From grocery lists to calendar entries, memory-boosting visual aids are a huge part of our daily lives, so why should the classroom be any different?
Studies have shown that 65% people learn better from seeing information than any other learning method, so whether that means incorporating a whiteboard, computerised slide presentations, maps, or handouts, go ahead and read on to see how you can make the most of this idea with your own pupils!
Differentiation, Differentiation, Differentiation
We can’t stress it enough: every pupil has their own optimal learning style. Differentiation is the idea that teachers can tailor a lesson’s delivery to best fit the optimal learning styles of the individuals and groups within their classrooms. Teachers who incorporate differentiation techniques are more likely to have engaged and excelling pupils.
Since we’ve already noted a vast majority of students are likely to be visual learners, an easy and effective differentiation technique would be to incorporate a visual aid that is both suited to your curriculum and your particular group of students. Even starting small can be helpful, so consider simple slides describing the day’s learning topics or a handout with descriptions of how to complete proposed activities, just to gauge what kind of visual aids fit the different learning styles within your classroom.
Improve Your Pupils’ Memory and Recall
Visual aids not only help pupils process information faster, but they are also proven to help pupils retain information for longer, meaning they are actually improving your students’ recall! Interestingly enough, this isn’t just true for your students who favour visual learning, but it also benefits the rest of your pupils who might favour hearing information or writing things down. This is because when more than one learning style is engaged simultaneously, overall memory function improves – a win-win situation!
Minimise Pesky Classroom Distractions
Let’s face it: most children have a hard time focusing, especially when they are tired, or hungry, or are about to end the school day, or, or, or… you get the point! At times like these, having a visual reminder of how and what your pupils should be learning will help to retain their attention, as the physical act of focusing on a visual can positively influence the mental act of staying on task. Visual aids are excellent placeholders, so when lessons become interrupted or derailed, call your classroom’s attention to the whiteboard or multimedia screen to get back on track!
Help Yourself So You Can Help Everyone Else!
There are few things more disappointing than spending time planning and presenting a lesson only to realise after the fact you’ve missed an important or exciting element. When used properly, visual aids can help eliminate these instances by serving as abbreviated lesson plans, ensuring your class sessions run smoothly regardless of interruption or other unforeseen circumstances. Creating visual presentations to accompany your lessons will ensure that you never miss something you’ve already taken the time to plan, and keeps you organised to boot!
There’s a lot of freedom with the type and application of the visual aids you choose to use in your classroom, and we at Teach Major are partial to many! No matter what you decide, using a visual aid in your classroom instruction gives your pupils the tools they need to stay on task while helping them follow along with your content – and that can make all the difference.