The Conscious Classroom

7 Learning Styles & Mindfulness Cues for Different Learners

January 19, 2021 Episode 31
The Conscious Classroom
7 Learning Styles & Mindfulness Cues for Different Learners
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Amy outlines the seven different learning styles. During the pandemic, while most students are learning online, we need to make special effort to reach different types of learners. Learn the 7 different styles and how to give mindfulness cues and classroom cues that appeal to different learners. 

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7 Learning Styles & Mindfulness Cues for Different Learners
with Amy Edelstein

[00:00:59] Hello. Today, we're going to talk about the seven different styles of learners.  [00:01:03][4.1]

[00:01:05] Learning styles are something that many of us have become more attentive to as we've pivoted from classroom instruction to virtual instruction or blended instruction.  [00:01:17][12.0]

[00:01:19] When we're in a classroom live with students, we're always appealing to different types of learners. We are reaching out to them. We're talking to them and meeting social learners in that relational attitude we're writing on the blackboard or the smart board, appealing to those learners who need to see things written, need to see things in orderly steps. We're putting students in breakout groups and bringing them back together and all kinds of different ways where we touch different learning styles.  [00:01:55][36.2]

[00:01:57] If you're an educator who's pivoted to entirely online classroom and you've had to retool your learning styles to help engage students, inspire students and keep them involved in the learning process, becoming more familiar with learning styles and how your mindfulness tools can help support those different learning styles, is going to help you create a more conscious classroom. And that's what we're here to do.  [00:02:29][32.3]

[00:02:30] I'm here to help you learn these different tools to support more conscious classrooms and also make things manageable, make things fun, and make you aware that there are small things you can do that will increase your potency and effectiveness as a teacher, as well as building more resilience and inspiration into your own experience in the classroom.  [00:03:03][33.4]

[00:03:05] So let's take a look at these seven different learning styles. And let's also take a look at how the different mindfulness tools that we're already using can be amended and adjusted and customized to appeal to different learners.  [00:03:23][17.8]

[00:03:25] The first learning styles we're going to look at is visual learners. Visual learners learn best when they can see, when they're stimulated by images and colors, when they're able to concretize an abstract concept and a picture, it's very easy to add slides to your online classroom. You don't need to get too fancy creating a simple PowerPoint or Google Slide with a colorful background and one image on it can be enough to grab students attention, give them a picture to wrap their concept around and give them a color to imprint that concept as a visual in their memories. You can use these for your mindfulness tools as well. An image of a breath, a cartoon or an emoji of a breath go a breath going out, an image of the wind or a cloud to symbolize open awareness, an image of bubbles. When you're doing the thought bubble, this will help students recognize, remember and retain the mindfulness tool that you're sharing with them. To experiment, add one slide. No need to be overly ambitious, one slide with a nice color, one image, and pop that into your online presentation, the next class you have and see if you can't get more engagement from those students who appreciate and think in terms of images and pictures and symbols.  [00:05:11][106.4]

[00:05:13] Verbal learners are the second learning style, these students need to talk and express themselves. They need to repeat and articulate the concepts that you're teaching them in their own words. They need to have those concepts come out of their own mouths, hear them in their own voice and speak them, repeat them. They need to hear those facts in their own words. Helping these verbal learners retain information is really simple, even in an online classroom.  [00:05:50][36.6]

[00:05:51] Invite them to repeat the concept in a chat, put them in breakout rooms of threes or fours and have each student go around and say in one sentence, the the biggest takeaway from your lesson. When you're working with mindfulness tools, which are silent and focused, have students articulate and verbalize the one most important instruction, "be still, spine straight, let go of thoughts, be kind, no judgment," see what they come up with.  [00:06:33][41.7]

[00:06:33] You'll also be able to understand what they're taking away from your tools. You can also put them in groups and have each person in the group articulate one instruction for the mindfulness practice you've just done in order to help those verbal learners create an imprint so they know what they're doing, they know why they're doing it, and they're able to repeat that exercise on their own.  [00:07:01][27.6]

