Amy Potthast | Instructional Coach & Designer | Learning Design Studios

As I’ve learned more about VATK learning styles this term, I’ve become a better teacher of my own children.

Identifying numbers through rhyme:

Appealing to my older son’s auditory learning style

My three year old had been struggling a bit to identify numbers six through ten when they weren’t in order (part of the state academic standards for preschoolers).

We’d played games, tried flashcards — I’d even given him different media (rubber bands, pasta, etc.) and watched him create beautiful numbers on command. But he still didn’t identify the numbers when he’d see them out of order.

Finally after a weekend class meeting of my Adult Learning Strategies course — where we practiced applying Bloom’s taxonomy of objectives to different VATK learning styles — I thought of taking advantage of my older son’s auditory learning style to teach him number-related rhymes — like “a circle and a line, my name is nine.”

Within a day, he’d learned his numbers. He sings these number rhymes in the car and bathtub, and recites them to himself when we play number games. I’m really happy.

Gaining a love of books through touch + feel

reaching out to my younger son’s tactile/kinesthetic learning style

My one year old hadn’t been a big fan of books. While his big brother would sit patiently and listen to book after book as an infant, this baby had only wanted to play with the books. He’d had no interest in looking or listening.

Finally just this past weekend I came across some old touch + feel books that include textures with the illustrations. For example, a lion’s mane is made of fake fur, and a lizard’s skin is made of bumpy rubber.

I was excited to read them to the baby, and sure enough, my tactile/kinesthetic little guy sat calmly, petting the illustrations while I read!

I couldn’t believe it, and desperately wished I had tried this sooner. We have a lot of reading to catch up on.

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