Learning in the Classroom

Recently, I began helping with a program offered at my church which encourages elementary kids to memorize Bible verses. Their excitement is wonderful to watch and it is also heartbreaking to watch some of them struggling to learn 1 or 2 verses while others are able to memorize several verses each week. The difference is not their intelligence, as all are capable of learning, it is their learning style.

The visual learners sit and read the verses and within a few minutes are able to recite the short verses to an adult or have practiced them at home and come ready to say several verses at a time. Because they learn through what their eyes see, memorization may take work but it is relatively easy.

The auditory learners need to hear the verses they are trying to learn and as teachers we must remember that if the talking we hear in a class room is an auditory child trying to learn then we should let the noise continue. The best way for an auditory child to memorize, is to say the verse out loud or read them to another person. It is very easy for teachers to believe that when a child is talking they are not learning while just the opposite is true. For an child who learns through hearing the quiet of a room can spell failure.

Then we have the kinesthetic learners who at a young age may need to be moving to memorize. Letting them make motions with their hands (in an appropriate way of course) or standing to memorize their verses are ways to involve movement as the kinesthetic learner works to achieve their goal. If we insist on  a child who learns through movement being still and quiet we are limiting the speed of learning for that child.

While it is hard for many teachers to cope with a noisy moving class, if the children are being directed to learn according to their learning styles, in the long run will give the children and ultimately the teacher success in what they want to accomplish.

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