[00:07:04] Aural learners remember by hearing. They are used to hearing your voice, they're used to in the in-person classroom or in the online classroom, they're used to listening to lectures and instructions, and they're very good at retaining information from didactic lessons. To help Aural learners retain and integrate the information that you're giving them, try working with curated playlists. Try having different musical interludes for the different sections of the lesson. This is the most important part of the lesson. Let's organize our thoughts and our notes. Play a few bars of your important facts to remember a section of the lesson, and then repeat those important facts and allow the students to take notes for the mindfulness tools. Choose a different melody or playlist or theme song for each style of meditation. When you're preparing for a breath meditation, there will be a few bars of a particular beat. When you're preparing for a body scan meditation there will be particular bars of a different beat. You can also have those low fi beats playing quietly in the background. Keep the different beats segregated so that each type of mindfulness exercise has its own cue and those aural learners will start remembering and retaining and using their own remembrance of the melody or the beat to remind them of what to do and how to settle in to that mindfulness practice.  [00:09:14][129.6]

[00:09:18] Physical or somatic learners learn by touch. There's often something you can do within a lesson to integrate some movement or touch. We probably all remember when we were kids learning head, shoulders, knees and toes, and we touched our head, shoulders, knees and toes, our eyes, our ears, our mouth, and then our nose, our head, shoulders, knees and toes. And that was when we were in preschool or kindergarten and learning the body parts and learning the names to the body parts and that jingle and the somatic touch has stuck with us for years, ever since.  [00:09:58][40.0]

[00:10:01] Helping students remember by counting on their fingers. Step one, step two, step three, step four. So they touch their thumb to their index finger and their middle finger that ring finger their pinky finger. With mindfulness of course, there's a somatic element. So you can have the students touch their lungs in their belly to feel the air. Allow their hands to float in and out with the inhalation and the exhalation, allowing their palms to rest on body parts that are stiff or tight as they're doing a body scan. Relaxation using that positive sensory element will help those physical or somatic learners retain, integrate and be able to repeat the mindfulness exercises on their own.  [00:10:55][53.8]

[00:10:58] Logical learners need to see causality and steps for logical learners break down your instructions into bullet points. Show them the relationship between mindfulness practice and positive physical, emotional and mental health. Show them the way the brain can be positively supported by mindfulness techniques.  [00:11:28][30.1]

[00:11:31] And give them a step by step breakdown, the one, two, three, four, the way each step leads into the next steps so that your instructions are clear, so that it's straight forward and so they can see the logic in being still calming the mind and feeling better.  [00:11:54][22.7]

[00:11:57] Social learners learn better when they're in groups of peers, they learn by doing things together, by interacting, by being together with the mindfulness practices. You can easily put students in breakout groups, have them talk about their experience, have them guide each other through, give them directed questions so they know what they're doing. They know what they're supposed to be talking about or how they're supposed to guide each other and then allow them to collaboratively write their own meditation. The love and kindness practice works really well for this. Put them in groups, have them create a love and kindness script, and then have them lead each other. Those social learners will benefit really well from this group interaction, allowing them to feel like they've integrated the material, they've made it their own, and they'll remember because of their exchange and interaction with their peers.  [00:13:05][68.0]

[00:13:07] Solitary learners like a process on their own. They like to get the information and then mull it over in their own time, in their own space, in their own way. With these students, it can be counterproductive to force an immediate response after a practice or to insist that they articulate what they're learning. Giving students journal time where they can write after a mindfulness practice and free form explore their own thoughts where they're still in the classroom together. But they're doing this privately on their own can really help solitary learners integrate the material.  [00:13:53][46.2]

[00:13:56] And as always, let's close with a short practice and with this will work with physical or somatic learners.  [00:14:04][8.6]

