Tag Archives: visual learners

A Fast and Easy Way to Make Posters for Your Classroom

You know how kids commonly use the “My printer was out of ink” line?

I think it’s legit, because it seems like my printer is always out of ink! I am semi-cheap and never use color ink.  I also never get to the store to buy black ink until I’m desperate. (Like the kids need something printed).

In the middle of August I purchased this poster bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Over 65 posters for ELA and Reading!  (See link below)

Over 65 posters for ELA and Reading! (See link below)

I have become a regular customer at Lovin’ Lit. I purchased her interactive notebook unit for literature and also received the informational text unit. I absolutely love what I’ve used  in my classroom so far. (Future blog post alert!)

These posters are bright and colorful (which lead to this blog about printing).  We have a color printer at school but it’s not really for general use.

My solution was to email them to Staples and have them printed in color.

For 22 full color 8.5 x 11 in. posters on premium white paper, it cost me around $13.

I think I am going to have the PTG laminating lady laminate each set as I get to it in my lesson plans.

However, I stumbled upon a pretty neat idea that I may like better. I need to run to Joann’s later (for the third time this weekend) and try it out.  Stay tuned….

Teaching Vocabulary in Real-World Context

We read The Outsiders at the start of the year and one important piece of reading the novel is acquiring new vocabulary.

The other day I wrote about using visuals to reach all learners. When I am working with students with disabilities, ESL/ELL, or at-risk students I find that getting on their level and in their world helps them make connections, especially in vocabulary.

Here is the vocabulary list for The Outsiders (one word per chapter). Each day a new word is presented and students are asked to copy the word and definition. They also need to locate the sentence in the novel and write it in their journal. This list is used with most of the 8th grade classes.

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Here are some sample pages from the SMARTNotebook file I created for our inclusion class. The definitions are not only pared down a bit, but each page includes a graphic and the sentence from the novel.

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As we review the vocabulary and later test over it, students can picture Judge Judy and Wile E. Coyote and apply this knowledge.

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For the above example, we will connect it to a student athlete in the class and always refer to him when we discuss this vocabulary word. “Andy cannot believe that the Tigers beat them last Friday night.”

Because these vocabulary words are made on SMARTNotebook, students can download them from our Edmodo page, view them online, or print them and cut them out to make flashcards. (You have to print to the “large” or “medium” setting for usable flashcards.) I typically provide a copy of these to each of the students who require such an accommodation on their IEP. I also make a class set to use for review games during our intervention study hall.

I think this method of teaching vocabulary works because it helps students:
Who are visual/picture smart (obviously)
Who are book/word/linguistic smart (as the word becomes part of a very short “story”)
Who are people smart (as they get involved with the “characters” in the examples)
Who are tactile/kinesthetic/body smart (as they manipulate the flashcards)

And it should be no surprise, It is also way more fun to teach vocabulary like this.

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…

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The Image Collector Tool menu

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

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

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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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