Visual learners

Visual learning style involves the use of seen or observed things, including pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, displays, handouts, films, flip-chart, etc.

If your students prefer the visual style, they prefer using images, pictures, colours, and maps to organize information and communicate with others. They prefer to visualize objects, plans and outcomes in their mind’s eye. They also have a good spatial sense, which makes for a good sense of direction. They can easily find their  way around using maps, and rarely get lost.

The whiteboard is a best friend because they love drawing, scribbling and doodling, especially with colours.

Common pursuits and phrases

Some pursuits that make the most use of the visual style are visual art, architecture, photography, video or film, design, planning (especially strategic), and navigation.

They may tend to use phrases like these:

  • Let’s look at it differently.
  • See how this works for you.
  • I can’t quite picture it.
  • Let’s draw a diagram or map.
  • I’d like to get a different perspective.
  • I never forget a face.

Learning and techniques

If you are or have visual learners in your class visual use images, pictures, colour and other visual media to help the learning process. Incorporate much imagery into visualizations.

They may find that visualization comes easily.

  • Use colour, layout, and spatial organization in associations, and use many ‘visual words’ in assertions. Examples include see, picture, perspective, visual, and map.
  • Use mind maps. Use color and pictures in place of text, wherever possible. If you don’t use the computer, make sure you have at least four different color pens.
  • Systems diagrams can help visualize the links between parts of a system, for example major engine parts or the principle of sailing in equilibrium. Replace words with pictures, and use colour to highlight major and minor links.
  • The visual journey or story technique helps them memorise content that isn’t easy to ‘see.’ The visual story approach for memorising procedures is a good example of this.

Visual learners are good at:

  • Giving presentations
  • Seeing in 3D
  • Designing spaces
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Watching and copying
  • Using maps
  • Estimating distances

Hope this helps!

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Accelerated Learning – What is it?

I thought that in this blog I would revisit some theory reminding us what accelerated learning is.

What do we mean by accelerated learning?

The Accelerated Learning is based on research about the human brain. We now know that everyone has their own preferred learning style — a way of learning that suits us best. To get the best out of accelerated learning you need to know what your preference is because that way  and your learners learn more naturally.

Because it is more natural for you, it becomes easier.

then in turn because it is easier, it is quicker.
Hence the name – Accelerated Learning.

What do we mean by preferred learning style?

The three primary learning styles are sight, touch and sound although taste and smell also play a part. Different activities stimulate these senses but an activity which stimulates all three is when the researchers say that powerful learning takes place.

Sometimes we use different words to mean the same thing… see below

  • sight we often call visual learners
  • touch we often call kinaesthetic learners
  • sound we often called auditory learners
  • taste we call gustatory learners and
  • smell we call olfactory learners

As a teacher when creating activities it is useful to create your own tick sheet just to check that over a week/ month/ half or whole term that various activities have stimulated these senses.

In the next blog I will talk about how best to recognise those who are more auditory learners.

 

Year 8 lesson Plan example for lesson 2 – Creative writing – The Granny project

A  SCHOOL                  SCHOOL LOGO

 

Group Year 8 Class T                                                 Date ____21 May ________

 

 

Unit Of Work.  20 Century Drama
Teaching Aim. 

 

To continue to understand the play The Granny ProjectObjectives for board:

To write for a specified audience

 

Learning Outcomes.  (Differentiate learning outcomes  into All pupils will, Most pupils will and Some pupils will). 

All pupils will complete a task

Most pupils will present imaginative work for display

Some pupils will develop ideas

Lesson Content. 

 

 

Main Activity(ies)

 

 

 

 

 

Brain bloom words appropriate for an elderly audience    10 mins 

 

 

Re-read part of the Granny Project

Choose an audience and re-write the play for the specified audience eg, for the elderly, choice of words, longer, flowery old fashioned, bosh to wash in, Frock dress                             35 mins

 

 

 Differentiation

 

 Use of dictionaries, thesaurus, working in pairs

 

  

Extension Work.

 

  

Edit their work, extending sentences using connectives

 

 Plenary

 

 

 

 Share ideas with class                                                      15 mins
  The text Paper Exercise books
LSA (How do LSA’s contribute to the learning process). Not present
Assessment (What strategies are you using to assess learning). Competition 
Key words  Presentation Content Audience
Basic Skills.Literacy, numeracy ICT. R 6 W11
 Date Due Sam Learning (or other ICT resource/platform that creates homework) Homework – Writing 

Friday 28th of May

Year 8 – Creative writing – The granny project Example lesson plan

This lesson plan is for lower ability students.