[00:14:07] These instructions will help create a tactile sensation from mindfulness practice, which can seem for some students cerebral or emotional rather than tactile.  [00:14:20][12.7]

[00:14:25] Come into your best mindfulness posture, rest your hands on your thighs and rub your muscles up and down using the palm of your hand to press into your thighs.  [00:14:43][18.0]

[00:14:46] Like a little massage, pressing your palms and pushing down on those long muscles of your thighs.  [00:14:52][6.6]

[00:14:57] Feeling their strength. Feeling the contact of your the heel of your hand to your thighs.  [00:15:10][13.1]

[00:15:14] And now that your hands come to rest and notice your feet on the floor, lift your toes up and press your toes down into the floor, feel that contact, lift your toes up and press your toes down on the floor. Let your spine be tall.  [00:15:42][27.6]

[00:15:47] Now, bring your fingertips to the base of your skull, right where your neck meets your head.  [00:15:55][7.4]

[00:15:58] And with almost no pressure, just very, very gently, like a misty rain, that much pressure, just tap the base of your skull right where your skull meets your neck with that tap, reminding your muscles to relax and soften and be easy. And now with your index finger and your middle finger, gently tap a circle around your eye, starting around your eyebrow.  [00:16:38][40.3]

[00:16:42] And following your eye that you're tapping the bone, your cheekbones that are underneath the eyes, just making very gentle, very light little circles with the tips of those two fingers around your eyes, reminding the muscles of your eyes to relax and let go of any stress and tension.  [00:17:06][23.9]

[00:17:18] And now bring your hands face palms facing each other, lifted up off your lap just a couple of inches. Let's take a deep inhalation and imagine that you're holding a balloon between your hands. And as you inhale, the balloon gets larger, your hands move out. And as you exhale, that balloon deflates and your hands move towards each other, inhaling, letting your hands move out.  [00:17:51][32.3]

[00:17:54] Exhaling and letting the balloon deflate your hands coming towards each other.  [00:17:58][4.3]

[00:18:03] And for the next few minutes, follow your own breaths, rhythm, letting your hands float out and float back towards each other, each exhalation. Let your breath be natural.  [00:18:26][22.8]

[00:18:43] Let your breath be easy.  [00:18:44][1.0]

[00:18:48] And let your hands just gently float in and out. And as you begin to bring this exercise to a close on your next exhalation, let your hands float to your thighs.  [00:19:56][68.3]

[00:20:00] Feel that still a solid resting of your hands on your thighs.  [00:20:07][6.6]

[00:20:12] Feel the strength.  [00:20:13][0.4]

[00:20:15] In that stillness of your hands, on your thighs like a mountain. Resting on the surface of the earth.  [00:20:27][11.8]

[00:20:38] And now lift your toes up and press your toes down, lift your toes up, press your toes down, wiggle your fingers and thumb.  [00:20:50][12.5]

[00:20:56] Open your eyes if they've been closed and refocus on the room around you. Noticing colors and shapes. Noticing your orientation towards the door or the table or the window.  [00:21:14][18.1]

[00:21:18] And you can bring your attention back.  [00:21:19][1.6]

[00:21:28] You can see in the guided instructions for this brief mindfulness practice, using the breath as the anchor, we also worked with the body. We worked for physical somatic learners, allowing touch to be present even in the stillness, creating some sensory cues for strength and stability, for centering and groundedness, enforcing that sense of of mental wellness, of calm and also of curiosity, of learning how to relate to their own internal experience using somatic tools. And then also as they come out of the practice using visual cues so that shape and color and objects are used to orient and center and ground and allows students to transition out of a focused mindfulness practice and back into the world of activity.  [00:22:42][73.4]

[00:22:44] Thanks for tuning in today. If you like the podcast, please leave a review so we can help share it with other people.  [00:22:52][8.3]

[00:22:54] And I look forward to talking with you next time. Stay well.  [00:22:54][0.0]