In a previous post, I shared the powerful impact visualizing can have on improving student comprehension. However, this technique is not limited to reading comprehension. Preview and Review highlighted in “Helping Students Take Control of Everyday Executive Functions” by Paula Moraine also sheds light on this powerful tool. While this text and technique are targeting students with executive function challenges, its scope is much larger. This technique can be used to help prepare students for everyday occurrences, building their self-awareness and empowerment. For example, to begin each student session, I always provide the students with an overview of the lesson and activities that will be encountered. This provides me with valuable insight regarding student motivation, current energy levels and confidence in approaching the tasks as often students share their thoughts and feelings regarding these activities. Initial session time is also used to review concepts previously visited and clarify any lingering questions that may have been encountered. At the conclusion of the session, there is always a time for review and a discussion of what’s to come. I have found this method to be invaluable. Not only does it allow the student to connect with the material learned and ask questions, it provides them with the opportunity to share their voice. In sharing their voice, students gain the awareness that this is their learning journey. I am there to guide them, providing tools and techniques as needed. However, the student learns more about themselves and their value. The question then becomes, how can this technique be applied outside of session? As I shared, the scope of this technique is quite broad and its application will depend on the individual needs of the student. It could be used as a morning and evening routine to discuss upcoming chores and tasks that will need to be completed around the home. It could also be used to prepare the child for upcoming assignments and tests. However, I believe you will find, the individualized application of this technique will yield positive lasting results.
Are you looking to gather further insight into how the Tutor Wise LLC mission is put to practice? Would you love additional educational activities for reinforcement and practice? There are two new opportunities to fulfill both these requests. First, I have an active Twitter page. This page contains educational research articles, comments on educational ideas and even some celebratory remarks for student successes! Care to check it out? Visit: https://twitter.com/TutorWise . Also, Tutor Wise now has a Pinterest page. Pinterest offers a creative and fun method for collecting educational ideas from teachers, tutors, and parents. The pins I have collected relate to a variety of topics including technology, reading, and math. For inspiration or to print out freebies check it out at: http://www.pinterest.com/tutorwise .
As I have shared in a previous entry, my reason for beginning this blog is to provide parents and families with further insight regarding my educational practices. While I have had a variety of experiences, I believe collaboration is essential and fun! Therefore, today I am linking up with Adrianne of The Tutor House. I have enjoyed many of her posts, and look forward to sharing these ideas with all of you!
As an educator, I have always believed in continuing to learn and enhance my lesson presentation and strategies. I believe by continuing to learn and grow, I am able to guide my students to become more successful learners. Beyond this however, I believe I also set the example of the importance of learning as a life-long process. Since I have found a particularly valuable website, offering a variety of free webinars for parents, teachers and tutors, I wanted to take the opportunity to share the site with those visiting Tutor Wise LLC! The site featured below offers webinars on a variety of stimulating topics. While many are geared to families of children with dyslexia, many of the topics are relevant to all families.
International Dyslexia Association: Upper Midwest Branch
During an initial consultation, I always present families with a learning styles inventory. Due to the nature of the information yielded from this tool, it proves invaluable as the sessions begin. This inventory helps guide strategies and tools presented, methods for lesson instruction, and reinforcement. Using this information, I have found the use of visualization to be beneficial in assisting students with a visual-spatial learning style to build comprehension. However, it is an invaluable tool for all students. To begin, I often present a striking image such as shark posing at an interesting angle or a valley with vibrant fall colors. The student is then asked a very general question, “What do you notice?” The answers yielded from this question are as diverse as the learners I guide. This question and the responses are then used to introduce and discuss the strategy of visualization. This strategy allows the reader to create images of the characters, setting and other contents of a book studied in their minds. While many readers are able to complete this skill automatically, the value of this skill is often overlooked. With a visual image created in one’s mind, or better yet drawn on paper, comprehension skills relating to main idea and details, inferences and vocabulary are all made much easier to complete. In implementing this technique with a student who was able to read fluently, yet struggled to comprehend what he read, visualization proved to be the key to unlocking his ability to comprehend the text. His ability to draw the images, later automatically creating these images in his mind, allowed him to understand the main idea and details in the text. He was able to articulate vividly the important details and how these ideas related to the main idea. The question then becomes how can this technique be used at home to assist students? Follow these steps for easy application:
1. Allow the child to read a self-selected yet, on-level text aloud.
2. Select one particularly vivid or exciting sentence or paragraph to reread.
3. Once a single reread has been conducted, encourage the child to close their eyes and reread the selection 2-3 more times.
4. Once the passage has been reread, with their eyes closed, encourage the child to share what images have been created in their mind. For instance, What characters do you see? Where are these characters? How are these characters behaving?
Keep in mind, this technique is applicable to both fiction and non-fiction texts. While the images created during visualization may vary, the effect remains the same. The child is able to “see” what is occurring in the text.
My hope is the implementation and continued use of this technique will help build your child’s understanding of the text. Equally as important however, this technique helps to foster imagination and creativity.
Ms. Melissa believes education should be engaging and fun! Throughout her lessons, she offers structure and choice to guide children into becoming life-long learners. She provides this blog to all those interested in education and learning more about Tutor Wise LLC. services. Thanks for stopping by!