between lessons; for example, use groupwork strategies such as jigsaws, envoys, role-play.
- Chunk the lesson and vary learning opportunities to sustain concentration and levels of engagement; for example, move from a single-activity lesson to a multi-activity lesson.
- Ensure that the room is well lit and airy.
- Make sure that pupils have access to water during the day.
- Encourage pupils to eat healthily and have access to healthy food during the day, for example at breakfast clubs.
- Use wait time when asking questions.
- Warn pupils when they will be asked to contribute to whole-class discussion.
- Alert pupils to questions that will be asked during the lesson.
- Tell pupils that you will be asking them to repeat points already raised in pair or group discussion when the whole class reconvenes.
- Give pupils a choice of assignments.
- Explain different approaches to note taking and allow pupils to use the form they feel most comfortable with.
- Provide opportunities for pupils to identify questions that will form the basis of an enquiry.
- Use language to build self-esteem, confidence and optimism (see module 9
- Treat pupils consistently and fairly in the classroom.
- Target pupils who seem troubled or stressed for example: diffuse tension by greeting pupils as they enter the classroom; use humour to relax pupils.
- Use the school’s rewards system to acknowledge the full range of achievement within the school and take steps to ensure that it is operated consistently.
- Use formative assessment to identify achievement, areas for development and ways forward.
- Combine high standards of attainment and order with confidence and optimism that those standards will be met.
- Use curriculum targets to create a climate of continuing self-improvement.
- Show how each lesson connects with previous lessons and those which follow.
- Map out the scheme of work that the pupils are following at the beginning of a module or unit of work.
- Begin lessons by showing pupils what they will learn, what you will be looking for in successful work and why this learning is important.
- Plan for preferred learning styles in schemes of work and in single lessons, making them, where possible, multi-sensory.
- Provide opportunities for pupils to reflect upon their own preferred learning styles so that they can make informed choices.
- Be sensitive to situations where pupils are working outside their preferred styles and provide support.
- Provide regular opportunities for pupils to monitor and review previous learning and evaluate how they have approached their learning.
Prior attainment and knowledge
- Validate pupils’ own experience by creating opportunities for them to link what they know already with the new content of a lesson; for example, begin lessons by discussing what pupils already know about a topic, use analogies drawn from the experience of pupils, refer to examples drawn from the world of the pupils.
- Review learning to reinforce and make explicit what has been learned.
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