Free Downloadable Resources—Looking for resources to support your instruction in developing the imagery-language connection for your students? We've got fun-filled lesson packets and sample chapters from teacher's manuals to bolster your instruction. Supplemental lesson packets feature high-imagery stories, vocabulary, Higher Order Thinking questions, puzzles, and more! Sample chapters offer educators a sneak peek at our unique programs, all based on dual-coding theory, and helpful tips on how to incorporate the concept into instruction.
Videos—Curious about how to use our programs in your classroom? These videos provide an overview of select products and feature Teacher Tips on how to best integrate programs into your instruction.
Tips for Instruction—We know how busy you are! Our Tips for Instruction are designed for educators who are familiar with our programs or those who are interested in learning more about the imagery-language connection for reading, comprehension, and math. Tips are presented in a format for quick reference with the option to learn more.
Features informational stories from Imagine That! Stories, vocabulary practice, higher order thinking (HOT) questions and exercises, imagery questions, a writing prompt, puzzles, coloring page, and additional online links to explore, including conservation sites.
Here's a fun-filled packet full of stories, puzzles, and coloring, focusing on our favorite felines. Read this packet of informational high-imagery stories (while you cuddle a cat, if you can!).
Features informational text stories from Imagine That! Stories, vocabulary practice, higher order thinking (HOT) questions, puzzles, and coloring page. Color or black and white packet is available for download.
Features informational text stories from Imagine That! Stories, vocabulary practice, higher order thinking (HOT) questions, puzzles, and coloring page.
The Seeing Stars® program develops symbol imagery—the ability to visualize sounds and letters in words—as a basis for orthographic awareness, phonemic awareness, word attack, word recognition, spelling, and contextual reading fluency.
The On Cloud Nine® (OCN) program develops the ability to image and verbalize the concepts and processes of math. Concept imagery and numeral imagery are integrated with language to improve both mathematical reasoning and mathematical computation.
The Visualizing and Verbalizing® program develops concept imagery—the ability to create an imaged gestalt from language—as a basis for comprehension and critical thinking. The development of concept imagery improves reading and listening comprehension, memory, oral vocabulary, critical thinking, and writing.
The Talkies® program is the primer to the Visualizing and Verbalizing program for students who need simpler, smaller steps of instruction to establish the imagery-language connection.
The V/V® Imagine That! Stories have nonfiction stories to develop imagery for oral and written language comprehension. These challenging, high-imagery stories introduce true and unusual topics for students to visualize and interpret.
V/V Workbooks have high-imagery stories and questions that help students develop concept imagery for language comprehension and critical thinking. Each story is accompanied by workbook activities.
Students need a LOT of decoding practice to develop fluent word attack and word recognition skills. The Seeing Stars Decoding Workbooks provide an excellent and extensive decoding practice for both classroom and clinical settings.
Nanci Bell working with a student on sight words.
The complex skill of reading requires the integration of auditory, visual, and language skills. Word recognition (orthographic processing and instant recognition of sight words) is a necessary component in the cascade of sub-skills needed for global reading.
Students need extensive practice to acquire a substantial sight word vocabulary (words that are recognized by sight, not decoded). Choose a high-frequency word list to get started. If you are using the Seeing Stars® program, use the Star Words List. Or you can select something like the Dolch Word List.
Here are three helpful tips for an effective sight word practice lesson:
Capture, Categorize, and Memorize—Scan the list with your student and capture words that aren’t instantly read. Write each word on an index card and categorize cards into Slow, Medium, and Fast groups. Repetitively practice words each day, graduating words from Slow to Medium to Fast groups, until each word is memorized for instant recognition.
Use Symbol Imagery Exercises—Reinforce word recognition by using strategies such as air-writing the word or identifying specific letters, all from visual memory. This is especially helpful for words that don’t play fair, meaning they are not phonetically consistent (e.g. 'friend'). Example:
Teacher: "Write the letters in the air and say the letters as you write them. Now tell me the third letter you see.”
Student: "I see an 'I'.
Teacher: "Great job! And what letter do you see right after the 'I'?"
Student: "It's an 'E'!"
Repetition and Practice—Repetition is critical for sight words to truly become automatic. The Up and Down the Word-Ladder activity is a fun way to engage students for additional practice. Line up seven to ten sight words vertically to create your word-ladder. Starting at the bottom, have the student touch and say each word as they climb up. Next, have them climb back down. Then try it again, but this time put each word to sleep by turning the card over as they climb up or down. Reshuffle the cards and create a new word-ladder. Reminder: Check out page 180 in your Seeing Stars manual for more games and activities, or make up your own! The key is repetition and practice.
