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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Tools and Methods for Kinesthetic Learners

Some students can sit quietly at their desks while others seem to struggle to stay in their seats. This later group of learners may annoy the teacher or their peers by tapping their pencil, jogging their leg, fidgeting, leaning back in their chairs and asking for repeated bathroom and water breaks. Many of these students are kinesthetic learners and having to sit still and listen to a lesson is an uncomfortable battle that feels like trying to tie your shoes while in a straight jacket.

What are Some Products that can Help Kinesthetic Learners at their Desks?

  1. Inflatable discs and wedges can offer your kinesthetic learners some movement while staying seated. These products can be placed on any seat and they allow students to move their hips and develop core muscles (see below for product link).
  2. Safeco, a furniture company, just came out with the Zenergy Ball Chair for older students and the Runtz for younger students. Both of these products offer four stable legs with an upholstery covered exercise ball. Unlike swivel chairs, that allow students to spin away from their work, this product allows students to have short bouncing breaks while attending to their work. Again, this product develops core support as students must balance on their chair. Likewise, Abilitations Integrations offers an inflatable Six-Leg Ball chair that offers a little bit more mobility (see below for product links). 
  3. Visual Ed Tech now offers an adjustable desk that allows students the option of standing at their desk or sitting on a high stool. In addition, under the desk is an attached swinging foot rest which allow students to expend excess energy while working at their desk. If you would like to see a video on this technology click here
  4. What are Some Teaching Methodologies that can Help Kinesthetic Learners?
  5. Have pairs of students or a student and a teacher toss a ball or balloon back and forth while practicing new material.
  6. Break instruction into short lessons and offer kinesthetic, brain breaks. If you are searching for some energizing brain break ideas, consider purchasing David Sladkey’s Energizing Brain Breaks (see below for product link).
  7. Integrate movement into lessons. For example, when teaching the adding and subtracting of integers, place numbers on a staircase and explain that when adding you go up the stairs and when subtracting you go down the stairs. Give the students problems and allow them to solve them by traveling up and down the stairs.
  8. Create a place in the back of the classroom where kinesthetic learners can exercise their need to move. 
I hope you found these ideas helpful. If you have any of your own ideas that you would like to share, please post them below this blog.

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 and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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