Why is that when we teach our students about numbers, we show them the number one visually. We hold up one finger and maybe place one object in front of them. But when we teach them new vocabulary, we rarely start with the visual--instead we begin with the written word and then move to the visual...maybe. In math we move from concrete to abstract but we rarely do that with other content areas.
Research indicates that our brains process visuals 60,000X faster than text. Why are we reluctant to tap into that and use it to our advantage in the classroom?
Visuals are important pieces of the learning puzzle. Science tells us that when ideas are presents in visual representation they are more likely to be recalled than if we just used words. Think about the personal memories you have. The ones that are attached to a visual (perhaps a physical picture) may be more distinct in your mind. You might be able to recall more about the occasion than other events in your life.
How can we tap into this power in our classrooms? We can't fight the fact that our brains encode pictures both visually and verbally. Words are only encoded verbally. This means that pictures are more richly stamped into our brains. We need this power in our classrooms!
I bet you have great ideas to for using visuals in the classroom. Please comment below and share with all of us!