Posts Tagged ‘ hand shape cues ’

The Value of Visual Phonics Training for Pre-Service Teachers

Apr 15th, 2010 | By

Visual Phonics has been an added strength to our Elementary Education program reading endorsement at the University of Dubuque. Today’s preservice teachers are well aware of the latest brain-compatible research for learning. Therefore, they understand the positive impact that VP can have on helping children to learn to read. When they are observing out in the schools, our preservice teachers are now seeing classroom teachers using VP with their early readers. The classroom teachers are very impressed that our students are able to jump in and reinforce the VP hand shape cues. The VP training has also added a unique element to their college resumes, and in some cases, resulted in an elementary teaching job offer! One surprising result of the VP training has been the impact on some college-level readers. In several cases, students have said that it has helped them improve their reading skills, even at this stage in their reading development! One college student preservice teacher said, “I always had trouble distinguishing between vowel sounds when I was learning to read. I struggled back then with reading, but VP has helped me now. I know it would have helped me become a better reader if I had been exposed to [...]



Sameness and Difference – The Brain’s Sorting Processes at Work

Mar 5th, 2010 | By

Organization is hard-wired into our brains – our brains love patterns and repetition of interesting and meaningful information.  The concept of similarity, or “sameness,” is a basic organizing strategy . . . a way to be aware of and recognize common characteristics of things seen, heard, or felt.  With the awareness of “sameness” comes the awareness of “difference”, another basic organizing strategy. At the foundation of how we organize is the strategy of sorting. Sorting involves reasoning about “belonging” and “not belonging” . . . or inclusion and exclusion. The underlying cognitive constructs of polarity, category inclusion and exclusion, are part of the brain’s hard-wired organizational default.  In education, we use the terms “alike”, “same”, “go together” and “not different” to teach and reinforce “sameness”, while the terms “different”, “don’t go together”, and “not the same” teach and reinforce “difference”.  Other ways to express the idea of inclusion include “goes with” and “belongs”, while exclusion can be expressed by “doesn’t go with” or “doesn’t belong”. The sorting process can be as basic as “is” & “is not”. For example, when teaching young children about the color “red”, it is “brain-friendly” to use a variety of real objects, some of which [...]



Potential for Learning

Jan 22nd, 2010 | By

It has been said that the potential for learning takes place when three conditions exist: things are noticed; specific attention is given; and sustained focus/attention occurs. (Source unknown) Visual Phonics hand shape cues and/or written symbols can be used to make individual letters and “chunks” stand out so that they are more noticeable. Once the letters or chunks of print are more noticeable, specific attention can be given to the letter-sound connections in order to reduce or eliminate confusion about the sound(s) the letters represent. The visual-kinesthetic features of the Visual Phonics hand shape cues provide strong learning channel inputs that help to “map” sound to print and facilitate focus & attention on specific letters or chunks. With sustained focus on & attention to the correct sounds that the letter(s) represent, the potential for learning and retention of that learning is enhanced. A higher frequency of “correct trial learning” also leads to more stable skill retention and retrieval.