Visual Thinking Strategies: Let’s Talk About It
Visual Thinking Strategies is a discussion based teaching and learning strategy that works with all content area subjects. It encourages students to use prior knowledge and their perceptions to understand visual and written content. It is a learning cycle that asks students to engage in all four of the literacy domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Visual Thinking Strategies is based on teacher paraphrase of academic and precise vocabulary with call and response. It is a breakthrough strategy to use with any student but particularly with ELLs.
Kirsten McWilliams has been teaching in the Portland Public Schools for eighteen years. She taught at Deering for fifteen years, focusing on creative writing and then academic writing, a strategies-based class for struggling writers. After getting her ELL endorsement in 2013 she transitioned to teaching ELL at King Middle School. Her learning curve teaching ELL has been huge and invigorating.
When Margy Burns Knight is not writing books and visiting classrooms she works as Winthrop’s Play Outside Coordinator. She is the volunteer coordinator for LETC (Learning English Though Cooking classes hosted by the Capital Area New Mainers Project).
Louisa Donelson has worked in museum and arts education for twelve years. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she is currently the Associate Educator for Youth Learning at the Portland Museum of Art where she manages the school, family, and teen programs. She believes in the transformative power of art and that everyone has something to teach and has something to learn.