The Sound of Learning – Incorporating Learning Styles in the Classroom
Teaching is a constantly evolving art. Teachers are striving to reach all students in their varied classrooms. Every student comes through the door with a different level of knowledge, culture, and even language. In order to teach a diverse classroom, one must first focus on how students learn best.
There are many different learning styles, as well as combinations of these learning styles, that all schoolchildren have and are more likely to respond to. Therefore, the best lessons incorporate a variety of learning styles and skills to maximize student achievement.
In primary school children, there is a natural inclination to interact with their environment. Studies have shown that this is how young children construct meaning and knowledge. In addition, children all have a different learning style which optimizes how they understand and retain new material.
Phonics in Motion incorporates these learning styles into their daily lessons, making this resource ideal for reaching all learners.
How Do Students Learn?
There are many theories on how students learn, and not all students learn in the same way or at the same pace. In addition, each individual child has their own learning style which must be incorporated into their daily school experience in order for them to be successful.
Learning styles are how an individual grasps, processes, comprehends, and retains information in the most optimal way. There are differing opinions on the types of learning styles, but one approach is that students fall into three categories when it comes to learning styles: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic.
Incorporating these differing learning styles into lessons provides every single student in your class with an opportunity to succeed. Students who are able to explore concepts within their preferred learning style show higher success understanding the material and retaining new concepts. Not only will students thrive in this environment, they will also gain academic confidence.
Lessons designed with awareness and inclusion of the different learning styles will yield the results that all teachers seek. Kinesthetic learners are able to thrive when they are provided with the opportunity to include movement in their learning. Auditory learners require a lesson where they can hear new material and link it to their current knowledge. Auditory learners also tend to favor repetition to be successful. Visual learners do best where there is a visual component for them to link to the knowledge.
In the ideal classroom that is conscious of differing learning styles, you would see a lesson that fully incorporates the elements of each. Students will have the opportunity to practice, move, discuss, and visualize what they are learning.
Reaching Every Student
In a PIM classroom, the different learning styles of students are met. Students who learn through kinesthetic motion will be able to interact with concepts through the daily use of KMPs (Kinesthetic Motion for the Phonemes). There is a movement for every sound in our language and some word endings. This approach provides the kinesthetic learner the opportunity to physically interact with the sounds they are reading, listening and writing.
For the Visual Learner, PIM offers many opportunities for success through the use of the Reading & Writing Monster, the visual display that Language Calendar provides, and the KMPs they can see. The visual learners can read the poems and songs to support learning. The Vowel House, the graphic display of the vowel sounds and their alternate spellings, allow visual learners to link the sound with the letters which will aid their comprehension of letter/sound correspondence.
Children who are auditory learners benefit from hearing the sounds in poems and stories that build upon previous lessons. Auditory learners also benefit from repetition, which is a pillar of PIM as it uses previously learned skills to introduce new concepts.
There are also students who learn through a combination of styles. For example, an auditory learner may be further empowered when they can use kinesthetic motion as well. The visual learner may require an auditory component to create meaning. There are a variety of ways that students learn, and PIM creates an engaging, supportive environment for these learners to succeed. PIM classrooms provide every student the ability to implement their learning style in daily lessons. These students will be more successful because PIM builds knowledge built upon student’s strengths.