Learning styles refer to the different ways in which individuals naturally approach and process information, influencing how people learn, understand, and remember new material. Learning styles matter because they impact how effectively individuals can absorb and retain information. Understanding and accommodating these natural strengths can enhance the learning experience in a multitude of ways.
Right-brain learners possess distinct characteristics that distinguish them from their left-brain counterparts. These characteristics pertain to their information intake, processing methods, and preferred memory strategies. When we discuss right-brain learning, we are essentially describing the way they naturally absorb, process, and retain information.
Right-brain dominant learning, often associated with the right hemisphere of the brain, refers to a learning style that emphasizes creative and holistic approaches to understanding and retaining information. Strategies that are highly effective include multisensory materials, visuals, stories, movement, and hands-on activities.
Children who lean towards right-brained thinking exhibit a unique aptitude for envisioning fresh solutions, devising innovative designs, and grasping the broader perspective. These creative and imaginative learners often excel in artistic pursuits, music, or sports. They possess the remarkable ability to swiftly absorb and remember information when presented visually, using tools such as images, graphs, maps, and information organizers. This visual learning approach proves to be considerably more efficient and effective compared to traditional methods like repetition, memorization, or drilling. By connecting new content with visual aids, we help right-brained learners strengthen their less dominant hemisphere, fostering a well-rounded learning experience.
We intentionally avoid labeling our resources with specific grade levels or ages to place the emphasis on each child's unique abilities. While the skills covered typically span from kindergarten to third grade, individuals of various ages have found success with our materials.
Having tried other materials that didn't meet your expectations, you might understandably have reservations. Remember that the effectiveness of any educational resource can vary from one child to another. It's essential to stay flexible and patient while exploring different materials, as what works best for your child might require some experimentation and adaptation.
We've received feedback from numerous individuals who have achieved success with our resources, even in situations where they previously faced challenges or difficulties. This positive feedback is a testament to the effectiveness of our materials in accommodating diverse learning needs and helping learners make significant progress. We're committed to providing resources that empower individuals to reach their full potential, and we're delighted to hear about the positive experiences shared by those who've benefited from our offerings.
Multisensory resources, in general, are tailored to diverse learning styles and prove exceptionally effective for children with varying learning needs. They foster a more inclusive and flexible learning environment, empowering these children to grasp concepts more readily and with heightened engagement. Our multisensory materials are specifically designed to address the unique needs of children with learning differences, ensuring their success.
With numerous options available, it can be overwhelming to decide where to begin. To simplify your selection process, you can follow our Learning Path.
By following this guide, you can streamline the selection process and make well-informed choices that align with your child's unique learning needs and your educational goals.
If you find yourself needing further assistance or have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to support you and provide the guidance you need to make the best educational choices for your child. Your child's learning journey is important to us, and we're here to help in any way we can.
Stories and visuals serve as potent instruments for engaging and educating children. Young learners naturally gravitate toward visual stimuli, stories that captivate their imagination, and interactive, tactile experiences. When crafting each letter of the alphabet, align its shape with a recognizable object. This association links the letter's form with its corresponding sound. By incorporating images, children can seamlessly connect letter shapes with their phonetic sounds. The addition of stories and imagery reinforces the memorization of letters and their associated sounds. Furthermore, the inclusion of hands-on and tactile activities enhances the learning experience.
Teaching the alphabet in the traditional alphabetical order, as seen in the alphabet song, isn't inherently magical or more effective. Letters in words don't always follow the alphabetical sequence either. Alphabet Tales takes a different approach by presenting the alphabet in a deliberate order that enables young learners to construct simple words right away. This approach offers a clever and practical way to demonstrate the purpose of letters to children. For instance, Alphabet Tales introduces the Letter A and its associated sound first, followed immediately by the letter T. This allows children to form the word "AT." Subsequently, the introduction of the letter C forms the word "CAT," and so on. By showing the practical application of letters and their sounds, Alphabet Tales provides a more meaningful and engaging way for young children to learn.
Sight words are critical in early literacy because they make up 80-90% of the words children encounter in text, and recognizing them instantly greatly simplifies reading, improving fluency and comprehension. These high-frequency words, such as "the" and "and," enhance reading fluency, comprehension, and confidence, laying the foundation for more advanced literacy skills, reducing cognitive load, and supporting performance on standardized tests and overall language development. In a nutshell, mastering sight words is essential for building strong reading skills in children.
SnapWords® are designed to cater to diverse learning styles, particularly accommodating visual learners who benefit from associating words with images, seeing the whole word before delving into details like phonics, spelling, and decoding. This approach begins with presenting the entire word, allowing learners to establish a visual memory of the word's form before exploring spelling patterns and phonics rules, ultimately empowering them to tackle more complex, unfamiliar words. While sequential methods typically start with teaching details before introducing the whole word, SnapWords® recognize that right-brain dominant learners thrive by grasping words and phonics holistically.
For individuals with a left-brain dominant learning style, who think in words and handle abstractions adeptly, the images on the front of the cards may appear redundant or distracting. The unadorned word on the back may align better with their preferences. However, for right-brained visual learners, the inclusion of images is indispensable. These images enable them to create a mental picture and store the entire word in visual memory, matching their cognitive style. This image then serves as a recall anchor, even when they encounter the plain word. If asked how they remember the word while reading, they will often attribute it to the image stored in their visual memory.
