Blog #6 Using Visuals to Teach Inclusively

“We are all bilingual”

This quote by Moline (2011) really resonated with me because it is so true. We all use visuals everyday and it is a huge part of our lives. Especially now with smartphones, GPS, billboards, and the internet. It is a second way of communicating.

So that brings me to my first point….

Why should we as educators care about visual literacy?

We all perceive visuals in different ways and that is what makes visuals and images so intriguing! We all have a DIFFERENT way of seeing things. It also helps us communicate with one another. Moline discuses that some people can be poor writers but can communicate through visual forms and that we should care about visual literacy because:

  • It allows students to express their form of communication in the way that works best for themvisual-literacy-1-728.jpg
  • Books that incorporate visuals, graphs, and diagrams help them understand the text
  • It helps students develop research skills
  • Visual literacy helps in everyday life outside of school
  • It helps students make meaning of the text
  • Through visual literacy, students can create meaning of words and images


Here is a great video discussing why it’s important to teach visual literacy, ENJOY!

By having a better understanding of visuals, it provides a larger viewpoint of the various types of literacy and what it means to be literate. Everyone is a literate citizen and we all use our own perferred literacy styles. Visuals are a huge part of our lives and they help us broaden our other literacy skills. We as future teachers need to use visuals as a way to promote creativity, personal identity, and help strengthen students literacy skills. Visuals help students make meaning, connections and percieve things that works best for them. 

So, how do we as teacher teach visual literacy effectively?

Effectively teaching visual literacy is an important task that helps students PERCEIVE what they see and learn meaning through the use of visuals. According to Arwood, Kaulitz and Brown, various ways of teaching visual literacy include:

  • Provide visuals in a way a child learns meaning
  • Provide different levels of visuals in materials in different ways
  • Adapt to the students level of meaning
  • Use sound-based interventions to assist the child
  • Focus on the students strengths

Remember, all students learn differently and it is up to us to teach them in an INLCUSIVE WAY and know what works best for each student. Arnie and Forester learned in very DIFFERENT ways and SHOULD NOT be compared to one another. perception.png

To go along with this, Frey and Fisher mentioned some important concepts teachers need to do to teach visual literacy effectively including:

  • Choose texts that are interesting to the students 
  • Use materials that rewards meaningful analysis 
  • Connects with the students lives
  • Provide comics with “graphic language” 

WHAT?!?! Why comics? 

Comics teach students how to undertsand meaning through images and become engaged while searching for the meaning. It allows the teacher and students to analyze images and build upon those skills.



My Experience

Growing up, visual literacy has always been my strength in school. If I was unclear with what my teacher was saying, a visual always helped me understand concepts and meaning. I remember in my second grade classroom my teacher had images posted all over her walls for all subjects. It was all-relevant to what we were learning and that always gave me something to refer back to. During English, if she provided us with a vocabulary word, an image would always follow. This helped me learn my words through the use of visuals. The images provided meaning to the words and for me; it made everything a little bit easier. I also loved when we were given books that were very rich in visuals because I learned better when I could visualize a story. As I got older, the books provided less visuals and reading and comprehension became harder for me. I love the idea of incorperating texts that include graphs and charts as a way to provide clarity for visual learners. 



I See What You Mean, Moline (2011) Chapters 1 – 3

Arwood, Kaulitz and Brown, 2009

Frey and Ficher (2008)





Blog #5 Reading Workshop

“The Reading Workshop is a teaching method in which the goal is to teach students strategies for reading and comprehension. The workshop model allows teachers to differentiate and meet the needs of all their students.”


The Reading Workshop!

The workshop model is part of inclusive pedagogy because it differentiates the instruction to meet the needs of all students. Through the model workshop, the teacher is able to adapt the lesson and work individually with each student. It is important for teachers to know their student’s strengths and weaknesses in order for this workshop to be successful. For example, if a child is struggling with comprehension, the teacher can help assist the student with his or her needs.

As discussed in Dudley-Marling and Paugh, an example of the workshop being an inclusive strategy is the use of modeling “text-to-self.” This is a strategy to help the students who are struggling with making connections but at the same time, is helpful to all students. We as future educators need to know various ways to help the students who are struggling and create a learning experience for all the students at the same time.



My Experience!

Reading was never one of my strengths in school so most of my experience regarding reading was negative, but I remember one experience with the workshop model that goes back to when I was in first grade. It is one of the very few things I remember about elementary school. I had an amazing teacher and during read aloud she would always pause and talk about the book, provide clarification and ask us questions. This was always very beneficial for me as it helped me gain a better understanding of the book. I remember sitting on her carpet and enjoying the readings and participating in discussions. I was very shy and participating was hard for me, but when the teacher used the reading workshop model, I was always apart of the discussions and that helped me learn. It is something I will definitely think back to and apply in my future classroom.



Rick’s Reading Workshop!

This was an AMAZING video and a great learning experience. Two pivotal moments that stood out to me that incorperated differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students are:

9:23- During this time Rick was reading aloud to the students and then had the students talking to one another about their ideas and experiences while Rick goes around listening. This allowed the students to be pulled into the story and engage them in the text. It    allowed students to hear their classmate’s thoughts and learn from one another. It also gave Rick an idea of the student’s understanding of the book.

