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Teaching Strategies to Support the Visual Spatial Learner Sarah Giunchedi Illinois Association for Gifted Children Conference February 6, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Strategies to Support the Visual Spatial Learner Sarah Giunchedi Illinois Association for Gifted Children Conference February 6, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Strategies to Support the Visual Spatial Learner Sarah Giunchedi Illinois Association for Gifted Children Conference February 6, 2012

2 Two Perspectives Imaginative “Big picture” 3-d mastery Sees relationships Recognizes patterns Out of the box thinker Radar scanning Emotional intensity Gamesmanship Unorganized Unfocused Poor spellers Poor with math facts and memorization Fidgety Daydreamers No sense of time Unusual, different


4 Two Hemispheres of the Brain Left Brain Step-by-step Sequential learning Auditory teaching Words and numbers Right Brain Think in pictures Thoughts move like movies playing in their heads

5 1 in 3 students have a strong preference for the visual-spatial, right brained learning style (Silverman, 2002).

6 Our World Today Is Changing Information Age Logical, linear capabilities Based on words and numbers Medieval clerk skills- reading, writing, counting, memorizing, learning foreign languages Conceptual Age Inventive, empathic, big-picture capabilities Based on images

7 Graphic designers increased ten-fold in ten years. More Americans work in entertainment, design and the arts than work as lawyers, auditors or accountants (Pink)

8 Identifying These Students Good at puzzles, mazes Likes to build with LEGOs, K’Nex, blocks Often loses track of time Knows things but can’t tell why Remembers how to get to a place visited only once Can feel what others are feeling Remembers what is seen and forgets what is heard

9 Identifying These Students Unusual problem solver Wild imagination Love of arts: theater, dance, art Seem unorganized Loves playing on the computer Has trouble spelling words correctly Likes taking things apart to see how they work

10 Learning Characteristics Strengths: Loves complexity Loves difficult puzzles Fascinated by computers Great at geometry, physics Keen visual memory Creative, imaginative Systems thinker Abstract reasoning Excels in math analysis High reading comprehension Excellent sense of humor

11 Learning Characteristics Weaknesses: Struggles with easy material Hates drill and repetition Illegible handwriting Poor at phonics, spelling Poor auditory memory Inattentive in class Disorganized, forgets details Difficulty memorizing facts Poor at calculation Low word recognition Performs poorly on timed tests

12 How Do They Learn? Visualization Hands-On Whole Picture Use Technology Increase the Difficulty Aha!

13 Visualization Show everything Using color is best Encourage the child to visualize lists, patterns, words Ask the child to create pictures of the topic Encourage child to draw or construct Use Venn Diagrams, graphic organizers Allow wait time for visualization of ideas

14 Hands-On Manipulatives:Attribute blocks, fraction bars, patterns blocks, LEGOs, strategy games, base ten blocks, geoboards, tangrams, pentominoes, puzzles, Hands-on Learning Encourage Building Models

15 Whole Picture Often perceived as “slow processors” See relationships between parts and whole Don’t understand if learning is presented in small chunks or isolated facts Have difficulty attending to details Explain major concepts Provide real-life scenarios Use interdisciplinary teaching, so students can see the connections

16 Technology Encourage the use of computers Encourage and teach keyboarding at an early age Encourage use of Inspiration for organizing thoughts

17 Increase the Difficulty Excel at concepts, computation is more difficult Detest routine, repetitive tasks Does not learn by rote memorization Do not force student to succeed at easier material before moving on to more difficult work Emphasize mastery of higher level concepts over perfection of simpler ones

18 Aha! Learning Typically can not explain the steps of their thinking Understand all or nothing Once an “aha!” moment occurs, learning is pretty permanent Allow for discovery learning-tell the child the goal of the instruction and let them figure out the way to get there

19 Strategies for Teaching Math Avoid drill, repetition and timed tests Do five hardest problems first Teach to find patterns and work backwards Teach within the context of the entire number system Do not focus on memorization of rules, formulas, steps and facts: focus on higher level skills

20 Strategies for Teaching Math Be understanding that showing their work is difficult Give opportunities to solve problems in their own way Let them use their own strategies- don’t judge Hands-on-Equations program

21 Use Grid for Multiplication Facts x12345678910 1123456789 22468 1214161820 33615 44820 55101520253035404550 661230 771435 881640 991845 10 2030405060708090100

22 Tricks to Remember Difficult Facts: You have to be 16 to drive a 4 by 4: 4 x 4 = 16 5,6,7,8: 7 x 8 = 56 1,2,3,4: 3 x 4 = 12 Finger method for 9’s Rhymes-bounce/jump to rhythm: 5 x 5 =25, 6 x 4 = 24, 6 x 6 = 36, 6 x 8 =48 Music-Schoolhouse Rock (song for memorizing three’s facts)

