Child1st Publications PO Box 150226 Grand Rapids, MI 49515 | P: 800-881-0912 | F: 888-886-1636

Teaching Strategies that Meet the Needs of Kinesthetic Learners

by Sarah K Major February 03, 2016

Teaching Strategies that Meet the Needs of Kinesthetic Learners

How to teach a kinesthetic learner

Often, kinesthetic learners are misunderstood. Their need for movement is viewed as a behavior problem. These are often the students who are constantly being told to "sit and be still" in their desks. Unfortunately the more we urge them to sit still, the more they seem to need to move.


How to Teach Reading to a Kinesthetic Learner

Easy-For-Me is effective because the multisensory approach to learning engages your child on all levels, and utilizes his/her own learning style strengths. Every skill is taught using visuals and body movement so the active child is fully engaged.

Once we understand that movement IS a learning style, the more success we will have with these very special learners. We can learn to make the need to move work FOR us.

Two other important strategies that are powerful for kinesthetic learners are story and visual. So, to recap, the three best strategies to use when teaching a kinesthetic learner are:

1. Movement
2. Story
3. Visuals

 

Child1st addresses the needs of the kinesthetic learner by incorporating hand and body motions, visuals and story in every concept taught. This is why we are here. We have spent years developing teaching resources that by their very nature are multisensory and meet the needs of visual learners, kinesthetic/tactile learners, and right-brain learners. Those designations cover a multitude of different learning styles and preferences. 

    

How to Teach a Kinesthetic Learner to Read Sight Words

SnapWords® are designed to capture attention, hold attention, and be easily remembered. They are the best resource for active learners because the words can be captured in a glance and each word has a related body movement.

 

What are some good teaching strategies for kinesthetic learners?

1. Give them plenty of outdoor time. A small study of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder last year found that walks outdoors appeared to improve scores on tests of attention and concentration. (Taken from a NY Times article by Tara Parker-Pope)

2. Let them move! They will learn more quickly and effectively if you let them stand at their desk, swing their legs, pace the floor - as long as they are not disrupting other students.

3. Break up long lessons into smaller chunks, change teaching location (sit on rug, sit in desks, go outside, switch seats, etc.)

4. If you are teaching steps for solving a problem, have students imagine themselves following the steps.

5. Their attention follows their hands. Encourage them to draw sketches or diagrams of what they are hearing in a lesson, or when doing a sheet of math problems, teach them to point to each problem they come to. Let them use flashcards with information they are learning


How to Teach a Kinesthetic Learner to Understand Math

The Right-Brained Math Series teaches math concepts using elements that work for children who learn best with visuals, patterns, stories, and body movements - all designed to show kids what computation means!

 

Is my child a kinesthetic learner?

It is important to understand as much as possible about the learning strengths of each of our children. Believe me - they don't all learn the same way!

Kinesthetic learners generally are gifted with their bodies. They are aware of their body in space - have great balance. They are coordinated. They learn sports and other body skills easily. 

How to Teach a Kinesthetic Learner the Alphabet

Teach letter sounds, shapes, and vowels to your kinestheic or tactile learner. Alphabet Tales uses stories, visuals, and hands-on activities and crafts for each letter 

 

What are the strengths of the kinesthetic learner?

  • Learns best through movement
  • Will focus on the whole picture
  • Learns best with 3-D materials
  • Needs to move while processing new information, but with very little external stimulation that would distract (let the body move but limit objects and visuals in the environment that would capture their focus away from the lesson)
  • Needs to learn using hands-on activities to process learning
  • Is often highly intuitive
  • Needs to physically process what he is learning - let them actually do the work rather than listen to how it is done

16 Characteristics of Kinesthetic and Tactile Learners

    

Read more about the strengths of Kinesthetic and Tactile Learners

 

 

 

    How to Use Movement in Learning

    Here is an example of a teacher using movement to teach a lesson. Rather than telling children how to "make a 10" and then practice problems with paper and pencil, she actually made a place value mat on the floor and had children act out the action in the math problem. (See Right-Brained Place Value).

     

     Acting out place value so children will understand and remember

    Here is an example of a child learning to write his numbers. First he stands by his desk and using his whole body, he air-writes 6 so his whole body is engaged. Next, he writes what his body already felt with pencil on paper. Learning happens through movement.

     Body movement that helps kinesthetic tactile learners in school

    Why is a multisensory teaching approach best and what does one look like?

    Many types of learners, including kinesthetic learners, benefit greatly from a multisensory approach to learningWhat does it really mean when we say multisensory?

    The accepted, traditional teaching techniques used in classrooms generally meet the needs of (left-brained) sequential learners. Concepts are introduced in a step by step sequence and are practiced and reviewed using drill and memorization; children must also show evidence of their learning in a particular time frame.

    This is all great for children who are left-brained or sequential learners. The problem is, of course, that while the approach to teaching is great for those children who are sequential, every learner is taught this way and this traditional approach is ineffective at best for all the non-sequential learners.

    Multisensory learning means that the student is able to use multiple pathways to the brain at one time in learning. He or she will not only hear the concept explained, but will also be using hands/body in learning, will see visuals that carry the meaning of the lesson. 

    Generally, teachers would be hard pressed to convert every lesson every day into a multisensory learning experience for their children. There is so much material to cover and so little time and so many interruptions. Yet given well-designed materials, the task becomes easy for both teacher and students.

    The BIG 3 are present in every learning resource we publish: Visual, Story, Movement.

     

    Try before you buy: FREE SnapWords® to download 

    We have free samples of our sight word cards available for download on our website. Try them out with your students before investing in the complete resources!

    Try before you buy

    Resources for parents/teachers of active learners:

    Your Active Child by Rae Pica

    A Running Start by Rae Pica

    Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World by Jeffrey Freed

     

     

     





    Sarah K Major
    Sarah K Major

    Author

    Sarah's absolute belief in every child’s ability to learn, and her passion to empower the child by supporting his/her own unique giftedness have fueled her life’s work and provided a new pathway for children to succeed academically.


    Leave a comment