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Introduction to Visualizing
What is Visualizing? • “Visualizing” text means forming mental pictures of the text you are reading. • Skilled readers use visualization to imagine or picture the topic the author is discussing.
Three Things That Prevent Students from Visualizing • Some students may never have learned this strategy. • Struggling readers may be too busy trying to decode text to form mental images. • Students may lack background knowledge of the topics in the text.
How is Visualizing Important? • Aids readers in processing information which supports comprehension of text. • Makes reading text feel more real to readers. • Encourages active reading and deep engagement with text. • Helps readers take ownership of the text as they fill in details that the author does not spell out. This deepens their understanding.
How Does Visualizing Help Students? • Improves reading comprehension. • Helps students more easily engage with, understand, and remember text. • Turns reading into a more vivid, personal, and enjoyable experience for students.
How Can I Prepare Students to Use This Practice? • Provide clear explanations about what visualization is and how to use it. • Model how to use visualization to read many kinds of online and print texts. • Give students many opportunities to practice using visualization with different kinds of texts.
Discussion Questions 1 1. In what ways does visualizing support comprehension of literature and informational text? 2. What factors contribute to a student's difficulty in visualizing? 3. Do the Common Core State Standards address visualizing? Where specifically does this show up?
How Can I Support Students' Use of Visualization?
Use of Evidence-Based Practices • Provide Clear Explanations • Give Students Strategies and Models • Provide Opportunities for Practice
Differentiated Instruction • Plan instruction that considers students' readiness, learning needs, and interests. • Use a range of technology tools to: – engage learners at varying levels – engage learners in multiple ways. – offer students options for demonstrating understanding and mastery
Teacher-Dependent Ways to Differentiate • By Content – Different levels of reading or resource materials, reading buddies, small group instruction, curriculum compacting, multilevel computer programs and Web Quests, audio materials, etc. • By Product – Activity choice boards, tiered activities, multi-level learning center tasks, similar readiness groups, choice in group work, varied journal prompts, mixed readiness groups with targeted roles for students, etc. • By Process – Tiered products, students choose mode of presentation to demonstrate learning, independent study, varied rubrics, mentorships, interest-based investigations
Student-Dependent Ways to Differentiate • By Readiness – Options in content, topic, or theme, options in the tools needed for production, options in methods for engagement • By Profile – Consideration of gender, culture, learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses • By Interests – Identification of background knowledge/gaps in learning, vary amount of direct instruction, and practice, pace of instruction, complexity of activities, and exploration of a topic
Discussion Questions 2 1. How do you explain and/or model visualizing to students? 2. In what ways do you use varied materials to differentiate instruction when teaching students how to visualize? 3. In what ways have you used technology to teach visualizing?
Activities Before Reading • Ask students to visualize what the setting, situation, and people might look like based on the topic of the text.
Example 1: • “We are about to read about the medieval time period. Before we do, let’s write down what we know about this time. I’d like you to include some visual images you might have of this time. Draw, doodle, or write whatever comes into your mind. ” • Student examples may include drawings of knights, castles, or swords; statements (no electricity!); or ideas.
Activities During Reading • Ask students to pause for a minute. Share your mental images, and ask them to talk about what they are picturing. Engage them in a discussion of the text.
Example 2: • “Most medieval homes were cold, damp, and dark. Sometimes it was warmer and lighter outside the home than within its walls. I’m wondering what it must have felt like to live in this peasant’s home. We know he is poor. And, we know there is no electricity. How does he see inside? How do you think his home looks and feels? What do you think it might smell like? Have you ever been someplace that might have felt or looked like this? Can you describe it? ”
Activities After Reading • Ask students to choose one aspect of the reading and draw a picture of what they think it looks like. Tell them to look for descriptive words when they are trying to visualize and draw what the writer described. • Provide students with online presentation software, comic creation or other media creation tools for their drawings.
Example 3: • “Pick one thing about medieval life— health, food, religion, homes, or town life. Make a sketch of what you think it looks like, based on what you just read. Look for words like damp, dark, or warm as you try to visualize what the writer is describing. ”
Discussion Questions 3 1. How does visualizing help students elicit prior knowledge before reading? 2. What additional supports do you use if students are having difficulty visualizing? 3. How do you assess student work?
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