You know how soothing a cup of coffee is. The subtle brown color, the aroma of brewing coffee, the first sip, everything about it appeals to all our senses, and just by reading this, you are reminded of your favorite cup of coffee. That’s how deep your connection with the subject is.
“Tell me and I’ll forget,
Show me and I may remember,
Involve me and I’ll understand.”
When students are involved in the teaching-learning process, the understanding is higher and as mentioned, they retain the concepts in a better manner. When you are involved in things, the retention rate is higher.
Multisensory teaching is an approach that is centered around these lines. It is a method of teaching by appealing to multiple senses of the student like visual, auditory, and haptics (sense of touch). This type of teaching has been proven as an effective method of teaching and learning.
Let us take a look at the techniques used in multisensory teaching and the major advantages of multisensory teaching.
How to Integrate Multisensory Teaching to the Classroom
How do you incorporate multi-sensory teaching methods to your classroom? It is simple and effective and here are a few tips on how you can integrate a multi-sensory approach to the classroom:
1.Plan Activities that include visual, tactile, and auditory approaches
As mentioned, multi-sensory teaching is an approach that aims to appeal to the different senses of the students. Plan activities/ games that would evoke their senses like phonic flashcards, listening games, visual aids, and likewise so that students stay interested and engaged throughout the classes.
This is one of the most popular methods of incorporating a multi-sensory approach to the classroom. In air writing, students are required to write in the air and are asked to pronounce the words while doing so. This way, their diction gets better and they have a better understanding of pronunciation. This is mainly done in smaller grades where the students have just started learning alphabets and words. A multi-sensory approach is best for younger kids while it is also applied in higher grades.
Make stories out of the concepts that you want to teach and write them on small bits of paper. That is to say, write different parts of the story on different pieces of paper, jumble the order and let the students choose the bits. Later, ask them to arrange the story in a way that makes sense, and then, ask your students to enact the story.
Suppose, if you are teaching digestion, you can make a story of how the food has set forth on a journey, the pit stops it takes and likewise, you can label each organ as a train station or so and then ask your students to complete the storyline accordingly.
Group discussions are a great way of teaching since it increases the interaction in the classroom and students get to voice their opinions and suggestions. It appeals to the auditory learners and as well as visual learners since there are visual aspects involved in the group discussions.
Advantages of Multi-Sensory Teaching
As mentioned, the multi-sensory approach will help students to retain the information better. This approach is more like a learning experience and since students are involved in the learning process, they can retain information in a much better way as compared to the normal ways.
2.Appeals to all types of learners
As discussed in Types of Learning, there are different types of learners and as teachers, you cannot opt for one strategy and hope that it would cater to all learners alike. A multi-sensory approach, as discussed, will cater to all the types of learners in the classroom and this is a win-win situation.
3.Better concentration and focus.
Since this approach is more inclusive and involves students throughout, their concentration would be better and they can be engaged in a better manner. It is common for students to lose focus in the midst of a class and this can be minimized with this method of teaching.
Studies show that this approach helps students to be more relaxed and reduces stress. A pleasing environment is essential to ensure that the students understand concepts in the best way possible.
This approach creates a dynamic atmosphere and fine-tunes the critical thinking abilities of children. Students get a better understanding of the outcomes and effects and hence, is a great way to increase self-discipline and focus.
A classroom must be a safe space for students to voice their opinions and put forward their suggestions. Multiple methods of teaching and various different strategies must be used by the teachers to cater to all the students in the classroom. Multisensory learning is important because it shapes younger students for the future and helps students who struggle with learning disabilities.