SnapWords® take a comprehensive approach by incorporating body motion to engage kinesthetic learners, activating body memory. Additionally, the inclusion of sentences aids in comprehending and using words correctly within the context of sentences. This multifaceted method ensures that SnapWords® address various learning preferences and provide a holistic learning experience.
When introducing sight words to your child, the appropriate starting point depends on their familiarity with these words. If your child is a beginner, commence with List A. However, if your child has some prior exposure to sight words, it's essential to assess their knowledge. Begin with List A and have them read the words aloud. They should be able to recognize and read these words quickly, without the need to sound them out. If your child successfully reads all the words in the list, advance to the next list and repeat the evaluation process. In cases where your child encounters words they need to sound out, it's advisable to commence with that specific list. Initiating with a list that contains words they already know provides a confidence boost and helps them transition to this new approach to learning.
The Teaching Cards come in a convenient size of 5.5" in width and 4.25" in height, making them perfect for group instruction. If you prefer a more compact option, the Pocket Chart Size Cards are half the dimensions, measuring 4.25" in width and 2.75" in height. These smaller cards are excellent for small group activities and independent practice, offering flexibility in how you use the materials.
Embrace a holistic approach to learning to read, one that engages multiple regions of the brain and the body—a comprehensive "whole body/brain learning" strategy. This method taps into the brain's optimal learning mode, which is through sensory input encompassing body movement, visuals, tactile experiences, and tangible objects, as opposed to static images. To effectively support kinesthetic learners, consider the following tips: encourage physical replication, link abstract concepts to tangibles, involve hands-on learning, employ multimodal teaching, and integrate problem-solving with tangible objects.
Complete the learning cycle to ensure the learning process forms a full circle. When you teach through all three modalities, the second step involves allowing the child time to deepen their understanding by drawing, writing a phrase using the new word, and illustrating it. The final step is when the child can articulate and demonstrate what they've learned, showing you the drawings they've created and discussing their learning journey. This process ensures that information is absorbed, organized, and committed to long-term memory, and then it is shared verbally and tangibly—an exceptionally effective and beautiful learning approach.
Commencing phonics instruction as early as kindergarten is entirely feasible when adopting a right-brained approach that incorporates images, body movement, and fosters meaningful connections for learning. This approach capitalizes on a child's natural inclination for sensory experiences and can effectively introduce phonics concepts from an early age.
Phonemic awareness is the fundamental ability to recognize and distinguish individual sounds that come together to form a word. By placing a primary focus on developing this skill, children can effectively learn to discern and manipulate the sounds within words. Phonics, on the other hand, is the practice of associating these sounds with their corresponding "pictures," which are the letters that represent those sounds. Together, phonemic awareness and phonics lay the foundation for strong reading and language skills.
Segmenting and blending are fundamental phonemic awareness skills that form the basis of early literacy development. Segmenting involves the practice of identifying and isolating the individual sounds within words. This skill can be introduced to children as early as preschool. Initially, you can model segmenting by saying a word out loud and asking the children to focus on the sounds they hear. Gradually, encourage them to segment the word with you, and with practice, they'll become adept at independently breaking words into their individual sounds.
Blending, on the other hand, is the complementary skill. Here, you enunciate the distinct sounds you hear in a word, then gradually bring them closer together until you say the complete word. These phonemic awareness exercises, segmenting and blending, are crucial in helping children grasp the relationship between sounds and letters, laying the foundation for reading and language skills.
Phonetic spelling, also known as invented spelling, was a pedagogical trend in early education. This approach aimed to encourage children to start writing words using the letters that made sense to them, often resulting in creative spellings. For instance, a child might write "FONIX" for "phonics" or "PENSL" for "pencil."
However, promoting phonetic spelling can be detrimental because, once children associate sounds with their written representations, these initial spellings can become ingrained, making it challenging to correct them later. In my kindergarten class, a daily practice involved having children draw a picture and provide a caption for it. While their initial spellings were often inaccurate, this provided a valuable opportunity to guide them toward the correct phonics and spelling. By using the words they wanted to write as a starting point, we could effectively integrate phonics and spelling instruction, gradually helping them improve their written language skills.
Math can often be an abstract subject, filled with symbols that may pose challenges for children who are visual and spatial processors. These learners thrive when they have access to an educational approach that conveys the meaning of mathematical symbols and procedures in ways that align with their unique learning style.
Right-brain dominant learners, in particular, have distinct needs when it comes to learning math. They excel when they can comprehend the underlying concepts and the meaning behind mathematical operations, rather than relying on rote procedures. For these learners, memorization is often less effective because the information tends not to stick in long-term memory. Kinesthetic children, who frequently possess a strong spatial and holistic perception of math, tend to see the bigger picture surrounding mathematical problems. They can often visualize or intuit solutions without needing to follow the minute, historical steps often taught in traditional math education.
To effectively engage right-brain dominant learners, it is crucial to encourage them to explore the captivating patterns that emerge within the realm of numbers. By presenting numbers in a broader context, these learners can remember how to solve problems and recall number facts more readily. The use of visual imagery, storytelling, and hands-on activities plays a central role in their learning style, despite these elements not being traditionally associated with math education. By incorporating these strategies, educators can help right-brain dominant learners make sense of and excel in the world of mathematics.
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