10 Tips for a Visual Learning Style

› Visual

Kids remember 30% of what they see, but many of our students use a visual learning style in our classroom. How can you increase input so your kids remember and use what you are teaching them?

What is the definition of visual learning?

Visual learning is when someone can easily recall what they see. These students learn by observing and tend to be sight readers.

visual learning style

Teachers often notice that these types of students will process information very rapidly. They must see the teacher's face and be able to observe body language to fully make meaning.

In plain talk, that means they have to see it to understand it.  A teacher who talks and lectures without using charts, multi-media, notes or realia is actually doing a disservice to many students.

These types of activities actually create dendrites in the brain and allows our kids to make connections more often and at a deeper level.

Observing Visual Learning Styles

How do you know a student is a visual learner?  

Watch for kids who may learn best this way by observing if they:

  • Follow written directions well
  • Are distracted by people talking
  • Utilize the gestalt effectively (have a vivid imagination)
  • Lose focus during lengthy class discussions
  • Always has his or her nose in a book
  • Likes to draw pictures, graphs or diagrams
  • Tends to process verbal information or multi-step directions slower than peers

10 Visual Learning Techniques Teachers Should Use

These research-based instructional strategies for teaching to specific kids' learning styles are easy to incorporate into any classroom. Use the table below for 10 tips and techniques for kids who learn best by watching.

Use a highlighter for key ideas during reading or oral discussions
Seat them up front in order to avoid excessive distractions
Teach them how to preview chapters by using titles, headings, captions and subheadings.
Allow them to do written instead of oral reports
Teach them to use different colors for remembering abstract concepts (i.e.Stoplight Writing)
Use graphic organizers to model teacher thinking
Encourage drawing pictures when studying vocabulary
Make flashcards of key information
Use post-it notes to highlight key information in the text
Teach them how to make an organized list of information, using Roman Numerals and letters in the outline.

Is This Extra Effort for Learning Styles Really Worth It?

There is some controversy over whether learning styles actually exist or not.

On the flip side, some teachers have actually created little "learning style monsters" by making kids believe that they cannot learn without being taught a certain way.

The truth, as always, is in the middle.

The majority of people definitely have a preferred method of learning, but what actually happens is we learn to adapt and adjust to a variety of styles.

While it is necessary, I believe, to be cognizant of incorporating a variety of styles in our lesson plans, we also must teach students how to adapt to the method of instruction to increase their learning.

In other words, give them the tools and skill sets to use once they leave your classroom so they can continue to be successful, life-long learners.

Observe your students to see who might have a predominately visual style of learning, then adjust your methods of instruction to include ways to help all kids succeed.

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