A SCHOOL                        SCHOOL LOGO

 

Group Year 9 Set 3                                                             Date __20 May __________

 

 

Unit Of Work.  Creative Writing
Teaching Aim. 

 

To develop writing in preparation for GCSEObjective for board:

Understand and use brain blooming and mind mapping

To write a brief for a publisher

Learning Outcomes.  (Differentiate learning outcomes  into All pupils will, Most pupils will and Some pupils will). 

All pupils will attempt the tasks

Most pupils will develop a style of writing that is appropriate

Some pupils will  write accurately and with imagination

Lesson Content. 

Main Activity(ies)

 

 

 

 

 

Brain blooming/ storming – generate a list of ideas that could be an inspiration for a story – eg famous people, acts of heroism etc                                                                                                  10 Mins

Introduce mind mapping and its conceptual use.                5 mins

Use mind mapping to generate story ideas and plots        30 Mins

Discuss genres

Mind map descriptive words

Place

Feelings

Characters

Interaction

Create a brief for a publisher                                                10 mins

The brief should include: The target audience, brief outline of story, interesting points eg local history, factual content etc

 

Differentiation  Introduce scaffolding, differentiation by negotiation and outcome 
 Extension Work.

 

 Connectives for complex sentences

 

 Plenary

 

 Discuss and share ideas                                                         5 Mins
  Interactive whiteboard, examples of mind maps, colouring pencils
LSA (How do LSA’s contribute to the learning process). No present
Assessment (What strategies are you using to assess learning). GCSE criteria 
Key words  Mind mapping, audience, brief, publisher
Basic Skills.Literacy, numeracy ICT. W 7 Sn2, 5 Wr 5
  

Date Due

H/W  Research two different characters from two novels.  Write a description of them and their background. 1 A4 sheet minimumMonday the 24th of May

Connectives

Here is a set of words that can be used to create cards and power points, to teach sentence structure. These words are all connectives useful in joining and extending sentences together, making normal sentences into more complex sentences.

finally

firstly

furthermore

in the end

In the meantime

initially

at first

because

before

but

consequently

due to

after a while

after that

also

although

as

as a result

then

until

when

whenever

later on

meanwhile

next

since

so

suddenly

Sherlock Holmes Worksheet

Just a little cloze exercise that I used with my students.

Mr Sherlock Holmes

In the year _________ I took my degree of ___________ of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the _________________. Having completed my studies there. I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers as assistant _____________. The regiment was stationed in India at the time, and before I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken out. On landing at ____________, I learned that my ____________ had advanced through the passes, and was already deep in the _____________ country. I followed, however, with many officers who were in the same situation as myself, and succeeded in reaching Candahar in __________, where I found my ________, and at once entered upon my new duties. The campaign brought ___________ and promotion to many, but for me it had nothing but ________and ___________. I was removed from my brigade and attached to the Berkshires, with whom I served at the fatal battle of Maiwand. There I was struck on the shoulder by a Jezail _______________, which shattered the bone and grazed the subclavian ____________. I should have fallen into the hands of the __________ Ghazis had it not been for the devotion and __________ shown by Murray, my orderly, who threw me across a __________, and succeeded in bringing me safely to the ___________lines.

Doctor       corps       safety       enemy’s       regiment       disaster       bullet       murderous       courage       artery       pack-horse       British       misfortune       1878       surgeon       Bombay       honours       Army

Full text with the inserted words italicised.

In the year  1878   I took my degree of Doctor  of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the Army. Having completed my studies there. I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers as assistant surgeon The regiment was stationed in India at the time, and before I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken out. On landing at Bombay  I learned that my regiment had advanced through the passes, and was already deep in the murderous country. I followed, however, with many officers who were in the same situation as myself, and succeeded in reaching Candahar in safety , where I found my corps , and at once entered upon my new duties. The campaign brought honours and promotion to many, but for me it had nothing but  disaster and misfortune . I was removed from my brigade and attached to the Berkshires, with whom I served at the fatal battle of Maiwand. There I was struck on the shoulder by a Jezail  bullet , which shattered the bone and grazed the subclavian artery. I should have fallen into the hands of the  enemy’s Ghazis had it not been for the devotion and  courage shown by Murray, my orderly, who threw me across a pack-horse, and succeeded in bringing me safely to the  British lines.

