Bill introduced you yesterday to the idea of learning approaches and teaching children according to the way God designed them to learn. Today, I’m going to dig a little deeper into two of those eight approaches – Reflective and Relational learners.
When working with a Relational Learner, you’ll want to remember that this child likes doing things alone and in her own time. When she doesn’t participate in all the fun, group activities you’ve planned, she’s not trying to be uncooperative; she would just rather sit back, observe, and absorb what’s going on around her.
You can encourage learning for a reflective learner by:
- Offering quiet areas to think and work;
- Asking open-ended questions ;
- Providing materials for self-expression;
- Giving freedom to choose activities; and
- Spending time relating to her and interacting one-on-one.
Some suggestions for activities he may enjoy:
- Making a book about herself;
- Writing or drawing in a journal;
- Working a puzzle alone;
- Playing a game one-on-one with a teacher; and
- Listening to music while drawing or writing.
On the opposite side of the spectrum you’ll find the relational learner. This child is a “people person” who is highly social and makes friends easily. He’s a born leader and will try to take charge of activities; I’ve jokingly said that if you’re not at church one Sunday – this child could probably take over in your place!
When teaching a relational learner:
- Plan activities to work with other children;
- Interact with him as he plays;
- Guide him in cooperative play; and
- Give opportunities for him to develop his leadership skills
Activities that a relational child might enjoy:
- Building in the block area with friends;
- Interviewing a classroom visitor;
- Making a mural together with others;
- Participating in a group game – sometimes leading it;
- Engaging in dramatic play with other children; and
- Solving a problem with friends.
Have you thought of any kids in your class who might exhibit these characteristics? Be sure to keep them in mind as you prepare for your next session. Stay tuned the rest of this week as the other approaches are described for you. Keep your eyes and heart open as we help you discover the best ways to teach and relate to the children in your class!