The Imagine That! Stories are a great supplement to the Visualizing and Verbalizing® program. They are also used with Seeing Stars® and LiPS® students to develop fluency and comprehension. These high-interest and engaging stories include graded reading levels to develop the imagery-language connection for listening and reading comprehension. Here are some helpful hints to improve comprehension with the Imagine That! Stories:
Practice both reading and listening comprehension, even for older students and students with decoding difficulties. Alternate between reading an Imagine That! story and having the student read the story. Students love the high interest, fun, and engaging content found in Fascinating People and Wonders of the Natural World.
Overlap grade levels depending on the task. This allows you to differentiate your lesson based on student need. Example: Try a Whole Paragraph task at a 4th-grade level and then try a Multisentence by Multisentence task with a 5th-grade story.
Scaffold the lesson by introducing unknown vocabulary first. Show a picture of a new vocabulary term or do a quick Word Imaging activity to check that the student is visualizing the word.
Develop Higher Order Thinking skills by prompting the student. Refer to student's key images from the text. Example: From everything you pictured, what do you predict will happen next?
Extend the lesson to address English Language Arts standards, such as asking students to cite evidence from text. You can prompt students to recall their images that support the evidence from the story.
Extend the lesson to a writing activity, where students use their imagery to create cue cards for each "chunk" of the story. The cue cards are then sequenced in an outline format and used to create a coherent written summary. A card will include the main idea (image) of each chunk along with the most important supporting details.
The Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS) Program has been used effectively for over 30 years in developing phonemic awareness as a foundation for word reading, spelling, and speech. A key difference in the LiPS Program is its focus on oral-kinesthetic feedback in phonemic awareness for students who have difficulty perceiving the individual sounds blended within words. For example the oral-kinesthetic features of the sound for the letter 'P' can be labeled Lip Popper ("Make the sound for the letter 'P' and tell me what you feel your mouth doing"). Check out these tips and reminders to help you deliver dynamic instruction:
Tip 1: Drive the Sensory Bus
Use language to bring articulatory feedback to a conscious level. For example, the language, "When you say 'flame' what do you feel after the lip cooler?" develops oral-kinesthetic feedback, whereas the language, "What sound comes after the 'F'?" does not. Review the Responding to the Response technique on page 5 in your LiPS manual.
Tip 2: Develop the Ability to Hold and Compare
Students must be able to monitor their own learning process to determine if they are accurate in reading and spelling. Monitoring requires the ability to compare the response to the stimulus: the ability to hold and compare. When tracking sounds with mouth pictures or colored squares, remember to use a three-step process to help develop the ability to hold and compare: (1) student repeats both the old word (stimulus) and the new word (response), (2) student touches and says sounds for old word and new word, and (3) student makes the change and labels what she is doing. Reminder: See page 86 in your LiPS manual for a visual cue card.
Tip 3: Integrate LiPS with the Seeing Stars program
Since reading fluency requires an integration of component parts, it is important to develop symbol imagery as a foundation for phonemic awareness, orthographic awareness, word recognition, spelling, and fluency. Don't wait to complete all steps of the LiPS Program before starting Seeing Stars. You can overlap steps from the Seeing Stars program, such as letter imagery, airwriting, and high frequency Star Words practice. During your Consonant/Vowel review or while Tracking with Colored Squares, you can question for symbol imagery as well as for the articulatory label. For example: 'T'—/t/—Tongue Tapper (Letter Image—Sound—Label).
Our sensory-cognitive programs are often a critical missing piece in English Language Development. By adding the overlooked component of explicit sensory-cognitive instruction, we have seen evidence of an acceleration of language and literacy skills for many English Learners. Here's how our programs work:
Oral Language Development
Learning a language is a process, and the more ELs use English, the more proficient they will become. V/V engages students in frequent, oral practice. Steps include structured routines where students must verbalize key details of the story, recall key concepts, summarize in order, and paraphrase the story back.
The Socratic questioning method used systematically throughout the V/V® process allows you to differentiate and scaffold language depending on the proficiency level of students (e.g., Beginning, Emerging, Advanced). Beginning ELs need lots of choice-contrast questioning, teacher modeling, and a heavy emphasis on vocabulary acquisition. There is a decrease in prompting and modeling for Emerging ELs and a transition to more open-ended questions. You can expect more verbalization and vocabulary development.
