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What Are the Best Tips for Teaching Children?

Because students learn in different ways, one method may not be effective for all students.
Encouraging group learning is helpful in a classroom setting.
Enthusiasm can be a good tool when teaching children.
Informal instruction may be used by teachers who prefer to learn as much as they can about their students' learning styles and aptitude.
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  • Written By: Dee Jones
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2014
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When teaching children, many teaching methods that can be employed to help students understand new concepts and retain new information. While explanation can be effective when teaching kids new things, it works best when the teacher is truly enthusiastic about the subject. Demonstration involves using things like examples, stories, and experiments to help a child absorb new information. This works well when used in conjunction with explanation.

When teaching children, it is important to use teaching methods that will be effective with the different learning styles. An auditory learner might be able to learn something new by way of an explanation or story, but a visual learner might need an illustration or other visual aid to truly understand a new concept, and a kinesthetic learner will learn best from building a model or working with other students on a group project.

Explanation is probably the most traditional method used when teaching children. With this teaching method, the teacher explains the topic or concept to the students. Studies have found that explanation is most effective when a teacher is enthusiastic about the subject matter being taught. Students learn best when they are interested in and excited about what they learning. So when a teacher is bored, and can’t talk about the material with much enthusiasm, the students will pick up on that boredom and will have trouble developing an interest in the subject matter.

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Demonstration is method for teaching children that often goes hand-in-hand with explanation, and can help make explanations more clear and effective. A demonstration involves using examples, illustrations, visual aids, experiments, and even stories to make the explanation more clear. Studies have proven that a demonstration of a concept can make it easier for students to absorb the information they are being taught. Students will retain the information for longer than they would through explanation alone.

Students learn in different ways, and a method that might be effective with one student might not work as well with another. By employing different types of demonstrations, a teacher can reach children with different learning styles. For example, a story will work well with auditory learners, while a colorful illustration might work better with visual learners.

Kinesthetic learners are students who learn best by doing, so, when teaching children something new, it is important to give them hands-on activities to help them better absorb the new concepts. For example, kinesthetic learners can best learn the parts of a castle by building a model of a castle. Kinesthetic learners also tend to do well with group activities where they are allowed to work on projects with other students.

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KoiwiGal
Post 3

@Mor - I do want to point out that in some cases you just have to help them memorize things. That's particularly true for when you are teaching children to write. If they don't memorize the letters and the sounds associated with them, as well as a couple of hundred words that they can identify at a glance, they won't be able to progress. I guess that's the base of knowledge that you eventually get to scaffold when building new stuff.

Mor
Post 2

@Iluviaporos - It's all about scaffolding and the way the brain works. It's like a wiki in some ways. You can put a new idea in there but if it doesn't connect to the existing ideas then it's never going to be accessed.

If you teach children multiplication and don't show them how it relates to addition and to physical objects in real life, then it will just be an isolated fact that they memorize.

If you scaffold the idea of multiplication with real examples (we have two boxes of six eggs, how many eggs do we have? how would you find out with addition? How about multiplication?) and show it to them in many different ways, then it will connect up with the ideas they already have in their heads and will be truly accessible.

This might seem slower than just getting them to memorize something, but once they grasp the idea behind multiplication, they will be able to expand on that much more easily than just memorizing formulas.

lluviaporos
Post 1

Being enthusiastic about a subject is definitely a plus, but it's not enough on its own. I remember watching the teaching scenes in Breaking Bad and just realizing that Mr. White was a terrible teacher even though he had passion for the subject.

You have to structure classes so that the students feel like they are achieving something real and the best way to do that is to actually have them achieve something real. Don't just teach them formulas and statistics, get them to figure these things out for themselves through experimentation and research.

This applies even when teaching young children. If they are allowed to explore concepts and come to their own conclusions they will remember and understand those concepts much better.

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