Benefits of Bilingualism

Brilliant post that explains some of the benefits of bilingualism. They include;

1. A conscious approach can help you clean up your writing and your speech and help you communicate more clearly.

2. Bilingual individuals can pick out a speaker’s voice easier

3. Develop creativity because learning a second language improved speakers’ planning, cognitive flexibility, and working memory, three pillars on which creativity is built.

4. Patients who spoke more than one language had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years after their monolingual counterparts.

and finally

5. Make smarter decisions as people thinking in a foreign language were more likely to consider a question more slowly and analytically than in their native language 

Really interesting thanks to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-roitman/why-it-makes-more-sense-t_b_3435076.html for this story.

Recent research suggests that learning a new language, at any age, not only will enhance your next vacation or better prepare you for an upcoming business trip, it can also make you a better listener, boost your creativity, spur brain growth, and for some people, even delay Alzheimer’s.

Each of these benefits stems from the various ways that language learning improves your brain’s ability to focus. Learning a language physically changes your mind, ultimately making you a stronger, more creative thinker. Here are five reasons why you should start learning a foreign language right now:

1. To improve your communication skills. The key here is consciousness. While most of us rarely think about the grammatical structures of our native tongue, learning a second language brings them into stark relief. When attempting to write or speak in a second language, you suddenly have to focus more on the order of words, your verb tenses, and parts of speech. And in recognizing how sentences are constructed in a second language, you can become more aware of how they’re arranged in your first language. That more conscious approach can help you clean up your writing and your speech and help you communicate more clearly.

2. To become a better listener. A study at Northwestern University showed that bilingual individuals could better pick out a speaker’s voice amidst distracting noises. This superior “attention, inhibition, and encoding of sound,” as the researchers put it, can help you better focus on what a client, boss, or employee is saying. The ability to listen closely is a valuable skill that can translate into a real dollar value. Look at IKEA, which attributes its record 2012 revenues and growing appeal in part to its ability to listen to customers and then respond accordingly.

3. To boost your creativity. Every time you speak a second language is an exercise in creativity. While words in your native language might string themselves together naturally, requiring little effort on your part, constructing sentences and meaning in a second language often requires more conscious thought. A study published last year found that learning a foreign language enhanced people’s fluency, elaboration, originality, and flexibility, the four scales measured by the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking. Researchers concluded that learning a second language improved speakers’ planning, cognitive flexibility, and working memory, three pillars on which creativity is built.

4. To sharpen your mind. Learning a second language can beef up your brain’s executive control center — the hub that helps manage your cognitive processes. A second language offers a strong exercise regimen for the executive control center, ultimately making it more efficient. Bilingualism can keep this center strong even as you age. In a study of 24 million dementia patients worldwide, many of whom also had Alzheimer’s, researchers found that the patients who spoke more than one language had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years after their monolingual counterparts.

5. To make smarter decisions. A study completed last year showed that people thinking in a foreign language were more likely to consider a question more slowly and analytically than in their native language. It seems that thinking in your native tongue is often associated with breezy, emotional decision-making that reveals natural biases. But when considering the same problem in a non-native tongue, subjects in the study demonstrated “enhanced deliberation” based more on cold hard logic. So the next time you have to make a big decision, you might get a better outcome if you consider it in a language other than your own.

As a language learner, you’ll not only become a more conscious thinker and listener who can communicate clearly and think creatively, but you’ll also gain the most significant benefit of multilingualism: a broader, more global perspective. Each of the five benefits outlined above show that learning another language really does reshape the way we think, helping us better empathize and communicate with customers, partners, and employees by adopting, through language, a new way to see the world.

Of Mice and Men – Essay Questions

These may just help the thinking process. I used this with all of my students to support them when planning essays.

1. Describe in some detail the incident where Lennie crushes Curley’s hand. What does this incident reveal about the characters of Curley and Lennie?

Comment

This topic could be conveniently split into thirds (Describe / Curley / Lennie). However, it may be better to comment on the characters as you describe the incident; this would save you from repeating detail of the incident later.

Answer Plan

  • Beginning of incident
    • Curley is humiliated and angry –       why?
    • Lennie is seen smiling – why?
    • Curley is a coward and a bully
    • Lennie is slow and a dreamer
  • Curley’s attack
    • Curley uses boxing skill to cruelly attack Lennie
    • Lennie does nothing to fight back
    • Stresses Curley’s frustration, cruelty
    • Curley resents big men because he is small
    • Lennie is basically gentle, does not want to fight
  • Lennie crushes Curley’s hand
    • Lennie obeys George’s instructions to ‘get him’
    • Crushes the bones of Curley’s hand, ending fight
    • Frightened, has to be told to stop
    • Lennie is simple, can’t think for himself
    • He is immensely strong, causes serious injury
    • Lacks control (important for later)
  • Conclusion
    • Curley vents his anger on ‘helpless’ Lennie
    • Lennie is a gentle giant who only does what he’s told.

