Visual/Spatial Students in the Regular Classroom Rebecca Pfingsten Goals To increase understanding about the importance of visual-spatial intelligence. To gain teaching strategies to use with Visual-Spatial (Nonverbal) students in the regular classroom. Visual-Spatial Thinker & Nonverbal Giftedness What is it? Why does it matter? What am I supposed to do with these kids? *We will take a break after a video from ST Math Work from Linda Silverman and the Gifted Development Center; Denver, Colorado Wendy Rapp (2009)- Avoiding Math Taboos- Effective Strategies Background The left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for temporal, sequential, and analytic functions. The right hemisphere is the origin of spatial, holistic, and synthetic functions. Spatial and sequential dominance are different mental organizations that affect perceptions and world views. Bogen, Dixon, Levy, et. Al. Background Visual-spatial learners perceive the interrelatedness of the parts of any situation. Their learning occurs in an allor-none fashion. This type of learning does not take place in steps. When these people are asked to retrace steps in learning, they cannot. Their understanding comes in a different holistic reality. Young children have no vocabulary yet to describe how they arrive at solutions and ideas. Linda Silverman, Ph.D., from The Visual-Spatial Learner Background As toddlers, these children like to see how things work. They pull things apart and some put them back together correctly. Imagination is the key element in mental processing of VS-learner. They think in PICTURES not WORDS. It is common for a VS-learner to be introverted. They commonly rehearse everything mentally before they attempt it. VS children will “practice” walking, talking, and balancing inside their minds. Nathan Pfingsten- Age 2 Nathan Pfingsten- Ages 3-5 Tesla “Tesla could design, build, and operate his inventions in his imagination so vividly and accurately that he could balance a turbine, match gear ratios all in his mind,” (Tesla, 1919). “His success relied on complex interactions between his capacity for metal rotation, vividness of his imagery, and highly developed spatial working memory. Without this, Tesla’s development of the polyphase motor we use today would have been thwarted,” (Karolyi, 2012). What is it? Do you prefer words or pictures? Origami Using the paper I have provided, take about 10 minutes to construct a 4-point star. ReflectionWho used the words? Who used the pictures? Who looked at the final product to help? Illustration by Buck Jones, 2002 Temple GrandinThinking in Pictures http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ90_mX8qQk Introversion We have noted an interesting linkage among IQ, visual-spatial abilities, and introversion(Silverman, 1986). The higher the child's IQ, the more likely both visual-spatial abilities and introversion to be present. Introverts start school by screaming for Mommy not to leave them. Then they stand without talking to or interacting with anyone (Keirsey & Bates, 1978). When they finally muster up enough courage to enter into the other children's activities, they try to redesign everything to fit their own vision of the way things should be. They are seen either as "bossy" or "weird" and are rejected by the others. Since they tend to be supersensitive, they may withdraw into their own worlds after this type of rejection. Intoversion_ Introverts gain their energy from themselves and find people very draining. If one of their mistakes is made public, they become intensely humiliated. They prefer to go through their growing pains in private and show the world their finished products (Keirsey & Bates, 1978; Myers, 1962). This is why they mentally rehearse so many of their activities before actually attempting them. They often have tremendous difficulty with risk taking, and so teachers tend to think of them as "uncreative." However, many introverts are highly creative in private, just not in public. Highly Gifted What about the highly gifted child? Research shows that Nonverbal children can tend to have the highest IQ scores of the three main domains. It becomes even more critical to understand these children within the confines of our current education structure. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4213899346 25847&set=vb.317606155004226&type=2&theater Nonverbal Students Nonverbal intelligence occurs in the right hemisphere. School teaches to the left—sequential, analytical, and time-oriented. Think in pictures, not words Auditory delivery does not work Learn “all-at-once” NOT FROM REPETITION Whole-to-part NOT Part-to whole ie: Instead of “What is 6 x 4?” Say, “Why does 6 x 4 =24?” Big picture first, then the details DO NOT have sequential thinking Nonverbal Students Arrive at solutions without steps Miss details Organizationally impaired and unconscious about time (frontal lobe maturity) Creative, emotional, technological, spiritual Tend to like Legos, chess, building with any materials, computers, taking things apart, drama, dance, and music Teachers think learning is poor when it is actually the OPPOSITE! Success in school currently depends upon: Following directions Turning in assigned work on time Memorization of facts Fast recall Showing steps of work Neat, legible handwriting Accurate spelling Punctuality Good organization; tidiness Why Does Visual-Spatial Ability Matter? Dominant right-brained thinkers contribute to human innovations. 30% of population is predominantly Visual-Spatial! (5-10% of these people are nonverbally gifted). Highest IQ scores with accompanying LOW achievement scores based on current testing culture. Why Does Visual-Spatial Ability Matter? STEM FIELDS “Innovation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic domains underlies national prosperity and is crucial to remaining competitive in the international economy.” (Friedman, 2007). Roeper Review- 2012: Compellation of research stressing importance of spatial ability in realworld settings. This area is not being socially valued through current education structure. Why it Matters Many visual-spatial learners have been badly wounded in the traditional system. They have been made to feel stupid, lazy, defiant, and unworthy, all because their unique learning style has not been understood and appreciated. The damage to these children's self-esteem can be healed if they have the chance to work with caring, sensitive teachers who recognize their true potential. Children respond to those who believe in them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7odhYT8yzUM ST Math- Visual Learning Sir Ken Robinson- TED Talks (Be sure to watch on your own) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9LelXa3U_I 1:26-9:34 10 minute break How do we teach these students? Begin with a learning-style quiz to get to know your students. (this one is from Pinterest) Math for Nonverbal Students Left-hemisphere, linear thinker: Listen to teacher explain the lesson and steps Copy the sample problems from the board into notebook Memorize the steps used to complete the problem. Transfer learning to new problems; plug in memorized steps and show work VS Learner’s Processing Teacher is saying something Attempt to translate the teacher’s words into a video Unsuccessful Stop. Confused. Successful Listen to the teacher again. Teacher is on the next problem already. Stop. Confused. Begin to gain understanding of the problem to be solved Story of Tyler The Effect of Strategy on Problem Solving: An fMRI Study Sharlene D. Newman http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1076&context=jps&sei -redir=1#search=%22sd%20newman%20problem%202010%22 Math for Nonverbal Students VS Learner must see the information to make sense of it. They can decipher auditory input, but need to translate to visual images for true learning to occur. (Freed, Kloth, and Billett, 2006). 1) Increase their processing time. 2) Do not require them to always show their work. “Explain how you know that the digit 0 is a zero.” 3) Give complex tasks first. VS learners understand complexity more readily than simple. “Top 5 word problems” 4) Writing is tremendously exhausting work in the left hemisphere— their weakest area. The act of writing in math reduces visualization and concentration. Give reduced writing assignments for story problems when possible. Allow output that does not always involve writing. Allow different outlets of technology. The most important strategy is extra processing time with fewer problems. Give alternative word problems. Try giving the answers to the math problems first in order for student to teach themselves the methods to arrive at the answer. (ie: 4th grader never learned multiplication facts, but taught himself to multiply in order to participate in division problems). Give real-world applications for math. Here are Illinois data based on police reports from 1987 - 1997 • In an area of about one million motorists, approximately 28,000 were Latinos. • Over this period, state police made 44,750 discretionary traffic stops. * Of these stops, 31,000 were of Latino drivers. Have students set up their own simulations of this situation using cubes (in this example, one could use three different colored cubes our of 100. or one out of 28, to approximate the ratio or Latinos). Have them pick and replace a cube 100 times, record the data, and calculate the results of simulating 100 “discretionary” stops What percentage of the motorists in part 3 were Latinos? • What percentage of the discretionary traffic stops involved Latinos? • How did you set up the simulation? Why did you choose those numbers? In your simulation, how many Latinos