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What Kind of Learner Are You? Understanding Various Learning Styles

studentWe hear it time and time again – every one learns differently – but what exactly does that mean? What is your learning style or your child’s learning style? And once you know that, how can we use this information to improve opportunities for success in school? Today, Brooklyn Insight Tutoring Center takes a deeper look into learning styles.

There are three broad learning styles – visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Often times, these are subdivided into more specific learning styles (you’ll often see reference of up to seven or eight different types of learners). But for today, let’s focus on the core styles…
What do we mean by visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners? Visual learners respond well to images, diagrams, maps, and graphic organizers – those kinds of students who need to see the material in front of them to truly understand it. As the name implies, visual learners respond best to sight.They remember things that they have seen in the past. Auditory learners respond well to hearing the content. They retain information best when it is read aloud to them. Kinesthetic learners are those “hands-on” learners. They retain information well when they have actively engaged with it.
So now that we have defined the three broad styles of learning, let’s take a closer look at each one to learn more about the strategies best suited to each type of student.
Visual Learners
Visual learners need to see the material in front of them. If you find yourself drawn toward looking at the diagrams and images in a textbook before reading the actual text, you are probably more of a visual learner learning stylevisual learner. For students who are visual learners, try these strategies to aid in studying and to improve retention of information:
  • Read over your notes and use various colors of highlighters to organize and segment information.
  • Watch video lectures of the material you are studying, or just videos related to the content area.
  • When studying, use a whiteboard to rewrite information, redraw diagrams, and work through problems.
  • Make use of graphic organizers and infographics.
  • Create flashcards with images – linking concepts to a picture will help make it more concrete (these are sometimes referred to as “concept cards”).
Auditory Learners
Auditory learners rely on hearing the information. If you find that you remember material better if you read it out loud rather than reading it silently and if you remember instructions when they are auditory learning styleread to you, you are probably more of an auditory learner. Here are some strategies for auditory learners:
  • Have someone re-read your notes to you or read them out loud to yourself.
  • For especially difficult-to-remember material, record yourself reciting it out loud and then listen to it.
  • Create a rhyme or a song out of the material, and then repeat it to yourself out loud.
  • Listen to podcasts on the material.
  • Listen to an audio version of your textbook.
Kinesthetic (or Tactile) Learners
Kinesthetic learners need to be actively engaged in the material in order to remember it. If you find it difficult to remember material simply by watching your teacher or listening to his/her voice without physically doing anything yourself, you are probably more of a kinesthetic learner. Kinesthetic leaners also respond well to classes that have labs and simulations. Here are some strategies that kinesthic learners can try adokinesthetic tactile learning stylepting:
  • When watching a video in class, listening to a podcast, or sitting in a lecture, always take notes. This will push you to be active in the learning process. (This is actually a great tip for most people, regardless of learning style).
  • Create flashcards when studying.
  • When possible, create simulations or role-play to model a concept you are learning.
  • Don’t be a passive reader. If you have to read something for class, have a physical copy in front of you that you can highlight, underline, write notes in the margins, and question as you read (of course, if you are allowed to write in the text). If not, use post-its.
  • When studying math, use physical objects to practice what you learned. For example, when learning how to add and subtract, use grains of rice, toothpicks, or any other small objects to illustrate.

Still not sure what type of learner you are? Take one of these online tests to determine your learning style:

If your child struggles in school and could benefit from more individualized instruction customized to his or her learning style, contact Insight Tutoring Center, a local tutoring business in Brooklyn.

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Time Management in the New School Year

fall leaves back to school

Leaves are changing colors, pumpkin spice lattes are on the menus of coffee shops, and the air is starting to turn brisk – fall is here, and with it a new school year. As we head back to school, we must make that switch from lazy summer days to the world of early morning alarms, tests, and sports practices. Time is essential, and we all must make the best use of every single minute.

Here are some tips to improve our time management:stressed student

The (In)Famous “To-Do” List
We’ll start here, since this is one of the best strategies to improve your time management capabilities. Make a to-do list. Every day. Although this may soundto-do list back to school time-consuming and unnecessary, writing out a list of everything you need to do helps to visualize your tasks, and makes them much more manageable. Put the most important (and time-sensitive) tasks on the top of the list. Each time you complete one of the items on your list, cross it off. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment each time you are able to slash through another task. And don’t worry if you don’t get to everything on your list (as long as they are not crucial and time-sensitive). Just start the next day’s list with those that you have rolled over. Don’t do this too often though! It’s a slippery slope to procrastination (which you will read about soon)…

Know When to Say “No”

We can only do so much. Know your limits and when you are overextending yourself. If you are up to item #20 in your daily to-do list, it is probably time to start scaling back. While it is good to be involved in school, everything must be done in moderation. Evaluate what is most important to you, and then decide what you can cut back on.

Review Your Notes Every Day
A few minutes each day reviewing your notes will come a long way when it is time to prepare for a test. Each day, spend a few minutes going over your notes. Many times when taking notes in class, we are more concerned with getting everything down than truly understanding the material. Going over the notes a second time will help make the material more memorable. Also, it will help identify potentigoals targetal confusions that you can look up yourself or ask about in class. Which brings up another tip – seek help as you go, not the day before the test. Don’t let it become overwhelming.

Set Goals
Eliminate those Sunday-evening blues. Instead of dreading going back to school that week, be optimistic and set yourself some goals for the week. Each day, set towards achieving those goals and evaluate your progress.

Travel With Your Work
Always have something on you – whether it is an upcoming assignment, class notes, or a study guide for an upcoming test. In our daily routines, we often find ourselves waiting. Waiting for the doctor, waiting for the dentist, waiting to start practice, waiting at the bus stop, waiting on the bus. Take advantage of this time to study for an upcoming test, read over that day’s class notes, or start outlining for that upcoming essay. It is amazing how much you can get down with that down time.

organized books schoolStay Organized!
Don’t allow yourself to get unorganized – it is a huge time waster! Keep everything organized – your room, your notes, your backpack. It will make finding things so much easier, and will save time in every aspect of your life – especially when it comes to studying. 

And Lastly …. Don’t Procrastinate
If there is something you can do today, do it today – don’t wait until tomorrow. When you procrastinate, you push everything to the last minute, leaving you with no time to complete all of your tasks. Furthermore, when you leave yourself with a limited deadline for getting things done, stress becomes a factor. And we are all less productive and efficient when we are stressed out. Setting a schedule, and sticking to it, is one of the most valuable tools you can use to manage your time.

If you are struggling with time management and need some help getting organized, contact a local tutoring center, which can help with subject tutoring and skill development.