reading-strateg_21398473_22223adb8213abee70a3f54522cd32b82d0caa35

This is the visualization/infographic I created to have my students use before, during, and after reading the various print texts in my disciplinary text set (see previous blog post).

How did you select the images and digital platform for your project?  

I wanted to create an infographic for my students to use while reading the print texts included in my disciplinary text set, so I decided to use an infographic creation tool (that Karah showed me) to create a reading strategies checklist. Most of the images are simply clipart-type images that help to remind students what the words mean. In theory, ELLs would have a better understanding of what is on the strategies handout when there is text along with images that all mean the same thing. I also found an image of a number of books that I included to represent the large number of texts that can be approached using these strategies. The images that I included in my infographic were all images from the infographic creation tool’s collection.

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In what ways did creating the visualization deepen your understanding of the topic in ways that reading alone might not have?

Creating a visualization really helped me to step into my students’ shoes. Just reading about reading strategies does not necessarily provide a good way to teach them, but creating a visualization, especially something like the checklist that I created, can act as a step in the right direction. I think simply reading about the strategies mostly provided me with a number of various lists of strategies to try to teach students before setting them free to read print text. However, by creating this handout, I can give students the freedom to start reading on their own with this handout as their guide. I also thought a bit more about order and process while creating this visualization. Before putting things together on a handout for my students I was not thinking too much about the different strategies that are best used at different stages in the reading process. For instance, there are specific strategies that work best before reading, others that work well during reading activities, and other types of strategies that work well in bringing everything together after reading. Overall, creating this visualization somewhat deepened my understanding of my topic and tasks, but it mostly helped me think of this type of knowledge and learning in a new and different way.

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How has the process influenced your thinking on visualization as a vehicle for learning and/or how might you use visualization in your future teaching?

I really like the idea of using visualizations in my future teaching. There are so many different ways to go with visualizations, and creating them does not have to be difficult, as this creation tool allowed me to see. I think that allowing students to use these types of materials (as well as to create them for various projects) would help reach more types of learners, such as visual learners. I also have not always thought of visualization as its own vehicle for learning, but rather, a companion or different representation for the ‘main’ learning. However, creating my own visualization has shown me that different things can be learned through the creation of a visual project that cannot be learned through other means. I would like to have my own future students do something like this. I would maybe ask them to create an infographic and/or graphic organizer to summarize what they learned in a particular unit. This project could be both a summative assessment and a study tool for themselves and their classmates. Hopefully they would also learn something new about the topic along the way. 🙂

See Reading Strategies and Content Area Reading Strategies for more information.

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6 thoughts on “Reading Strategies and Visuals

  1. I really like that you found a tool to make the infographic! By using Piktochart, you were able to get a really good product (one that you could totally hang up in a classroom), but you didn’t have to spend a ton of time coming up with your own template and everything. Related to ELLs specifically, do you think that it would be beneficial to have them create their own infographics/visuals to remind them what certain words and/or phrases mean when they read a text? I think that could have the potential to help the concept stick better in their heads.

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    1. Allison, I definitely think that would be beneficial; thanks for the idea! I completely agree that the concept would then stick better in their heads, and by creating their own, the infographics/visuals could be specifically tailored to what each student needs. If some prefer a certain visual format, they could make that happen, and if others need just a list of words and their definitions, they could create an infographic along those lines. In this way, students can assist in their own individualized instruction.

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  2. I really like the checklist you created! Its an excellent way to scaffold that will make kids more independent in their reading. I used the same website to create my infographic, and I was frustrated by the limited number of images available on the site. Did you feel the same way? How did you work around it?

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    1. Yes, I was also frustrated by the limited number of images available. Some of them allowed me to change their color, which was helpful, but I didn’t really find a way around it for this particular project. I think there may be a way to bring images in from a folder or your desktop or something, in which case you could save images from the Web to your desktop and bring them in that way. However, I vaguely remember that also being something that didn’t work out so well… Sorry I’m not more help!

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  3. First of all- I love all of the collaboration observable in the dialogue on this thread- nice. Ella- I’m also very pleased that you were willing to wrestle with a new form of literacy and gain great insight into yourself as a learner and emerging educator. One small thing, be careful not to pigeon hole (do you remember where that phrase comes from?) these reading strategies into only before, during, or after. These spaces are good beginning places, but by the time they are in high school these strategies should be more fluent and accessed when needed. So making sure you model and guide your students through the different ways these strategies can be used (based in your research and our course texts) but also immersing them in purposeful reading that requires them to use the strategies throughout a unit…helping them see that while one student uses one strategy at one point in the process another may use a different strategy at the same point in the process because they are comprehending the text in their own ways. Does that make sense?

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    1. Yes, that does make sense, and thank you for the reminder. I think sometimes I fail to remember these are high school students, so they will likely have run into reading strategies at times in the past. I believe it would definitely be highly beneficial for students to look at the ways they personally use such strategies and realize that not everyone uses them in the same way.

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