Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.

Different Strokes (Part 2) "A"
Understanding Your Child’s Learning Pattern
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Not Rated Yet   |   Viewed 10461 times since 9/11/06   |   0 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend

Summary of Last Week's Column

Last week, we discussed three diverse learning styles and the reality that adults as well as children absorb and store information in very different ways. We noted that some people learn best by reading, while others retain information most effectively by listening to people (a rebbi, teacher, or even a chavrusah) as they speak to them.

The third group mentioned was the visual learners. They respond most favorably when they see things. Charts, diagrams, graphs, or pictures stimulate their minds and allow them to grasp matters clearly in a manner that reading or listening does not afford them.

In our previous column, I noted that if we as rebbeim present information in only one or two of these three methods, some of our talmidim will almost certainly be inadvertently deprived of a significant opportunity for success in our classrooms (and may be among the ones who get quickly frustrated and start misbehaving).

Questions - and Some Answers

We closed last week's column by asking which of these three distinct learning styles is most likely to be met in our classrooms, and which is the least likely to be addressed. Judging by the feedback that I received over the past few days, there seems to be a strong consensus that the first two learning styles, reading and listening, are nearly always addressed. After all, our talmidim read from their seforim, and listen as we present our shiur. It would therefore seem to be quite obvious that our greatest challenge is to creatively offer our visual learners the opportunity to see the learning in a manner that will engage their minds and touch their neshamos.

At this point, I think it would be fair for my readers to ask several logical questions: What are the statistics for the various learning patterns? What are the percentages for each group? And, is it really worth altering my teaching style to accommodate this third group of children if it is, in fact, only a tiny percentage of the talmidim in my classroom?

I do not claim to be an expert on the subject of diverse learning patterns, but in response to these questions, I cite recent studies which indicate that as much as seventy percent of adults absorb and retain information best by the visual method. That does not mean that all or most of these visual learners cannot absorb information through reading and listening. It only means that visual learning is the method that works best for them.

Behavior Management

Last week, I alluded to the fact that if visual learners are not given the opportunity to be taught according to the method that is congruent with their learning pattern, they will, in all likelihood, be the first to habitually disrupt your shiur.

With that in mind, allow me to share an observation with you. I have found that although the 'visual learning profile' follows a continuum - meaning that people have this profile in various degrees - the most extreme examples of visual learners often tend to be the creative-impulsive-restless types. These are the children who will become entrepreneurs later in life. They are out-of-the-box thinkers who respond beautifully when stimulated - but get bored easily. They simply do not have the patience to listen to an entire shiur that is delivered without visual aides or the persistence to read the entire chumash or gemorah enough times to master it properly. They are the ones who desperately need your efforts to present your shiur in a manner in which they can properly absorb it.

A Visual Image

Teaching in a variety of ways in not limited to any particular age group or specific limud.

Several days ago, I observed the fourth-grade rebbi in our yeshiva, Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Lowi shlit"a begin his chumash shiur in the creative manner that he introduces nearly all his shiurim. The talmidim were all in their seats with their chumashim opened. Without saying a word, Rabbi Lowi walked up one of the aisles and took the hands of three children. Gently holding their three left hands in his right hand, he walked them to the front of the classroom. They remained standing there, enjoying their moment in the spotlight. Rebbi then took three chocolate coins from his desk and motioned for three other boys to join him at the front of the classroom. Each of the boys was given a chocolate coin when they arrived near Rebbi's desk.

Rebbi then instructed the talmidim to read the Rashi on the pasuk, "Ves amoi lokach emoi (Shmos, 14:6)," which describes how Paroh "took (lokach)" his people to follow the B'nei Yisroel to the Yam Suf. Rashi's unasked question is how can people, especially such a large group of people, be "taken." Rashi answers kocheim bedevarim - he 'took them' with words - encouraged them by offering them the spoils of the Jews. When Rebbi read the pasuk a few moments later, nearly all the talmidim independently anticipated the kushya of Rashi - and his answer. Watching this excellent visual introduction (sometimes referred to as an anticipatory set) it was obvious that although this type of visual aid is the lifeline for the learning of some of the talmidim, all of the talmidim utilized the demonstration to prepare for what they were about to learn.

This entire visual image event took no more than three minutes of class time - and greatly enhanced the learning of all the talmidim. In fact, when I privately asked several of the children after the shiur to relate the day's chumash to me, each of the boys I spoke to made reference to the living mashul that Rebbi enacted for their benefit.

© 2005 The Center for Jewish Family Life, all rights reserved

To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.

Related Articles:
Different Strokes (Part 3) "A"
Different Strokes (Part 1) "A"

Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:       Not Rated Yet
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)
There are no comments yet. Click above to write the first comment.
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.

Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593