Knowing your students is a large part of establishing how you can best teach them. In PART ONE of What You NEED to Know About Student Learning series, we discussed how you can be a more effective and engaging teacher if you understand their backgrounds, emotional states, and what motivates them. Beyond that, it is necessary to take into account how your students learn. In Part Two of this series, we will explore different learning styles along with tips and strategies for you and your students.

Below you will find the seven main learning styles. Not only can you differentiate your instruction to tailor to multiple learning styles, but you can also help students identify their own learning style and suggest strategies to improve their independent work by utilizing them. There are many assessments that you can administer to help your students determine their style, but oftentimes, teachers already know! One assessment example can be found on

1. Visual/Spatial:

Tips for You:

• Provide graphic organizers.

• Use anchor charts that feature visual cues or graphics.

• Encourage semantic webs and mind-mapping activities.

• Use specific colors and symbols to encourage organization of information.

• Pair visualization with content.

• Provide visuals and videos whenever possible.

Tips for Students:

→ Organize notes by color-coding, graphic organizers, or outlines.

→ Create diagrams and visual representations when solving problems.

→ Watch videos that pair with your material.

→ Visualize character action and content.

→ Take picture walks through textbooks and picture books.

→ Use highlighters.

→ Create flashcards when studying.

→ Create symbols for keywords.

2. Auditory/Aural:

Tips for You:

→ Teach important information with rhymes, tunes, songs, and song lyrics.

→ Establish different music for different routines (jazz for packing up, classical for writing center, etc.)

→ Pair sounds with visuals. For example, if you’re teaching about the rainforest, play rainforest sounds.


Tips for Students:

→ Read aloud or whisper read when studying.

→ Record yourself telling your story or essay before writing it.

→ Avoid auditory distractions—you might study best with a certain type of music, but don’t surround yourself with too many noises.

→ Repeat information and set it to a rhyme or make an acrostic for it to help you retain information.

→ Discuss learned material to help retain it.

3. Kinesthetic/Physical:

Tips for You:

• Teach with motions.

Interactive Notebooks

• Create hand motions or gestures that accompany lectures and verbal information.

• Provide hands-on activities.

• Allow students to walk, bounce, or have some physical movement when they are completing independent work.

• Use digital resources with dragging and manipulating objects

• Include physical elements with review games. (Passing a ball around the circle to memorize times tables, playing SPARKLE for spelling.)

• Board games- Use educational task cards instead of game cards.

Tips for Students:

→ Study in short blocks.

→ Perform a physical motion or action while studying.

→ Write simple, short flashcards that you can quickly review.

→ Create a physical gesture or sequence to help you recall information and memorize.

4. Verbal/Linguistic

Tips for You:

• Use speaking and scripting to present information.

• Provide lecture notes.

• Include discussion questions and groups in the classroom.

• Teach in a logical, linear fashion where the flow of spoken information is easy to follow.

Tips for Students:

→ Talk yourself through steps of problems and procedures.

→ Use speaking and scripting to review.

→ Read aloud your notes.

→ Create mnemonic devices.

→ Discuss information because you learn by speaking.

5. Logical/Mathematical:

Tips for You:

• Establish set and predictable routines.

• Make sure to teach the concrete reasoning and core concept behind information—students need to know the rationale for what they are learning and why it will be useful.

• Teach with “system thinking,” helping students to understand the links between various parts of a system in order to understand the bigger picture.

• Teach with lists of key information.

• Include hands-on activities and in-class models.

• Help students create links and associations between pieces of information where the connection is abstract.

Tips for Students:

→ Look for patterns, associations, and relationships between concepts in order to maximize understanding.

→ Relate personal information to your own life.

→ Make sure you have a clear understanding of a concept.

→ Create note organizers that include graphs, charts, outlines, maps.

→ Make lists.

→ Build models.

→ Try to create patterns between pieces of information.

6. Social/Interpersonal

Tips for You:

• Teach utilizing group and collaborative activities.

• Incorporate skits, discussions, and role-playing.

• Invite students to present to groups or the whole class.

Tips for Students:

→ Study in groups.

→ Work with partners.

→ Review with friends and family.

→ Break chapters into sections and work with others to discuss and take notes, then compare.

7. Solitary/ Intrapersonal

Tips for You:

• Allow students to create their own study paths.

• Allow students to self-study.

• Create independent learning stations and centers within the classroom.

• Allow students to choose their own topics within the curriculum to work on independently.

• Provide Self-Check activities. For example: Task Cards on centers with answer keys and self-check Google or PowerPoints.

Tips for Students:

→ Use self-talk and ask questions to help you focus your studying.

→ Write a journal.

→ Consider working one-on-one with a tutor, teacher, or parent.

→ Make sure you have a comfortable place in solitude where you can study.

→ Set personal goals for your studying, like “I will read ___ pages this evening” or “I will review ___ section today.”

In summary, keeping student learning styles in mind will not only help the students be more successful in your classroom, but it will help you when creating learning groups and partners!

Go back to Part One:

What You NEED to Know About Student Learning (Part One) explores how to get to know your students as individuals.

Continue to Part Three:

What You NEED to Know About Student Learning (Part Three) focuses on independent versus collaborative learners.