2. The killing of Candy’s old dog foreshadowed Lennie’s death. Describe the two killings, pointing out any similarities and differences between them.

Comment

Which is better – to describe the two killings and then comment on them, or to mention the similarities and differences as you describe?

Answer Plan

  • Killing of dog
    • Carlson nags Candy about dog
      • offers to shoot him
    • Describes how he will do it
    • Carlson takes dog out, tension in bunkhouse
    • Finally there is a shot, Candy withdraws into silence
  • Killing of Lennie
    • George steals Carlson’s Luger, same gun
    • Finds Lennie by pool, different place
    • They talk, George tries to make Lennie happy
    • Others are approaching, George must hurry
    • George shoots Lennie, unlike stranger shooting dog
    • Method of killing exactly the same as with dog
  • Conclusion
    • gun and method are the same
    • reason for both killings
      • to prevent suffering
    • George kills Lennie for love, Carlson doesn’t love dog

Of Mice and Men – Who is being described here? 1

This is a great exercise that can be used after each chapter or as a revision exercise or to prompt essay answers. It ensures that you know what level the learners have reached bit also gives them scaffoldings that helps them sort out what is relevant in each section.

Identify the character, and find the page where the description is and add it. (This helps the student to get back there without too much difficulty when revising).  And finally add any notes. (I added this so that they can write the things they want to remember to help them when in the revision process)

‘(He) was small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined: small strong hands, slender arms, a thin and bony nose.’

Character:

Page No.:

Notes:

‘A huge man, shapeless of face, with large pale eyes, with wide sloping shoulders. and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws. His arms … hung loosely …’

Character:

Page No.:

Notes:

‘A tall, stoop-shouldered old man … he pointed with his right arm, and out of the sleeve came a round, stick-like wrist, but no hand.’

Character:

Page No.:

Notes:

‘A little stocky man … his thumbs were stuck in his belt, on each side of a square steel buckle. On his head was a soiled brown Stetson hat, and he wore high-heeled boots with spurs to prove he was not a labouring man.’

Character:

Page No.:

Notes:

‘A thin young man with a brown face, with brown eyes and a head of tightly curled hair …. His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious.’

Character:

Page No.:

Notes:

Of Mice and Men – Answer the Question advice

Sometimes  as teachers we need to  show our learners what an answer may look like.  Here is a good example written by the exam board reminding us first what we know about Curley’s wife and then advice on what to use to answer the question posed.

Curley’s Wife
Points and quotes

At first, Curley’s wife is described to the reader through the comments of the men on the ranch. Candy tells Lennie and George when he first meets them that she ‘ got the eye’ for the men on the ranch, even though she has only been married to Curley for two weeks. Candy thinks that she is ‘a tart’.

We first meet Curley’s wife when she comes into the bunkhouse, when Lennie and George are in there. She is apparently looking for Curley but she already knows that new men have arrived. Steinbeck gives a detailed description of her as she stands in the doorway of the bunkhouse and talks to Lennie and George. She is ‘heavily made up’, with ‘full rouged lips’ and red fingernails. Her body language is provocative as she positions herself in the doorway so that ‘her body was thrown forward’. She smiles ‘archly’ and ‘twitched her body’. The general impression the reader gains is of a young girl who is pretty and wants the attention of men.

George’s reaction to Curley’s wife, however, makes the reader realise that she is a potential threat to the two men. George sees her as ‘poison’ and ‘jailbait’. He is angry with Lennie’s admiration of her ‘she’s purty’ and fiercely tells him that he must stay away from her. ‘Don’t you even take a look at that bitch.’ Later, when we find out what happened at Weed, where Lennie frightens a woman by stroking her dress and they are forced to flee the town from a lynch mob, we understand why George is so alarmed that she will be the cause of more trouble for them.

As the story progresses we gain more knowledge of Curley’s wife. When she comes to Crooks’ door when all the men are in town on Saturday night we realise that she is lonely. She knows that Curley has gone to a brothel and we get some insight into what the reality of her life is on the ranch. When Crooks suggests that she should go away because ‘we don’t want no trouble’ she says ‘Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while’ and we realise that she is lonely with noone to talk to but Curley who spends all his time talking about ‘what he’s gonna do to guys he don’t like’. We also find out that she has her own private dream that she could have been an actress or a showgirl.

