I’ve been thinking a lot about visuals lately. Even with short gathering times, we can easily give a lot of instructions to students. Sometimes we repeat these instructions constantly.
“Put your lunch bag on the hook.“
“Push in your chair.“
“Hands to yourself.“
“Remember to pick up your garbage.“
If I really think carefully about my day, I’m sure that there are many more phrases that I say often. Why keep repeating myself?
I can’t help but think about Ross Greene‘s saying that, “Children do well if they can.” With this belief, then wouldn’t students choose to follow the oral directions and/or regular routines if they could do so? Maybe not all students can remember the steps or hear and understand the oral instructions. If we think about it, even adults use pseudo-visuals as they create To Do Lists and complete agendas or daybooks. Visuals work.
That being said, I know that I’ve wondered before how I’m going to transition individual students with visuals or remember to refer to the visuals instead of talking so much. I wonder if using more visuals with the class — for even just some routine reminders — could be the answer. I’m not suggesting that we micromanage every behaviour, but instead, reduce stress, limit talking, and increase predictability with some simple picture and/or written word cues. I wonder how many other strategies that help some students, might actually benefit all. How might this thinking impact on our use of these strategies in the classroom? What do you think?