Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maths and Tactile Learning Styles

How do you teach counting to a child whose Learning Style is tactile?
  • Tactile learners love plastic counting beans - they are colourful and smooth and a pleasure to touch.
  • You can also use coins, board game tokens, dry beans, M&Ms, raisins... anything with an interesting texture.
  • Board games are good for tactile learners. Try Snakes&Ladders played with two dice to practice addition.
How do you help a tactile learner with multiplication, division, fractions?
  • Cuisenaire Rods are a great visual as well as a tactile learning tool.
  • Create your own Bingo board game where you read out a multiplication problem (3 times 4, or "John has 5 rows of 5 marbles, how many marbles does he have") and your child covers the answer on his Bingo Board.
  • Tactile people prefer writing, sculpting or carving the answers. Allow your child to write them in glue and pour sand onto the wet glue to make the grains stick. He can shape them from play-dough. You can find him an old piece of soft wood (a plank) and let him carve in the answers with his pen (remember the old days when "naughty" children wrote on their desks? it feels sooo good to sink your pen into soft wood!!!)
What about problem solving?

The thing to keep in mind, though, is that you can't always teach everything only in a tactile way. Some topics need to be presented visually, or verbally, or by taking a field trip. The idea is to use as many senses as you can to teach your child, but concentrate on always providing him with a tactile outlet (let him play with his pen or with a coin or with a Koosh ball). Also pay attention to his other needs: the time of day, intake, learning groups, authority, routine versus variety, imposed structure versus self-structure, motivation, etc.

Is your child tactile? What are his or her physical learning needs and environment preferences? Find out.

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