However, any sympathy that we might have felt for Curley’s wife is reduced because of the cruelty she shows when talking to the men and by the way she treats Crooks. She is contemptuous of Candy, Crooks and Lennie, referring to them as ‘a nigger an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep’ and she laughs at their dream of having a ranch of their own, dismissing it as ‘Balony’. Far worse though is the way she removes all Crooks’ pride and dignity when he dares stand up to her, asking her to leave his room. She reminds him scornfully that she could have him ‘lynched’ if she chose. She doesn’t actually say so, but Candy and we know that it would be by claiming that he had tried to rape her.

When Lennie is in the barn and Curley’s wife enters the reader is again aware of how lonely she is. Even though she realises that Lennie is not listening to her she is desperate to talk and we hear how isolated she feels. When Lennie tells her that he’s not allowed to talk to her she cries ‘ What’s the matter with me?’ Then adds ‘Seems like they ain’t none of them cares how I gotta live’. We then find out more details of her life, that a man who ‘was in pitchers’ said that he was ‘gonna put her in the Movies’ and would write to her as ‘soon as he got back to Hoollywood’. The letter never came, and Curley’s wife believed her mother stole it but we realise that there was never likely to be any letter. The man was probably just taking advantage of her vanity, allowing her to think that she could be a famous film star.

We also find out that Curley’s wife only married Curley to get away from home. She met him at the Riverside Dance Palais, probably attracted to him because he was the son of a ranch owner. Now, however, the reality is that she doesn’t even like him. ‘He ain’t a nice fella’, she confides in Lennie. When they are talking together she shows some kindness to Lennie when she realises that he understands little of what she is saying. After she is dead we are shown by Steinbeck a different side of Curley’s wife. In death the ‘meanness and the plannings and the discontent and the ache for attention’ have gone from her face. We see she is just a young and pretty girl.

Does Steinbeck Condemn Or Condone Curley’s Wife?

Answer the question!

It is no good just writing about Curley’s wife as I have done above, if you are being asked a specific question. To answer this question correctly in the exam you must discuss at which point in the story you think Steinbeck is asking us to judge Curley’s wife as being a ‘bad ‘ person, or whether you think that at the end he is trying to make us feel some sympathy for her.

Remember that writers put characters across to us through describing:

  • what they look like –      physical appearance
  • what they say – dialogue      with others
  • what they do – their      actions
  • what other characters say      about them

If we look through the men’s eyes we see that they view her as just a ‘tart’ and are wary of her. The physical description Steinbeck uses reinforces this idea – heavily made up. And her actions are also provocative (leaning against the doorway. We also see she is cruel in what she says to Crooks.

However, there are occasions when we see a better side of Curley’s wife. We see her loneliness; she is kind to Lennie; she has a dream that she is not likely to achieve, like the other men on the ranch, and finally, Steinbeck’s description of her dead body seems designed to make us see her as a victim of life.

You answer should show that you have thought about the question and have set out a line of argument, showing both sides (condemn or condone) but finally reaching your own personal conclusion. If you do not answer the question, especially if you do not refer to it at the end of your answer, your grade will suffer!

Now try these

Hope and dreams help people to survive even if they can never become real. How true is this of the characters in Of Mice and Men? (Higher Tier NEAB)

What do you think about the end? Remember to include your feelings, what you think about the friendship and whether John Steinbeck prepared you for this end.

How does John Steinbeck draw together the two characters of George and Lenny.  What words does he uses to describe each one to make them different, how does he show their unique friendship.  Use quotes to demonstrate your understanding.

Loneliness is an integral part of this story.  Compare the characters that are lonely. What are their differences and similarities, Why does John Steinbeck do this?

Of Mice and Men shows us that people can be cruel.  Find three characters and write about them. Are they either cruel or kind or  a mixture of both? Why do they behave in this way? How do you respond to them? How did John Steinbeck make you feel this way?

Slim is the only character in this story not handicapped. Do you agree?

Comment on George’s idea that ranch hands are ‘the loneliest guys in the world.’ How does this prepare us to meet other characters in the novel?

Why is it important to the plot that Lennie wants to tend the rabbits and likes to pet soft things?

How does John Steinbeck relate this theme to America in the 1930’s?

How does John Steinbeck present women in this novel? How do women fit in the novel ?

How does Steinbeck represent ranch workers?