Response to intervention learning styles

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Most students master a fact or concept without serious difficulty. However, there are other students who seem to need information presented another way- they often require correction and re-teaching. If the material is simply presented another time in the same manner, little is accomplished. These students may need their materials presented using a different approach in order for them to learn. It is important to look at that student’s preferred learning style and then present the materials accordingly.

What can we do to determine a student’s learning style?

In the following pages, there are inventories for elementary and secondary students and an observation check list to assist in determining learning styles. A minimal amount of time is required to administer and to score. After the student’s preferred learning style is determined, there are numerous ways to provide materials and presentations to accommodate that style. The remainder of this section includes the characteristics of each learning style, teaching strategies, suggested materials, and helpful tips for the students themselves.

What are the types of learning styles?

Visual learners- learn through seeing

As a visual learner, the students may:

  • Need to see the teacher’s body language and facial expressions to fully understand the content of the lesson

  • Prefer sitting at the front of the classroom to avoid visual distractions

  • Prefer to take detailed notes to absorb the information presented during a lecture or classroom discussion

  • Prefer using pictures and images to gain understanding of new ideas and information

  • Process what is heard or read and translate that information into meaningful images for future recall

  • Recognize words by sight , use list to organize their thoughts and recall information be remembering how it was laid out on a page

Auditory Learners-learns through listening

As an auditory learner the student may:

  • Prefer using sound and music to acquire information

  • Learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking through and listening to what others have to say

  • Interpret underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed, and other nuances

  • Like the teacher to provide verbal instructions. Written information has little meaning until it is heard.

  • Solve problems by talking about them

  • Often use rhythm and sound as memory aids

Tactile/ Kinesthetic Learners- Learn through moving, doing, and touching

As a tactile/ kinesthetic learner, the student may:

  • Prefer using their body , hands, and sense of touch to learn new information

  • Learn best through hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them and utilizing activities such as projects and demonstrations

  • Find writing, drawing and movement are often useful memory aids

  • Find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time and becomes distracted easily by their need for activity and exploration

Multi –sensory Learners

As a multi-sensory learner, the student may:

  • Be more comfortable using a variety of modes to acquire new information

  • Need to be given the freedom in the learning environment to select which learning style will bes t enable them to process the content being taught

  • Find that they are more comfortable using the learning styles – visual, auditory, or tactile/kinesthetic- to explain information to others



The following checklist may be used to identify students’ learning preferences in various areas.

Responsibility and Persistence


  • Completes projects quickly and neatly

  • Completes projects quickly, but not neatly

  • Completes projects slowly and neatly

  • Completes projects slowly, but not neatly

  • Does not always complete projects

  • Works best when given specific instruction

  • Cleans up work area upon completing task

  • Needs reminding to clean up work area

  • Is easily distracted while working on a project

  • Remembers assignments

  • Does quality work during quiet time

  • Does quality work during regular work time

  • Does quality work with music in the background

  • Complains when there is too much sound

  • Has difficulty remaining quiet during quiet work time

  • Makes noises or sound while working

  • Reminds others to be quiet while working

Classroom Design


  • Has difficulty sitting properly

  • Enjoys lying down while listening to stories

  • Sits correctly during work periods

  • Stands by work area during work periods

  • Works best with much reassurance

  • Needs teacher feedback while working

  • Works best when allowed to be creative

  • Initiates projects

  • Volunteers information about projects and discussion topics



  • Enjoys books and film strips

  • Is attentive during story time

  • Likes to hear records or tapes during work time

  • Remembers what others say

  • Likes to visit classmates

  • Enjoys playing with toys with small pieces

  • Likes to draw or doodle

  • Likes to move around during work or play

  • Likes to create and react to play situations

  • Likes to complete projects independently

  • Likes to complete projects step-by-step

  • Keeps work area neat

  • Tends to misplace supplies

Social Tendencies


  • Likes to work or play with a group

  • Likes to work or play near a teacher

  • Likes to work or play alone

  • Creates opportunities to visit the teacher

  • Leaves chair frequently during work periods

  • Often makes excuses to move around the classroom

  • Is extremely active during free play periods




Student Name: __________________ Grade: ______________

Campus: _______________________

How Do I Learn?

Place a check () in all the blanks that describe you. The list with the greatest number of checks is how you like to learn best.

Visual Learning Style

1. I remember best by writing things down or drawing pictures.
2. I ask for directions to be repeated.
3. I like to read about something rather than hear about it.
4. I am a good speller.
5. I like to learn with posters, videos, and pictures.
6. I am good at reading maps and graphs.
7. When someone is talking, I create pictures in my mind about what they are saying.
8. After school, I like to read books.
9. I like it when my teacher uses lots of pictures when teaching.
10. I can remember something if I picture it in my head.

How many checks () did you have?

Remember to place a check () in all the blanks that describe you.

Auditory Learning Style

1. I remember best if I hear something.
2. It is easier for me to listen to a story on tape than to read it.
3. I understand better when I read out loud.
4. I follow spoken directions well.
5. I like to sing or hum to myself.
6. I like to talk to my friends or family.
7. Music helps me learn things better.
8. I can easily remember what people say.
9. It helps when the teacher explains posters or pictures to me.
10. I can remember more about something new if I can talk about it.

How many checks () did you have?

Remember to place a check () in all the blanks that describe you.

Tactile/Kinesthetic Learning Style

1. I remember best if I can make something that tells about what I am learning.
2. I would rather play sports than read.
3. I like playing card or board games to learn new things.
4. I like to write letters or write in a journal.
5. I like it when teachers let me practice something with an activity.
6. I like putting together puzzles.
7. If I have to solve a problem, it helps me to move while I think.
8. It is hard for me to sit for a long time.
9. I enjoy dancing or moving to music.
10. I like to act things out to show what I have learned.
How many checks () did you have?

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