were picked out of 100 picks and what percentage was that? (Gutstein, 2005, p. 17) Use Manipulatives with the Visual-Spatial Learner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgN-kHG4Xa0 Breaking Away Lessons http://sofia.nmsu.edu/~breakingaway/Lessons/TOAC/ TOAC.htm http://www.math.nmsu.edu/~breakingaway/Lessons/ barrels_casks_and_flasks/Barrels_Casks.html http://www.math.nmsu.edu/~breakingaway/Lessons/ BASMD/BASMD.html http://www.math.nmsu.edu/~breakingaway/Lessons/ candybaskets1/candybaskets.html http://www.math.nmsu.edu/~breakingaway/Lessons/ ED/ED.html Foreign Languages * I have used some of these techniques in regular Language Arts and with students with dyslexia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAfeOQR1HG0 Tips for Teaching Picture Thinkers Give them the Big Picture up front. Use visuals when teaching. Provide models of all expected products. Credit the end product. DON’T REQUIRE STEPS Teach how to organize information pictorially. Teach how to take picture notes as well as word notes. Teach time awareness and management. Increase complexity if focus decreases (many careless mistakes made). Be upbeat. Let good humor, appreciation, and positive emotions rule. Writer’s Workshop—Word Processing Visual-Spatial Resource 2004-2012. Have the learner sit in front of the room to minimize distractions but at least four to six feet from the chalkboard. Give oral tests and untimed tests. Find ways other than writing by hand for the learner to demonstrate competency. Give two grades on papers—one for content and one for writing mechanics. Group students who have identified themselves as Visual-Spatial learners together. Plan alternative products for learning targets. Pause during verbal presentations so the learner can visualize what was said. Allow EXTRA TIME. Use rhythm and music to enhance learning. Allow the learner to tape lectures and discussions. Relish and reward diversity and divergent thinking. Reading for Visual-Spatial Learners Allow choice. Allow cartoon/comic books-especially for boys. Minimize exhaustion in writing. When possible, allow word processing or oral presentation to show process thinking responses. Allow books on AudioBook, especially for struggling or reluctant readers. Make copies of required worksheets on pale yellow or pale green paper. They are best at summary, rather than small details. Teach various note-taking techniques to assist with details. Provide advanced graphic organizers. Writer’s Workshop Sylvester Stallone is a famous gifted student with dyslexia. He was voted “most likely to end up in the electric chair” by his Jr. High teachers and was sent to a high school for special needs. He “wrote” the Academy Award winning movie, Rocky, by speaking the script into a tape player. When teaching writing to Nonverbal learners, consider the learning target. Are you looking for product or process? Allow times for product without process. Nonverbal students tend to love cartooning as an outlet for writing. Lesson Example: Making Inferences http://www.aniboom.com/animation-video/258/ThePiano/ “…if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” Albert Einstein References M. Mattei,R. Funiciello,C. Kisse. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth (1978– 2012) Volume 100, Issue B9, pages 17863–17883, 10 September 1995 Jeffrey Freed and Linda Silverman Feb. 1994 http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Articles/visual_spatial/v15.pdf http://www.gifteddevelopment.com Baum, S (1984). Meeting the needs of learning disabled gifted students. Roeper Review, 7(1), 16-19. Bogen, J. (1969). The other side of the brain: II. An appositional mind. Bulletin of the Los Angeles Neurological Society, 34, 135-162. Bruner, J. (1970). Man: A course of study. Cambridge, MA: Educational Development Center. References Chess, S. (1968). Temperament and learning ability in school children. American Journal of Public Health, 58, 2231-2239. 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(1982, November). Brain research: Myths and realities of the gifted male and female. Paper presented at the Illinois Gifted Education Conference, Chicago, IL. References Levy-Agresti, J., & Sperry, R. (1968). Differential perceptual capacities in major and minor hemispheres. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 61, 1151. Luria, A.R. (1966). Higher cortical functions in man. New York: Basic Books. Luria, A.R. (1971). The origin and cerebral organizations of man's conscious action. Proceedings of the Nineteenth International Congress of Psychology, 19, 37-52. Maker, C.J. (1982). Curriculum development for the gifted, Rockville, MD: Aspen. Myers, I.B. (1962). Manual for the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. Piaget, J. (1971). Science of education and the psychology of the child. New York: Viking Press.