Explicit Vocabulary Development
In V/V, students visualize and verbalize for additional oral language development, and add new vocabulary terms. For example: (T) "What do you picture for the word perimeter'?" (S) "I see a shape like a rectangle, and I picture the four separate sides, and then I just add the four sides up to get the answer". Extra tip: For Spanish-speaking students, teach them that this word is a cognate ("el perímetro" in Spanish).
Foundations of Reading
Seeing Stars systematically develops symbol imagery as a basis for orthographic awareness, phonemic awareness, and overall word reading ability. This is critical for ELs because English is orthographically complex with substantial variability, while other languages like Spanish are more predictable.
Frequent Interaction with phoneme/grapheme relationship
Symbol imagery exercises utilized throughout the steps of Seeing Stars provide for frequent interaction and practice with the alphabetic principles of English, and the phoneme-grapheme relationship.
For ELs, symbol imagery and automatic sight word recognition are critical for accelerating decoding skills and attaining fluency.
Explicit, multisensory instruction
When integrated with the Seeing Stars® program, LiPS explicitly develops the foundations of reading, using a systematic, multisensory approach to anchor and stabilize sounds and letters, particularly those not transferable from a native language to a second language. LiPS provides a concrete, multisensory tool to strengthen phonemic awareness and aid in pronunciation.
See how this Colorado school closed the achievement gap for English Learners.
The quality of your questioning is the difference between concept imagery developing quickly and accurately, and concept imagery remaining weak and unstable. Remember the Goldilocks principle: not too much, not too little, but just right. Your questions should be focused on the gestalt of the story. Be careful not to over-question for extraneous details that may cause the student to lose the gestalt. Don't assume imagery for the most important concepts—ask just enough detailed questions for the student to prove to you that she really is visualizing the main concepts. Reminder: Read Chapter 19 in your V/V teacher's manual—Relevant Questioning is the Difference.
Good pacing of V/V requires overlapping of steps. Don't keep your student too long in grade-level material that is too easy, and don't keep your student too long on one step or level of V/V. Rather than complete mastery of a step, look for enough competence to overlap to the next step. Good pacing also means getting the grade level of material just right to differentiate instruction–not too easy and not too difficult. Reminder: Chapter 20 in the V/V manual describes good pacing strategies in more detail.
Students struggling to process language have experienced failure and frustration in school—and often blame themselves. The steps and materials in V/V will naturally encourage student engagement. Here's how:
Socratic questioning—respond to a student's response, using positive feedback, which encourages risk taking and reduces fear of making an error. With choice/contrast questions, you can meet ALL students where they are, differentiating your questioning based on their diverse skill sets.
"Active Student Response" strategies can include Action Response (thumbs up/down if your picture matches), Oral Response (pass out Structure Words randomly and each student verbalizes his/her word), and Written Response (use V/V Workbooks for students to write key images).
"Think-Pair-Share" can be used after teacher prompts: "What do those words make you picture?"
Use language to directly and explicitly stimulate the sensory input of symbol imagery. For example, the language "What letters do you picture for the word 'thought'?" stimulates imagery, whereas the language, "How do you spell 'thought'?" does not.
In Seeing Stars, only a few decoding rules are included (e.g., "When two vowels go walking….") because we don’t learn to read and spell with fluency by memorizing lots of rules. So don’t belabor learning, remembering, and reciting a bunch of rules. Remember your goal is to emphasize orthographic processing. Strengthen symbol imagery with the air-writing strategy and symbol imagery exercises so students can quickly self-monitor and self-correct for independence.
Many struggling students, including those with dyslexia, can sound out words and learn syllabication. However word reading is slow and laborious, and they are not independent readers. During the "Decode, Decode, Decode" task, emphasize rapid, accurate word attack and decoding lots of words (the Seeing Stars Decoding Workbooks have 20 words per lesson!). Minimize pauses for word analysis or symbol imagery exercises during this task. When your instruction focus shifts to more contextual reading practice, let a few of the small decoding errors go if they don't impact comprehension of the passage. Your goal now is for the student to experience confidence and fluency while reading in context. Reminder: Read Chapter 17 in your Seeing Stars teacher’s manual –Integration for Contextual Reading Fluency and Comprehension.
Introducing free resources for busy teachers! Check out videos, downloadable lesson packets, and teacher tips to enhance and support your classroom instruction.