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Learning styles - how do you learn?

learning; practice; memory; reading; writing; auditory; kinesthetic learning; visual;


What are learning styles?

Each of us is special and unique. The way we learn is also unique to ourselves.

It is thought that there are 4 major styles of learning.

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Reading then writing
  • Kinesthetic

So what does this mean?
Most people tend to learn best using mainly one style and using other ways of learning to help them remember things when they are needed.

What's your learning style?

Read through these to see if you can find out which ways you learn best.

visualVisual learning - see and remember
It is believed that most people learn by watching.
Visual learners remember what they have seen.

  • They like to see, in some way, what they are learning,
  • They like to make notes, diagrams, draw or doodle to help them remember what they are learning.
  • They like to see written instructions or be shown how to do something.
  • They may find it difficult to remember what they are hearing unless they can see something to help them make sense of it.

auditoryAuditory learning - listen and remember
Auditory learners learn through listening.

  • They remember by talking about what they have heard.
  • They need to hear explanations of what they are learning and how to do things. 
  • They may not find it so easy to work out what to do when things are written down, and like to have someone explain what to do.
  • They may talk out loud to themselves when they are learning.
  • They usually enjoy working in a group or having group discussions.

reading and writingReading and writing - reading then writing to remember
These learners are also visual style learners.

  • They like to read what they are learning.
  • They like to write things down.
  • They like to find out where the knowledge comes from (reference).
  • They like doing projects! 

kinestheticKinesthetic - exploring building and taking apart to remember
These learners are very 'hands on'.

  • They want to do things for themselves.
  • They like to move about when they are learning. 
  • They use their hands to explain things.
  • They like to touch things, make things, or take things to pieces to find out how they work.

Remember that you may use different styles depending on what you are learning but you will have one major style which suits the special person that you are.

What teachers do

Teachers know that most people are visual learners. That is why they write things down as well as talk, use pictures, interactive boards, games, worksheets and so on.

They also know that many kids use other ways to learn so they will teach in different ways as well to help you learn.

Projects often give kids a chance to present their work in different ways so that everyone gets to show off their skills and talents. EG computing, research, art work, making maps, diagrams, modelling and giving talks to class.

What you can do to help yourself learn

ask questionsUsing different learning styles is a good way to learn and remember.

  • Ask questions if you don't understand or don't know what to do.
  • Ask for help if you can't understand written questions.
  • Tell someone what you think you understand.
  • Write things down.  
  • Practise what you have learned so that you remember.
  • Draw diagrams or pictures.
  • Learn to be a good reader and writer.
  • Our topic on "Getting clever" may have some more ideas for you.

Kids say

  • visual"I usually take notes" - Callum
  • "I learn by playing a part of a musical piece and then practise until concert worthy" - Mia
  • "I learn through song, eg learn planets name by putting a tune to them" -Tomiya
  • "I learn through making mistakes" - Henry
  • "I learn through memory – going over and over things in my mind" - Tracey
  • "I learn through taking small steps at a time" – Georgina 
  • "I learn by practising dance steps over and over again" - Ina
  • "In spelling I hear words but in mathematics I need to write it down" - Mia
  • "In reading I look in front of the word for the meaning" – Nadeesha
  • "In guitar I have to learn piece by piece" - Renae
  • "I look at something over and over again until it stays in my mind" - Lauren
  • "In guitar – I listen to the music and then play the chords and try to fit them altogether" - Mali
  • look at an example"I look at an example and that helps me learn" - Fred
  • "I picture in my head when looking at shapes in mathematics" - Mia 
  • "I listen to different explanations to get meaning" - Henry
  • "I replay everything I need to know in my mind until it is firmly there" - Nick
  • "In spelling, I break up the word and put it together" - Bella
  • "Practising over and over again until it sticks in my head "- Morgan
  • "I learn by having things thoroughly explained to me" - Olivia
  • "I learn things by practice and through repetition" - Sean
  • "I usually have to see something when I am learning" - Vanessa
  • "I learn better when I understand what I have to do" - Chris
  • "I learn well by showing someone else how to do it." Alex 

Dr Kate says 

Dr KateWant to know about your learning style?

There is a fun quiz you can do with your mum, dad or caregiver. Click on the link below. It may give you more of an idea about your own special way of learning.

Did you know?

  • Some lucky people have a 'photographic memory'. They can remember a whole page of information, numbers or even the order of cards in a pack of playing cards just by looking at them once!
  • Most of us have to work really hard to remember, but some people, like actors, are really good at remembering.
  • Some people can draw from memory and make pictures almost as good as a photograph.
  • Some people can listen to a piece of music and then play it 'by ear'.
  • Your senses can help you remember things. Music or smells that were around when you were learning can help you remember things later when you hear or smell the same thing again.
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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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