Three Types of Mathematics Learning Style for Students

What are the three types of math learning? Through conventional teaching-led instruction, many students may then continue to fall behind the standard of mathematics achievement and lose their interest in mathematics; or eventually give up on learning mathematics. In fact, students in United State generally have lower interest in learning mathematics compared to many other regions/countries. Thus, understanding the different types of mathematics learning style for students can enhance students’ mathematics achievement and interest in every region, especially for those low-achieving students.

Different Types of Mathematics Learning Style for Students

The different types of mathematics learning style for students are visual, kinetic and auditory. Some students will learn best when using one style while others may use a combination of these learning styles;

1. Visual Learning

Visual mathematics learning style for students can be frustrating, invigorating, and mystifying all at once. It is important to help them to understand that their visual learning style is not a disadvantage, but simply a different way of acquiring knowledge. Visual learners are special! They have an uncanny ability to access and hold images in their minds. Your job as teachers or parents is to help them to creatively use that strength to conquer addition, subtraction, geometry and algebra.

Visual learning style help students to learn basic math facts much easier when they can represent them with 3D manipulatives. Blocks, cubes, legos, play money (or real money), and dice can all be invaluable tools for helping the visual learner to “see” how all the math facts work together.

There are specific techniques that will help make it more accessible to visual math learners when it comes to more formal math instruction. Any of the following will not only make math more interesting, but will also help your students retain what they learn. Some common visual math learning style:

  • Color, color, color! Mathematical symbols mean very little to visual learners, so especially in the early stages of math instruction, using color to differentiate between addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems can be very helpful. In learning sequential step problems, highlighting each step in a different color can also overcome this natural difficulty.
  • Make a picture. Some students have incredible difficulty learning times tables until you create a picture story for each pair they’re struggling with. Once they could see that the frog (3’s) and the robot (4’s) had 12 jumping bolts together, they will never forgot that fact again!
  • Use multimedia software when available. For visual learners, a picture is worth way more than a thousand words, so seeing math problems represented in 3D cartoon format is incredibly useful. Almost every children’s educational software publisher has created at least one math program for students.

2. Kinesthetic Math Learning Style

What makes kinesthetic math learning style so effective is because students learn math through games, movement, and activities, through this,  they begin solving problems more creatively. The exercise they get from kinesthetic math games helps them focus and retain new classroom content.

Kinesthetic activities incorporate physical exercise, stretching, and cross-body movements and are specifically connected to subject matter. The goal is to get students actively engaged and “learning by doing” as they investigate mathematics concepts through physical movement.

An example of kinesthetic learning for math involves the use of cards, computer activities, dice, marbles, dominoes, fake money and coins for computation of units, physical clocks for telling time. The use of anything that can transform abstract math concepts into concrete math activities.

A kinesthetic learner would rather perform physical activity to learn something, as an active participant, instead of passively listening to a lecture or watching a demonstration. That is why the best way of learning something new is by having your hands-on those things you are trying to learn.

3. Auditory Math Learning Style

Many students have a dominant learning style, so every teacher and parent should have some tricks up their sleeve to address these different styles.   Each teacher and parent needs to be flexible when dealing with different learning strategies.

When learning about a new math concept, for example, an auditory learner will remember the information if he can listen to the teacher explain it or sing it and answer his questions. A physical learner may need to use blocks, an abacus, or other counting materials to practice the new concept. The auditory style math learning tips include:

  •  Pair up with your auditory learner and explain mathematical concepts to each other.
  •  Have your students write a sequence of steps in sentence form and then read them out loud.  Actually hearing the problem-solving process will help to solidify it.
  • Encourage tour student to reason through solutions out loud.  Anything that stimulates the hearing process can be helpful.
  •  Use mnemonics and word links for important math concepts or problem-solving processes.  Rhyming is helpful when possible.
  • Allow students to record math lectures and review them or provide recordings of classes online.
  •  When reviewing new information, encourage your students to repeat the most important information out loud.
  •  Encourage your students to also use these strategies at school.
  • It’s important to maintain order in the classroom.  Any activities that encourage talking will have a tendency to lead to talking that is unrelated to math.

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