Kinesthetic Learners: 10 Empowering Approaches

When learning, some students find it helpful to sit quietly
at their desks, while others find that movement helps them to maintain
attention and encode information.  The needs of the latter group often
remain unaddressed in the classroom because behaviors such as tapping a pencil,
fidgeting, leaning back in chairs and asking for repeated bathroom and water
breaks can be annoying to the teacher as well as peers.  Many of
these students are kinesthetic learners and having to sit still and listen can
be virtually impossible.  So how can
teachers empower the often-conflicting needs of their kinesthetic learners? 

Here are 10 suggestions:
1)    Incorporate movement into the lessons.  Allow students to move from one “learning station” to the next where short, interactive activities can engage the students. 
2)    Permit kinesthetic learners to sit on the side of the classroom, so if they need to move around or stand, it won’t distract the students behind them.
3)    Allow your students to have a one-minute kinesthetic break in the middle of class where they can do a brain break activity, stretch, shake out their bodies or even do a few jumping jacks.
4)    Allow kinesthetic learners to stand from time to time.
5)    Integrate kinesthetic activities such as acting out lessons or let your students create plays that illustrate the concepts.
6)    Teach your students appropriate kinesthetic movements that they can make while sitting at their desk such as bouncing their legs under the table.
7)    Never take recess away from a kinesthetic learner. 
8)    Have a kinesthetic corner in your classroom where students can go to stretch on a yoga mat or roll on an exercise ball.
9)    Consider placing information to be reviewed onto balloons or balls so that the students can review material by passing the props to one another.
10) Consider getting chairs that allow students to bounce.  I have a Zenergy ball chair in my office, and I find that students that need movement love this seat.  Just be sure to place the kinesthetic learners on the sides of the class so that their bouncing doesn’t distract others.


Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com, & www.learningtolearn.biz


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