Visualizing procedures enhances classroom management. The foundation of effective classroom management is modeling, practicing, and reinforcing procedures. Right-hemisphere oriented students tend to act spontaneously and process randomly. These folks need structure, and helping them visualize procedures may be the best approach to help these students help themselves and enhance their success.
Here is an example how I used visualization to help a student arrive in my classroom on tine.
Mary was consistently late to my second period class. Assigning her detention had little positive affect on having her change her behavior. So I had a conversation with Mary and asked what she customarily did before coming to my class. She told me that she would go to her locker to get her book for her second period class. I asked, “Mary, can you see yourself getting your books for both periods before period one?” She responded that she could. I then asked if she did anything else before coming to my class? She told me that since Jane, her best friend, was also in my class and that since Jane’s class was on the way to mine, that she would wait for Jane to walk to my class so they could arrive together. I said, “Mary, can you see yourself walking right past Jane’s classroom and directly to my class?” Notice what I had done: I established a visual procedure to help Mary help herself. The result was that the number of times Mary came to my class late were significantly reduced.
Here is an example of using visualization to control the volume in a classroom. I first had the students visualize each scenario below and we then practiced them.
Level 0 – SILENCE
Level 1 – WHISPERING – Only you and one other person should hear you.
Level 2 – SPEAKING – The volume you use in conversation.
Level 3 – GROUP – The volume you use when in a group.
Level 4 – PLAYGROUND – The volune you use when playing games or shouting to friends outside.
Remember that the brain thinks in images, pictures, and illusions—not in words. The more visualization is taught the more successful students become and classroom management becomes so much more efficient.