23 Strategies for Teaching Reading Many are late readers Child may never be a good oral reader Focus on sight words, not phonics Poor visual memory-never actually look at words long enough to store them in memory Connect a word to a picture instead of a sound

24 Strategies for Teaching Reading Junior Great Books program is great! Program called “Mind’s Eye” out of Escondido, CA focuses on training students to produce mental images as they read “Picture at Punctuation” (Ron Davis) encourages students to stop at punctuation and tell the picture you have Textbook Scavenger Hunts are great! Study word analysis (Greek and Latin roots)

25 Strategies for Teaching Reading Good speed readers-encourage to use index finger and jump over words they can not make a picture for Get content first, then read for details Study captions, pictures Skimming

26 Strategies for Teaching Reading Love to read books with strong visual images: fantasy, books with underlying theme Love to read graphic novels, magazines, nonfiction or heavily illustrated material Continue to read aloud to them- running fingers under words as you go

27 Strategies for Teaching Language Arts Writing: Visualize entire sentence before writing it Tape record work and then transcribe Use webbing to come up with ideas Grade content and mechanics separately Spelling: Kids need to see the word shape so draw word on graph paper Write each word on a card in color Rhymes such as “I before E” can be helpful

28 Strategies for Teaching Organization Color code calendars, assignments, books, supplies, key words Use an hourglass to help see time passage Watches Teach to take a picture of assignments they are given Teach to create priority lists and schedules Teach to highlight important concepts or directions

29 For Lectures: Pause to let words register Encourage note taking in visual format (webbing, graphic organizers) Emphasize concepts, not details Distribute handouts

30 Things to Use: Color Mnemonics Humor Meaningful material Venn Diagrams Rhythm Music Emotion Fantasy Manipulatives 3-d images Exaggeration Use as many senses as possible

31 When Interacting with these Students Teach child to take cues from classmates Moment of silence Reduce unpredictable noise Use wait time Let child completely finish answering Discipline in private Be non-judgmental Focus on students’ strengths

32 Why Nurture Spatial Skills? Schools (and testing) emphasize verbal over spatial skills In the last 25 years, college students have increased 50% but number of graduates in STEM fields has remained flat (NYT, 2011). 40% of those planning engineering and science switch to other degrees, twice the attrition rate of other majors (NYT, 2011).

33 Why Nurture Spatial Skills? 51% of Engineering Doctorates and 43% of Mathematics Doctorates earned by non- citizens (Mann) Individuals gifted in spatial ability are undereducated and underemployed (Gohm, 1998) Increasingly technological world needs ability to comprehend complex relationships and problem solvers with unique strategies (Shea, Lubinski, Benbow, 2001)

34 Many Famous Inventors Noted as Having Trouble in School Einstein-grades so poor, a teacher asked him to quit school when he was 15 Edison-”dull student” so disruptive one teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything and thrown out of school at 12 Newton-did poorly in school, teachers throught he couldn’t learn daVinci-wrote his notes backwards (mirror image), spelling errors Darwin-had to have his dad pull strings to get him into college

35 Believe in these children… You could be teaching a future Edison or Einstein and our world desperately needs these kinds of thinkers!

36 Effective Materials for Visual Spatial Learners: Attribute blocks Fraction bars Pattern blocks Geoblocks Soma cubes Legos™ Mindbenders Gears Strategy Games Destination Imagination Base ten blocks Geoboards Tangrams Pentominoes Puzzles Construx™ Logic Problems String Art 3-d geometric shapes Set Kanoodle

37 Cited: Eberle, Bob. Scamper. Waco: Prufrock, 2008. Print. Freed, Jeffrey F. Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World. New York: “Simon”, 1998. Print. Gardner, Howard. Five Minds for the Future. Boston: Harvard Business School, 2006. Print. - - -. Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice. New York: Basic, 1993. Print. Golon, Alexandra Shires. Visual-Spatial Learners. Waco: Prufrock, 2008. Print. Mann, Rebecca L. “Eye to Eye: Connecting with Gifted Visual-Spatial Learners (Teaching Strategies).” Gifted Child Today Magazine. N.p., Fall 2001. Web. 27 Jan. 2012. - - -. “Gifed Students with Spatial Strengths and Sequential Weaknesses: An Overlooked and Underidentified Population.” Roeper Review Winter 2005: 91-96. Print. Pink, Daniel. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the World. New York: Berkley, 2005. Print. Silverman, Linda Kreger, Ph.D., ed. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2012. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2012. Wallace, Kathryn. “America’s Brain Drain Crisis.”‌. N.p., 8 Dec. 2005. Web. 27 Jan. 2012. West, T.G. In the Mind’s Eye: Visual Thinkers, Gifted People with Learning Difficulties. Computer Images, and the Ironies of Creativity. Buffalo: Prometheus, 1991. Print.

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