This article was originally posted on 2-25-2017 and has been updated on 9-17-2020 to include information relevant to distance learning.
“A picture is worth a thousand words" or so we’ve heard. The question is, how do we encourage students to get those words out, especially if we are teaching and learning in remote or hybrid settings?
Some of you may be familiar with the Picture Word Inductive Model (PWIM) which was first introduced by Emily Calhoun (1999). This instructional method has been successful in traditional classrooms for decades, but can we implement it in virtual settings too?
Read on to find out what PWIM is and how you can implement it to develop language.
Why is that when we teach our students about numbers, we show them the number one visually. We hold up one finger and maybe place one object in front of them. But when we teach them new vocabulary, we rarely start with the visual--instead we begin with the written word and then move to the visual...maybe. In math we move from concrete to abstract but we rarely do that with other content areas.
Research indicates that our brains process visuals 60,000X faster than text. Why are we reluctant to tap into that and use it to our advantage in the classroom?
Have you ever walked into a classroom and heard a teacher say, "I love how quiet you all are. Keep it up."? Quiet classrooms are dangerous for English language learners and most other students as well. Talk is key to learning. If the goal is to lift the level of language, how can we do that in a quiet classroom?