Valentine's Blog Hop: Sweet Treats for You!

Hey all! Welcome to Day 13 of the Special Education Valentine Blog Hop! This blog hop is all about supporting you Special Ed Bloggers and getting a sweet Valentine's treat. It doesn't get much better than that :)

I'm so excited that it is finally my day! AND Friday the 13th no less (which excites me too). Today I'm going to discuss a little bit about a classroom resource I am IN LOVE with and used frequently with my special needs kiddos. I will also be providing a specific freebie for this resource, as well as providing a ONE-DAY ONLY Freebie. Keep reading to get all the goodies!


Have you heard about Visualizing and Verbalizing, or as I call it, V&V? I adore this program! I researched this program years ago when I was looking for ways to improve my ASD students' expressive skills as they relate to talking about literature. I brought this idea to my administrator, who promptly signed me up for training (yes I know - I'm very lucky!). Even if you aren't able to purhcase the program for your classroom or school, the idea of strengthening our students' visualization and verbalization skills is crucial. Read on to learn more about the program and how you can include these ideas in your classroom!

What is Visualizing and Verbalizing?

The Visualizing and Verbalizing for Language Comprehension and Thinking program, marketed as a reading comprehension program, is a research-based method to help readers develop the sensory-cognitive function of something called concept imagery by directly applying this concept to the comprehension (visualizing) and expression (verbalizing) of both oral and written language. Further, V&V strengthens the development of critical thinking skills and expressive language skills. Students learn to visualize the language concepts and verbalize what they learned and understood (what they visualized). 

What is Concept Imagery?

Concept imagery is the ability to visualize the meaning of words or concepts from language (spoken or written).

Why is this concept important?

Without the ability of concept imagery, a person is unable to interpret what they have heard or read. This weakness causes individuals to only comprehend some of the information, such as just understanding a few facts or specific details, rather than the "big idea."

Individuals who struggle with concept imagery have difficulty with reading and listening comprehension, critical thinking skills, following directions, comprehending nuances in conversations and written language, and expressing ideas or information.

Who can this program help?

According to creator Nanci Bell, V&V has proven successful with students struggling with hyperlexia, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, among other learning disabilities. That being said, reading and listening comprehension is a common assessment topic for standardized tests, thus practicing V&V skills can help most students, even those without disabilities.

What are the basics?

While this program is absolutely worth purchasing, as it is a step-by-step approach that fully scripts the necessary language and sequence to be taught, there are some basics you can understand to get you started with these concepts in your classroom.

Essentially, you are teaching your students to visualize what they read. I often tell my students to "put the story in your head" or "make a movie" as a way to help solidify this concept. The program itself is sequential in developing the necessary skills, and no student begins with reading stories to practice visualizing (no matter their age or abilities). This concept needs to be taught explicitly, therefore if you are not using the program, do not expect your students who struggle with this concept to "get it" once you tell them to "make a movie". (But you know that…)

How can I use this in my classroom?

I tend to model this A LOT in the beginning. Teachers are always doing this. You read a story out loud, and periodically stop and do a "think aloud." This is often what I think of when I think of modeling V&V concepts. You verbalize what you are visualizing. After modeling (A LOT) have students practice these skills in small groups or even individually. Think about the important words that we use to describe things (ya know, adjectives). Words that describe color, size, shape, etc. These are concrete words that can help prompt students when they are developing and practicing the skill of visualizing and verbalizing what they hear and read.

I have created a simple, one-page worksheet to use as additional practice for your early readers. While the V&V program does not require (or really even encourage) written work, I found that when allowed to practice independently, such as during morning work or homework, my students continued to enhance their skills. Use this as a guide of your questions and future assignments you may require for your class.

This discussion of Visualizing and Verbalizing is by NO MEANS conclusive. The program is extremely comprehensive and systematic. The "basics" of this program doesn't even cover the "basics" honestly. To fully support the use of this system, I highly recommend researching the program and discussing the options with your administrator.

WANT MORE FREEBIES? Click here to see what special product is free for TODAY only!

I hope you enjoyed this stop on the blog hop! Remember to check the blog hop schedule (posted in my header and the bottom of this post) each day for another day of fun and freebies from your (and my) favorite bloggers!


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If you have questions or comments about today's topic, please leave them in the comments section below. Let's start a conversation :)

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