Using the Visual Modality for Directions

Once every chapter or so I do a dictation in my classes. It is a great listening assessment that helps to get in some grammatical practice. There is a bit of a process to learning how to do a dictation and it is somewhat hard to understand from listening or reading instructions. I have found that after the second or third dictation that the students start to realize the process. This is after much pain and explaining the procedure too many times. In the past I just put up with it because I knew they would eventually get it, but I after I had that conversation with our art teacher I started thinking in terms of modalities. I am so glad I did!

I experimented with using pictures for instructions the next time that I did it and it went much better! The students were less confused and could actually see what they needed to do. I first thought about making a video, but soon realized that it would be way easier to just show a picture.

I am starting to see a new way in instruction keeping these modalities in mind. They are not just limited to content, but apply to everything we do in the classroom – even instructions.


Filed under Mixing it Up, Teaching Discoveries, teaching grammar

7 responses to “Using the Visual Modality for Directions

  1. Martina

    I made a form for my students to use when they do with dictations that has a rubric embedded. I keep a stack of these handy so that I can do a dictation on the fly…

  2. I recently heard the term Visual Modality for the first time in Fred Jones’ book “Tools for Teaching” (a classroom management training book). Still getting my head around the concept.

  3. Hi Thomas,

    Did you stop blogging?

    I made a Dutch TPRS blog “Alike in TPRS Wonderland”. Next week I’ll post there about the NTPRS ; I put a link to your blog on my blog. It would be nice if you’ll make a link to my blog as well (allthough it’s in Dutch) :

    BTW, will you be an the National? If yes, it would be nice to meet!

    Best wishes, Alike Last

    • thomasyoung

      Hello Alike!
      No, I have not stopped blogging. I have taken a break to reorganize. I will be back this fall. Of course I will post a link. I will not be able to make it to NTPRS this year. I really wish I could go, but it’s not going to work out.

      Enjoy the conference! I look forward to hearing about it.


  4. Thx Thomas!

    Reorganizing is always a good thing! A pity you won’t be at the National. Perhaps we’ll meet another time but we always can meet digitally! Have a nice summer! Alike

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