You will find 27 contradictions and mysteries in my book “The Elephants in the Classroom”. Here are a few more of my favorites;
Phonics may have improved reading for many, but visual thinkers and dyslexics can’t cope with the minutiae of phonics, that doesn’t have any visual meaning. They find whole word recognition much more natural, which is the target for fluency in any reading strategy. Students are left to pick up word recognition by chance, whereas students could be easily checked, before they get confused, and taught in minutes.
Visual thinkers are not learning in the best way for them in a school that emphasizes primarily rote learning[i]. “They find the easy things in primary school can be hard, whilst the hard things in advanced work later in life can be easy,” said Thomas G West. More advanced work requires creativity, the ability to make connections, inspiration, etc. – all the skills visual thinkers have in abundance.
Reading flat on a table is unnatural, puts more unnecessary strain on struggling students, who may find letters being distorted or moving around. Looking down eliminates mental imagery and increases emotions, making matters worse. Reading with work propped up will help increase fluency.
Reading comics may be more comfortable as speech bubbles are typically in capitals, that don’t turn around and make different letters.
Idioms are highly visual and are taken literally by visual thinking students, who convert them to pictures and thus find they make no sense. Please try to avoid using idioms until students are coping better, with the English language.
[i] Rote learning is learning by constant repetition, like most people learn their time tables
If you would like to know more about how this all works, do join one of my free on-line live classes, Ready for a new strategy for Dyslexia. Just click the link below.
For other resources, look up www.visualkids.co.uk and www.empoweringlearning.co.uk. When building on skills and encouraging creativity you will find their strengths increase and learning difficulties reduce.
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My name is Olive Hickmott, I am a health and learning coach, specialising in working with neurodivergent students. I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
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My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
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