12:00- Silent reading: During this time, books were provided at the students reading level and Rick was able to go around and have one on one time and conference with his students. He was able to assist each student in the area in which they needed the extra help. Rick was able to discuss comprehension and theory and adapt his conferences to each individual student. He was differentiating his one on one time.

Below is a link to a quick overview regarding readers workshop, I hope you enjoy it!


Kliewer’s Triadic Literate Profile and Literate Citizenship!

This brings me to my final point, I believe the workshop model fits into Kliewer’s Triadic Literate Profile and Literate Citizenship for multiple reasons…..

  • All children have the right to be literate citizens no matter what their abilities or disabilities maybe.
  • There are various sign systems, not just reading ad writing.
  • Helping students make connections and display it in their own way.
  • Helping students find meaning of the text.
  • Allowing students to use their own experiences to express their thoughts.
  • Every child is a rightful and valued citizen.
  • Teachers need to help their students by assisting them with literature and asking questions.



Kliewer (2008) Chapters 3 & 4
Dudley-Marling and Paugh (2004)
Reading Workshop lesson on the Teaching Channel: (Links to an external site.)


Blog #4 Conception of Writers and Writing

How Should We Teach Writing?

There is so much more to writing then just the process of pencil to paper. Writing is also about verbalizing what is written and providing meaning as well as creating visuals. In “All Children can Write” by Graves, the writing-process approach takes on the steps needed to help children to learn to write without overpowering them with repetition and the need for all spelling and punctuation to be perfect. That process takes time to build.

Teachers need to use a variety of tools to help their students become writers and to help improve their writing skills.

  • Allow student choice!
  • Ask students to write about what interests them
  • Be encouraging
  • Ask students questions regarding their writing (make them feel as if they are teaching you)
  • Peer interactions and discussions regarding personal writings and interest
  • Allow students to verbalized their writing and use illustrations
  • Give an ample amount of time for students to complete their writing





Building off of your student’s strengths and interests will help improve the areas in which they are struggling. It also allows them to showcase their strengths to their peers.

A quote that really stood out to me by Kress is “most children manage to find their way into and through the perceptual and conceptual maze of print, only for some to give up later for a variety of cultural and social reasons. Buy all of them might find the whole process much easier if the complexity of their task was understood by those whose job it is to know.” This means WE as future teachers need to know and understand our students. Let the students be the teachers and allow them to tell us about their personal interests.

By doing all of these steps and using the writing-process approach, the students will learn MEANING first; the skills and context of writing will follow.



I remember being in 6th grade and we were allowed to do a book report on a book we chose. I was so excited about this because I wanted to read a book about soccer because growing up, soccer was my life. We had to create a  a 3D project to go along with our writing. I remember very little about my middle school years but this project always stayed with me. I was finally able to showcase my knowldge and interest in soccer and I was excited to complete and present my project to the class……which was something I normally dreaded!

This goes along with allowing students to choose topics that interests them which leads to them having fun while learning the writing process. 



I found this blog post about student choice. I believe goes along with allowing students to choose what they want to write about to help engage them and improve their writing skills. I hope you find it intresting!

We want our students feel like this —>1.jpg


Not this —>                               2.png



Blog #3 Visual Literacies


“Visual Literacies and Critical Thinking Go Hand in Hand. One Develops the Other.” 










We as future teachers need to use and embrace various visual means of literacy to allow our students the opportunity to interpret the images in their own way. This includes using SELFIES and EMOJIS and allowing students to communicate through visual means. It is also a way for teachers to incorporate multimodality into their lesson and it offers students the oppurtunity to explore their literacy skills in technology and visuals. As discussed in the video “Selfies,” the use of visuals allows students to express their originality and presepectives. By allowing this, teachers can have a better understanding about the students learning style and adapt lessons to meet their individual needs.


Below is a video defining visual literacy, I hope you enjoy it!


Multimodality  and Visual Literacy has broadened my conception of literacy because is shows us there are so much more to literacy then just reading and writing and we need to teach this to our students. We as future educators need to take advantage of these types of literacy and create fun and interesting lessons to help our students broaden their literacy abilities!


Quote- "Visual Literacy and Critical Thinking" Video 

Chart- "Selfie" Video 
"Visual Literacy and Critical Thinking" Video



Blog #1 Literacy and Disability

There are millions of people in the world and in my opinion everyone has some sort of disability. Some people take a longer amount of time to accomplish a task for example speaking, while some people are not athletic and struggle in sports. These are two examples where people struggle but it does not make them any less of a person from one another. People should not be looked down upon for having a disability and immediately think that they cannot accomplish a specific task.

