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.

Thursday, October 21, 2010



We often think of a great salesperson as a spin artist—a big talker—never at a loss for words and blessed with the gift of gab. Well in today’s world of business sales, that is no longer true. In fact, the best salesperson may be the best listener, not the best talker!

So the learning styles that used to be associated with sales success are no longer the most appropriate. And that opens up a lot of space for thoughtful people, quiet people, those who like to deal with facts and process information in chunks rather than those who get the big picture quickly and run with it.

If you are a quiet, thoughtful person and you are in sales, or interested in sales, there are many ways to cultivate your gifts. The best of these is to learn how to ask great questions.

If you are going to make sales by listening to your prospective customers, empathizing with them, understand their needs and the problems they are trying to solve, you will need to have expert ways to help them tell you the things that you want to listen for. That means you will need to be prepared with a steady stream of pertinent, probing questions that are not offensive and that invite a rich conversation between you and your prospect.

Here are some characteristics of great questions:

· They are open-ended. They invite discussion and commentary, not a one-word answer.

· They are circumspect. Maybe you want to know if the person you’re speaking with is the ultimate decision maker. But in a big company, multiple people are involved in the decision. So you can ask, “Who else will be affected by your decision?”

· They are historical. Great questions ask someone to talk about how they did it last time, or another time, so that you get a factual account that is predictive of future behavior.

· They are narrative. They invite someone to tell you a story, to get involved, to get engaged with you.

Great listeners are not listening for what they hope to hear. Rather, they are listening to the truth as understand by the person or people with whom they are conversing. If the truth is there’s no budget, we’re not going to make a change at this time, I don’t have time to think about that right now, or if we did make a change it would probably not be with you—wouldn’t you rather know that sooner than later? You can have one conversation and gracefully exit until a better time.

Big talkers are going to miss many key signals early in the sales process, causing them to pursue fruitless deals far too long. On the other hand, good listeners will be in tune with the real circumstances early on.

So let’s re-think our notions of the “salesperson learning style.”

If you are in sales or interested in sales, I invite you to join The Whale Hunters online community, Pier9, ( where you will find a wealth of resources for sales and business development, including many resources about how to ask great questions.

Happy Hunting!

Barbara Weaver Smith
October 2010

The Whale Hunters is a strategic sales coaching company that helps small businesses achieve explosive growth by landing bigger deals with bigger customers. Our business development process has consistently helped hundreds of companies create a repeatable, disciplined sales culture that optimizes the company’s ability to land and harvest whale-sized accounts in any economic climate.

Small business is the best way to reinvigorate the American economy. Barbara Weaver Smith, founder of The Whale Hunters, shares a lot of information of benefit to business people who want to grow their business. The question is how can small businesses grow at a rate that will show results sooner rather than later? That’s where The Whale Hunters comes in – and we invite you to register for a free account which gives you access to the wealth of information on the new expanded Whale Hunters website–

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Will Your Child's Learning Style Make Them A Smoker?

As we mentioned before, habitual smoking and learning styles go hand in hand. One of the greatest predictors of whether a person will become a smoker is their preference in the Intake and Tactile elements of the LSA Pyramid (Learning Style Analysis Pyramid).

However, Malcolm Gladwell mentions other elements in his bestselling book, "The Tipping Point". Backed by British psychology research, he identifies the following traits of quintessential hard-core smokers:

Will your child's learning style make them a habitual smoker? Find out here.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Music and Your Learning Style

We've known this for decades, yet brand-new research by McGill University in Montreal, Canada, now confirms that music helps develop and stimulate the brain. It helps with communication and motor skills, it enhances word processing.

According to music therapist Neil Jourdan: "music helps to improve vocal skills, decrease inappropriate behaviour, improve academic ability, increase attention span, strengthen social skills, aid pain management and reduce stress, enhance self-confidence and promote emotional expression."

Renowned education expert, Barbara Prashnig, has a whole section devoted to using music in education in her book, "The Power of Diversity".

So, if Baroque music slows down the heartbeat and Mozart's music stimulates both brain hemispheres, should every learner have classical music playing in the background when they're learning?

The answer depends on your child's unique learning style. Do they prefer to concentrate in silence? Are they highly analytic? Highly auditory? Would music aid or distract them? Find out today.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Learning Styles - Food, Glorious Food

What does your Learning Style have to do with food? A lot, according to international education expert, Barbara Prashnig.

Your Learning Style influences what you eat and when. It dictates how you shop and how you cook. As much as you may be reluctant to admit it, your Learning Style rules your life!

Take the learning style need for intake, for example. If you have a preference in this learning style element, you will want to snack whenever you're concentrating on something new or difficult. If you're kinesthetic, you will prefer soft-textured food. If you're tactile, you'll enjoy eating with your fingers.

But that's only the beginning. Analytic thinkers will stick to the shopping list when shopping and to the recipe while cooking. Holistic thinkers won't have a shopping list and will adapt the recipe to suit their mood and the contents of their pantry.

People whose learning style welcomes change will probably be more willing to try new and weird food, particularly if their other learning style preferences are satisfied. So if your child is a fussy eater, try to introduce new food in an environment catered to his or her particular learning style and see the difference!