Hi everyone! My name is Amber Ho. This is my third year as a full time teacher, and I am currently instructing 8th grade math in Coney Island. Though I've spent the past two years teaching in Brooklyn and my NYS certification is for 7-12 Mathematics, my first year was in rural Alaska teaching all subjects Level 4 and up. During my time there I also had the opportunity to instruct and design an online distance course for students completing Level 8 math throughout the district.
My Topic and Purpose
The intent of this course is to provide knowledge and strategies for supporting students with visual-spatial cognitive needs in a mathematics class.
Questions that will be covered:
- What is visual processing?
- How do visual-spacial cognitive deficits affect student learning?
- How do educators assess visual processing?
- What are strategies math educators can use to support students with these needs?
- Define visual-processing.
- Identify visual-spatial cognitive deficits.
- Describe symptoms of visual-processing issues.
- Compare effectiveness of strategies used to support visual-spatial needs.
- Design a specific support for visual-processing that can be used in a lesson of their choice.
Many schools in today's society are deciding to have heterogeneous-ability classrooms. In other words, classrooms are no longer necessarily sorted based on student ability. Low-performing students are working side by side with high-achieving classmates. This has shown to have many academic benefits to students' learning and achievement, however teachers need to continue to build on their knowledge of how to support every type of learner. Teachers who are not certified in special education will need the tools to support students with IEPs and 504 Plans more than ever.
Specifically in mathematics classrooms, students who may require extra services or supports often have visual-spatial cognitive deficits or needs. Visual processing is an individual's ability to think about and understand visual patterns and stimuli. Students with these processing deficits often struggle with math calculations, as well as analyzing and creating charts and diagrams. If mathematics teachers, regardless of their certification, can use skills and strategies to support these specific needs, all students will reach higher levels of academic achievement.
What Will Be Learned
Educators will learn different strategies that can be used in the classroom to support students with visual-spatial cognitive needs in a mathematics classroom. Educators will be able to recognize under which circumstances specific strategies would be best utilized, and will have the opportunity to consider how they would implement some of these strategies in their own classroom.
Individuals who would most benefit from this course would be mathematics teachers of any grade level, although most of these strategies can be used in any subject classroom.
Instruction given through this course will primarily be online. Learners will be required to have access to a computer and Internet connection. Learners will be reading journal articles, watching educational videos, and analyzing images of examples of strategies to support visual-spatial cognitive needs.
By the end of this mini-course, educators should have designed a support for their students to use in their specific grade-level mathematics classroom. This support could be for a specific lesson, unit, or course for the whole school year.
By the end of this course, learners will reach the following outcomes:
- Given a selection of readings, learners will be able to define the concept of visual-processing and identify examples of visual-spatial cognitive needs.
- Given examples of visual-spatial deficits, learners will be able to identify and select supporting strategies for those needs.
- Given the knowledge from this mini-course, learners will develop a support for their students to use in a lesson or unit of their choice.
What is visual processing?
- The participant will have the desire to learn more about visual-spatial processing needs (pre-requisite)
- The participant will define visual processing and visual-spatial processing deficits
- The participant will list examples of visual-spatial processing needs
- The participant will create goals for the mini-course
What are signs that students have visual-spatial processing needs?
- The participant will identify student signals of visual-spatial processing deficits through readings and videos
- The participant will list common symptoms of visual-spatial cognitive needs
- The participant will reflect on examples of visual-spatial processing needs seen in their own classroom
What are some strategies mathematics teachers can use to support students with visual-spatial processing needs?
- The participant will identify strategies used to support visual-spatial cognitive needs
- The participant will compare and contrast examples of strategies for certain activities in a mathematics classroom
- The participant will reflect on strategies they are interested in using in their own lessons and classroom
How can educators implement these strategies in a variety of lessons?
- The participant will identify lesson topics they believe students would most benefit from having supports for visual-spatial processing needs
- The participant will create one or more supports for students based on a selected topic, lesson, or unit
- The participant will self-evaluate the effectiveness of their implemented support in their own classroom
- The participant will reflect on their learning process during their completion of this mini-course