This is the same for the idea of disability and my conceptualization of literacy. As discussed in Sorting out Speech by Kasa-Hendrickson, Broderick, and Hansen, just because a person cannot speak or they repeat phrases, does not mean they are lacking in their literacy skills. They are able to communicate through typing which is a form of literacy. It may not be what everyone relies on to communicate, but it is just ONE way of showing competence in literacy. The same goes for the video Overcoming Dyslexia, Finding Passion by Piper Otterbein. Just because Piper has Dyslexia, does not mean she cannot communicate. She is an excellent speaker so why should her SAT scores be the one-thing colleges look at and turn her away? Literacy comes in so many forms and people need to understand that just because someone is lacking in one component of literacy does not mean they are lacking in all areas.

All of this weeks readings and the video make me think about my younger sister who struggled through high school because she has dyslexia. Other students made fun of her and she feared she would never succeed. It drove me crazy that I was not there to protect her from the bullies and ever since then, when I see a child struggle with speech or reading, I will never assume they are in desperate need of help or they are destined to fail. Everyone learns at their own pace and in their own way. No one has the right to tell someone they are illiterate, dumb, or never going to succeed. My sister did succeed and has an incredible job she loves. Just remember, literacy comes in many forms and we are not here to judge anyone. I know for my future classroom, I will allow my students to be creative in the way they choose to show of THEIR literacy skills and hopefully their classmates can learn from one another. I will also offer lesson plans, which allow students to express their literacy skills in various ways so they can showcase their strengths and preferences.


I found this amazing video I wanted to share about a girl who is non-verbal and speaks through her computer. I hope you enjoy the inspiring video!

Blog #2 Multiliteracies

Multiliteracies and Pedagogy Today

                   Throughout my classes at MSU and learning about education, disability, diversity, and differentiated, my conception of MULTILITERACIES is very similar to the Cope and Kalantzis (2009) article. Yes, we will always be using written language, but today, there are so many ways to use written language. It’s no longer about simply reading and writing. It is now about technology. Various forms of literacy are intertwined with one another and all aspects of literacy need to be a part of our current pedagogy. We have come such a far way in the past 10 years and we need to keep growing and advancing our multiliteracies skills to our students.

               One quote from Cope and Kalantzis (2009) that really resonated with me is “They all express new forms of multimodality-the use of icon in SMS and the juxtaposition of image in MMS (sending images with text), the layout of blog pages and email messages, and the trend in all of these forms of writing to move away from the grammar of the mode of writing to the grammar mode of speaking” (pg.15). This quote stood out to me because we live in an age where we rely so strongly on our smart phones and laptops. We use them for school, work, and everyday communication and when we type through a text message or e-mail, it usually is not with perfect punctuation and grammar. But that does not mean we are typing this way because we do not know how to write. But we are using our daily verbal literacy skills and recreating them into a written language that fits into our day and age. We have so much technology at out fingertips that our multimodal means are so easy to access and we rely on them so strongly.

              I remember doing my undergrad and my professors would always tell us to stop writing papers like we are texting a friend. We would subconsciously abbreviate words and not even realize. But at the same time, we were using the devices that were so important to our lives, culture, and identity. So as I stated before, the written language will always be there but in various forms. I am not currently a teacher but if I saw my students writing as if they are texting I would create a lesson about texting and e-mail and discuss how it is different from writing a paper and what are the benefits of both forms of literacy. 

           Another idea from Cope and Kalantzis (2009) that I could really relate to is the discussion regarding phonics and how you teach it to children and some get it and some do not. It is not an accurate means to evaluate a child. Yet, if you give a child a game such as Pokemon or Minecraft, they can figure it out without any issues and without the guidance of a teacher. The children I babysit play Minecraft and to me, it is the most complicated game but to them it is simple. They learn so much about gaming and coding and they taught it all to themselves. It is fascinating and in my opinion, they are using a form of literacy to play these games. They also use their coding skills and apply them to various assignements at school such as building molecules for science class and creating assignments on their laptops. Coding and gaming may not come to mind when thinking of a form of literacy, but I think it is a great activity that teachers can integrate this into their lesson. Not only will it be beneficial to the students but it will also create a fun and creative learning experience.


               In the article Reinforcing Multiliteracies Through Design Activities by Dousay, she discusses the importance of using media and design activities to teach and motivate children. For me, I would have a very hard time teaching and leaning this way because I am not good at technology, but for the children I babysit, it would be a lesson they can relate to and have fun with. It promotes creativity and teaching children how to use technology especially storybooks, incorporates multiple forms of literacy into one assignment. This also provides children with a closer look at different multiliteracies and helps them decide which LITERATE IDENTITY they migrate towards. It opens their minds to a new world of literacy.

Multiliteracies come in so many forms and with all of the technology we have access to today, schools need to be teaching these forms of literacy. It will be beneficial to the children in short term and long term. It will help them be creative, it will help them in college, and it will help them in the workplace.

               I found a great website regarding the multiliteracies theory and included in the website is a video. Check out the link posted below. The video from the site is called; A New Literacy: Making Connections in Electronic Environments and has a quote that I loved and I think is important to accept and teach to our children……..



I posted a few images that resonated with me regarding multiliteracies and how far technology has come. We rely so greatly on technology that it makes me wonder why is multiliteracies are not taught MORE in schools. As times change, schools need to adapt their pedagogy.