Engaging several senses in the classroom at once is a concept known as multi-sensory teaching. This form of instruction provides students with learning differences the opportunity to better understand different subjects. The teachers at Maplebrook School, a private boarding school located in Amenia, NY, incorporate a variety of multi-sensory techniques into their curricula and have witnessed its benefits firsthand.
Though all students benefit, Maplebrook’s skilled teachers explain, young adults with learning differences are more likely to notice an improvement in how well they understand information when it’s taught via multi-sensory techniques. For example, students with visual processing disorders, dyslexia, or similar learning disabilities might have difficulty comprehending a lesson if it is presented only in writing. The multi-sensory approach, however, gives them the opportunity to overcome their struggles with written language. It does so by allowing them to connect with the material by instead appealing to their senses of touch, sight, sound, and, in some cases, even taste.
While multi-sensory teaching is used across a broad range of subjects, it is most often employed to help young adults who struggle with reading. Some educators might use a combination of sound and touch to help students tackle a difficult passage. Others may use colorful letters that provide a distinct correlation between the letter and a specific sound.
The technique is also helpful for those studying math and science, both of which give students unique chances to interact and participate while learning. For example, a biology teacher may have students grow their own seedling to demonstrate photosynthesis.
Multi-sensory teaching does not have to be complex. It invokes all the senses, but may not rely on every single one each time. For example, a student may read along with an audio book or create an acronym for a tough mathematics formula. While simple, these two multi-sensory modalities are powerful and can make a world of difference in a young adult’s comprehension skills.
Visit the Maplebrook School’s website if you are interested in learning more about how their staff uses multi-sensory techniques as well as computers and smartboards to help students with learning differences reach their full potential. You can also call (845) 373-9511 to speak with a representative of the school today.