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I used to ask myself that all the time when I was growing up.  I was a horrible student all the way into the second semester of my 10th grade year!  I had a difficult time concentrating in school and to be honest, there were just more important things going on in my life at the time.  I have always struggled with weight issues and being bullied, teased and tormented in school was a daily battle.  It's hard to concentrate on learning when survival is your priority and invisibility is your dream.  I did well in high school though, and eventually graduated college with a degree in Criminal Justice.   What changed?  I got involved.  I had a teacher that recognized a potential in me and fostered that by inviting me to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself.  I LOVED sports.  I know, sounds silly coming from the fat kid huh?  I did though.  I loved baseball, hockey and football the most and my teacher... read more

     It is extremely important that all students (and preferably their teachers) understand how they learn.  Once I realized that I learned best through reading and doing, education became easy for me, but I was in college by then.  Oh, how different things could have been if I had learned this early.  Teachers may realize it, my 6th grade math and English teacher knew it, but she never stopped to explain it to me.          The first time I meet a student I like to give them a Learning Styles Inventory like VARK which has printable inventories and a separate inventory for younger children or Education Planner which is geared toward the college bound and has some great resources for students, parents, and counselors.  Once I have assessed the student's learning styles I can gear all lessons to fit that particular student.         Teachers are forced to adapt lessons... read more

So many of us are wondering how we could learn quicker, with a longer retention span, and just plain better. The answer is simple. The way to learn and absorb the most content faster is by employing your personal intelligence style. So what styles are there? There is music, visual, interpersonal, nature, auditory, spatial, intrapersonal, and more. However, so many of us have been boxed into one method or structure of learning that we spend double the amount of time on learning a subject when it could take us only a few minutes if we learned it according to our true learning style.   A child that is auditory may not need to see the same vocabulary word ten times over if he just hears it spelled out once and repeats it. A student may find sudden success in learning that tricky multiplication table if he or she tries it to a song he or she wrote. Another restless person may find sudden focus when practicing a new activity outdoors.   Whatever ways we... read more

In 2013, I did this talk with teachers & parents, to explain very simply the many myths and misconceptions we have about learning difficulties. Come, watch me take you into the world of the child who struggles:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPD77glh2Eg

Unless you are a "Home-schooled" student...- which in the Summer months you are unless you are attending an actual Summer School - ...you are literally Out of the Box, the Box being the school building. This is a good thing on many levels. You've heard that change is good, well, the Summer months allow for some very significant change. In the first place, you have time now to reflect and consider what you were taught during the school-year, and for most students, time for such reflection was NOT available while you were in classes. Secondarily, you can now concentrate on the things you actually want to study and/or learn about, which is not always in the school's schedule. Staying sharp and retaining knowledge is about keeping your mind active, NOT about reviewing all the details of what you've already been taught. You'll find that quite naturally, your mind will recall facts that you've learned as you go about learning NEW things, things that interest you, things... read more

         After 30 years of tutoring special education children, I have decided that all academic problems are mine, not the students. Thus, I analyzed what has already been provided in detail to determine what does and does not work. For example, children have different learning styles that are not rigid, but flexible. Each of us may be good at a tactile sport but not efficient at a sport requiring gross motor skills. Or a student may read silently better than aloud, yet prefer to read aloud to younger siblings. Another child may draw a concept better than listening to a teacher's lecture. Learning by both visual and auditory processing may be best for others, who do not prefer writing. Tactile learners can use both visual and auditory means for success.          I was talking with a student about his needs who listened attentively, yet was not making progress. I switched to a visual approach, placing my directions on 3... read more

Hi, So, obviously I'm new on here and want to hit the ground running.   ...Electrical Engineering student at UTC...   I have tutored students, whether it be classmates, college kids, or adults, since about 6th or 7th grade.  My mother and grandmother are both teachers, and our family jokes that we all walk out of the womb carrying a laser pointer and wearing glasses.   I am super outgoing and willing to go through just about every unorthodox way to teach something so that the student understands it fully.  I have numerous subscriptions to teaching sites that provide me with many different types of tools, worksheets, and methods of teaching. I truly enjoy this sort of 2nd job of mine and hope that I bring a little more enjoyment into students lives. No one like doing or learning difficult things.  If you're reading this chances are you're having a hard time too.  Well, it doesn't have to be that way with me.  I like to bring... read more

I am a firm believer that one does not truly know something until she can put it into a new format. You can take notes from a book or from lectures all day, every day, but until you can put the information into a new shape, you haven't actually learned anything. Make a concept map, put facts and vocabulary into tables or categories, write flash cards, and/or rearrange the information in a new outline. Go really crazy and write a song or a poem, draw a picture, even make something in 3D. What you do or make depends on your learning style, but it has to be something new. I also believe that you only know something if you can summarize it. If you know enough about a subject to condense it into something really compact, like a “cheat sheet,” then you’re doing pretty well. You can capture its meaning in much less space than a textbook chapter. I actually do make “cheat sheets” for most of my tests. I condense all of the information I need for the test onto just a few pages,... read more

Monday, December 9, 2013   More families are looking for alternatives to traditional public schools. School closings and teaching faculty reductions are leading to over – crowded classrooms that don’t seem to meet all student’s needs. Home schooling is one educational option available to families seeking an alternative to their local public school system. This article highlights four things that will help you get your home school off to a good start while meeting all of your student’s educational needs. 1. What can you teach successfully? As an adult, chances are you can remember that one subject you were good at in school. Whether it came naturally for you, or you simply studied hard and still remember the content, you probably know the subject well enough to teach it to your home school students. However, you should still take some time to decide whether or not you can teach the subject to your students. Unless you have teaching experience as... read more

Teaching courses at the college level has taught me that one teaching style does not fit all students. In a college course environment, however, an instructor cannot always stop in the middle of a class to re-frame a lesson to suit the students who just aren't getting the topic. With one-on-one tutoring or even small group tutoring, a tutor has the opportunity to present a topic, check if the student(s) "get it", and if not, try a different approach to the topic on the spot. Tutoring means not going strictly by a syllabus but instead meeting the needs of the student, varying the material and teaching approach as appropriate. Like many other subjects, computer programming invites a variety of approaches to learning. It can be formal, hands-on, puzzle solving, problem solving, or exploratory. Different topics in programming are best suited to particular approaches. For instance, loops are best taught hands-on with plenty of examples to understand their mechanics... read more

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