My experiences as a creative person, tutor of children, and teacher of creative writing

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Helping Your Struggling Student - Basic Ideas for Teaching

Specific Ideas to Teach a Visual-Spatial Learner

Remember that the visual-spatial learner learns visually. Anything that helps them visualize what they are learning will help them to understand and remember it. Multi-sensory (things they can see, touch, hear) experiences are great. Since visualizing is a right brain function (in most people) humor, color, rhythm and music will also aid the child’s learning.

They will learn best what they can picture. They will learn if they consider something relevant; and of interest to them. They need to be able to “see” how this thing they are to learn will help them in their life. Saying that it will help them pass a test, get into college, or something in the future will not motivate them. They will need to want to learn the thing because it is of interest to them now. This is not as difficult as it may sound since visual-Spatial people are insatiably curious.

They enjoy learning ideas, and will remember facts which they consider interesting, though they will not memorize data for tests. They will not do things just to please adults, or because they “should”. They will resort to many tactics to keep from having to do things which do not fit their style of learning. These are some things they might try: lying; crying; hitting; manipulating adults; sulking; appearing dumb, helpless, or cute; giving physical excuses, for instance, pretending they can’t hear or see, or that they are sick; having to be excused to go to the bathroom often; hiding in bed or under a desk, or running away. It is important to remember that all children will resort to these behaviors when they are exceptionally stressed. For example, one strong auditory-sequential student became ill every day that she had to do art.

Visual-spatial learners love to have fun, so learning games are wonderful. Games also help to ease the stress the child may be experiencing. Board, computer, and simulation games, role playing, experiments, demonstrations, and field trips all can help the these children learn.

They will thrive when allowed to work from the whole picture to the parts. If they are interested in China, then their reading, math, social studies, history, science can all be connected around their study of China.

They dislike compartmentalized learning. They see everything as related and do not want to be interrupted to move on to the next “subject”. These children will enjoy going into depth on something they find interesting. They also enjoy sharing what they have learned with others if they can do it in a way they are good at, such as through art.