The Kinesthetic Learner

If you have one, I won’t have to explain the term but for those who don’t (or who do and don’t know it has a name): a kinesthetic learner is one who learns best while moving. This movement can be acting out the topic at hand or seemingly random movement.

What can, or should, be done about the student with a kinesthetic learning style? Is it simply a character issue that needs to be addressed by teaching the child to sit still? There is definitely value in training a wiggly kid to sit still, but there is more going on than just annoying behavior. Here are some of the things that are happening when you have a kinesthetic learner in motion:

  • Some of the movements cross the midline, facilitating connections between the left brain and right brain
  • Movement stimulates blood flow to the brain, making it easier to think
  • Repetitive motion creates a rhythm, making it easier for some kids to concentrate
  • Movement activates the nervous sytem’s proprioceptive sense, giving the brain feedback as an action or idea is acted out

Notice anything strange? Every one of these types of movement stimulates something in the brain. So the next time your kinesthetic learner starts to wiggle, see if you can determine what he is trying to accomplish by moving. Is it just a character issue, or is he really trying to learn?

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