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.
Learn about inspiring women in history with this special V/V® Stories packet. Featuring seven women who changed history, this packet includes short paragraphs and stories to help students develop an imaged gestalt. Each story is high in imagery and is followed by imagery and Higher Order Thinking (HOT) questions to improve critical thinking and reading comprehension.
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.
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.