Tag Archives: visual cues

Teaching the Question Words

Every day my Resource Room students come into class and get started on their Daily Work.

Their Daily Work on Tuesday consists of a picture (both on the SMARTBoard and on a sheet of paper.) Their job is to come up with questions about the picture. They are supposed to write at least 3 questions using capitals and question marks. We then spend some time sharing our questions and discussing some possible answers. This activity is great for discussion, making observations, inferences, predictions, and generalizations.

I always write the question words on the board because they always ask me how to spell them. One of the problems, however, is that some of them cannot read the words and get confused. So I get questions like:

Where are there two police cars?” (Why)

How is the boy talking to?” (Who)

What is the train going?” (Where)

I wanted to make some posters to hang up in the room to save me the trouble of writing them each week. But the fact remains…they all can’t read the words. So, I decided some visual cues were in order.






As a side note, I try to avoid juvenile type decorations. I was once told by some 8th graders that middle school teachers should not use decorations with “faces.” However, I think they were referring to cartoon-like faces. I think these posters will meet a middle schooler’s criteria for “cool.”

Here are the PDF files for you to use in your classroom.

Who poster

When poster

What poster

Where poster

Why poster

How poster

Multiple Methods of Presentation: Focus on the Visual

It is important to present information to your class in a variety of ways. Auditory presentation can be effective for some learners. However, I have found that visual representations help almost all learners understand concepts more thoroughly.

In the age of SMARTBoards, digital cameras, and personal electronic devices in the classroom, the options for visual cues is infinite.

With every novel, short story, history lesson, journal prompt, science concept, etc., I spend a great deal of time searching for images that will help students understand, relate to, and remember the information presented.

If you struggle with finding the perfect image/photo/picture/diagram/cartoon, you could check out the website: CAST: Teaching Every Student.This page contains two tutorials and an image collector tool.

While this takes some time at the beginning, if you save images, create files, or build the images into your SMART Notebook lesson, eventually you will simply be in the refining stage. As with any new skill, the process of finding and saving images becomes automatic with practice.

Adding images to your presentation adds another dimension to your teaching. Think of a student who has difficulties with reading, memory, processing speed, auditory learning, language barriers, or paying attention. A picture may be the key to making a connection.

Below I have posted some screen shots so you can see what I have been rambling about for the last 250+ words…


The Image Collector Tool menu


This search found some great photographs to promote discussion on the Industrial Revolution.


By adding “political cartoon” to your search, you have another option for writing and discussion.


One of the best parts of searching for images is finding great websites related to your content. I can totally see using this website for a RAFT writing assignment or a group project.


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