Monday, June 1, 2009

Things I'm doing well: Kinesthetic and Visual Learning

At the moment, I'm taking a bit of time to reflect on where I want to improve and what I'm doing well. You can find the master list of reflections here.

Kinesthetic and visual learning

I'm a pretty firm believer that people learn in different ways. You just need to watch staff at the 'one-size-fits-all' professional development sessions to see that. One thing which I have noticed is that my students learn really well with kinesthetic or visual aspects of a lesson. I know personally that I use both of these in my own learning - with my kinesthetic memory particularly strong (I can still remember steps to ballet dances learned more than 10 years ago).

So, how do I use these in the classroom? Well, with visual learning, one way is through mind mapping. I haven't done this as much as last year, but the students all know it is a perfectly acceptable way of brain storming or organising information. We add this to having a lot of displays around the room. I have also realised that things like books have to be facing outwards to be most effective.

Kinesthetically we've really put it to best use with grammar and punctuation, with our biggest success being kung fu punctuation. I got the idea which watching The Unteachables, an English programme about seriously disengaged children. In our kung fu punctuation, we created our own actions and we constantly use them when talking about correct punctuation. I've found it's been really effective with understanding quotation marks - which in our actions is kinda like a karate kid move.

Where to from here. Well, partly it's about being on the look out for more places to use kinesthetic and visual learning, reflecting on the lessons and thinking about how it can be even better!

Tell me about your kinesthetic and visual learning tactics!


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