Kinesthetic Materials For ELL Students

Understanding the Problem

English Language Learners (ELL) students are falling behind their classmates at an alarming rate. About 35% of ELL students are behind in math. Compared to their non-ELL counterparts, 47% are behind in reading (Fry 2007).

This learning gap can lead to ELL students having lower self-esteem. Students who have low self-esteem can have low achievement and even drop out. This is a significantly high percentage of students that this can happen to. Teachers and educators cannot ignore these numbers. Instead, they need to focus on finding ways to support ELL students by using kinesthetic teaching strategies so that the students can be confident and successful in school.

The Big Picture

America is getting more and more diverse. So in many ways, teachers are struggling to learn how to adapt to serve students whose first language is not English. Teachers need to change their teaching strategies by using different teaching strategies in order to meet their students’ needs. At the same time, they must meet educational objectives and standards.

A Proven Solution

Research shows that “ELL students strongly preferred kinesthetic and tactile learning styles (Reid).” It also shows that those who were “taught in their preferred learning styles scored higher on tests, fact knowledge, attitude, and efficiency  (Reid)..” At Math & Movement, we know that kinesthetic ELL teaching strategies work and we are happy to support teachers as they start adapting and teaching students the way they learn best.

Recognizing that no single style will meet all needs, Math & Movement combines all three modalities, auditory, visual, kinesthetic. The Math & Movement materials help every student unlock their full potential. The first step to do so is to add more teaching styles, like kinesthetic teaching, to their toolbox. Also, the best approach is to mix the three primary learning styles with a focus on kinesthetic learning. Math & Movement provides the workshops and materials that can help teachers support all learners.


Check out our mats in other languages here! These mats can be paired with the English version of the mats or used on their own to help students learn concepts kinesthetically! If you have ideas for other mats that would help your ELL/ESL students, please contact us! We are always looking for new ideas that will help students succeed!