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Inverted Brilliant: The Visual-spatial Learner

The concept of Visual Thinking was introduced in the Netherlands by the speech therapist Maria Krabbe in 1951. She worked with children with learning disabilities,

such as dyslexia, stuttering and writing problems. According to her, these children appeared to think in images and she called them image thinkers.

Nel Ojemann[1] described image thinking in more detail in 1987 as “a form of thinking that everyone uses as long as one is young”. According to Ojemann, it is about thinking in images and actions, a flexible handling of reality,

which most people give up around their fifth or sixth year in favor of conceptual thinking or word thinking. Visual thinkers, however, do not let go of this and instead make use of it.

Linda Kreger-Silverman wrote her book “Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner” in 2002

Below you will find some of her findings

The visual-spatial learner


Many educators try hard to adapt to the different learning styles of their students, but that can be an impossible task because some of these styles and models are very complex.

As a former teacher, I know that there are only a limited number of hours in the day and that even the most dedicated teacher cannot prepare for all the different styles of learning and intelligence differing from his students. Keep courage! There is an easier solution.

The visual-spatial learner model is based on the latest developments in brain research regarding the different functions of the brain hemispheres. The left hemisphere is sequential, analytical, and focused on time.

The right hemisphere perceives the whole, synthesizes and understands movement in space. Humans only have two hemispheres of the brain and we do a good job of learning with one of them. Now we just need to become more aware of how to reach the other half, and then we will have happier students who can learn more effectively.

I want to tell you how the idea of ​​the visual-spatial learner came into being. About 1980 I began to notice that some gifted children reached the top of the IQ test with their phenomenal ability to solve problems presented to them visually or had high demands on the ability to visualize.

These children were also good at spatial tasks, such as problems of orientation. I soon found that those with the highest IQ outperformed on the visual-spatial tasks, but so did those with the lowest quotient. The main difference between the two groups was that the gifted children also did very well in the auditory-sequential subjects, while children who were smarter than their IQ score showed marked auditory and sequential weakness.

school systemVisual-spatial learners are individuals who think in images rather than words. Their brains are organized differently than in the auditory-sequential learner. They learn better visually than auditory. They learn everything at once, and if it clicks, the learning remains permanently present.

They do not learn from repetition or stamping. They learn something as a whole and must first see the bigger picture before they can absorb the details. They are non-sequential which means that they do not learn on the step-by-step approach of most educators. They arrive at a correct solution without approaching it step by step, so that it may be impossible for them to show their work.

They may also have problems with easy tasks, but also show admirable aptitude for difficult, complicated tasks. They are systems thinkers who can organize a large amount of information from different sectors, but at the same time often miss the details. They tend to be organizational backward and oblivious to time. They are often creatively, technologically, mathematically or emotionally gifted.

Parents can tell if they have one of these children by the endless amount of time it spends on difficult puzzles, building with lego, building mazes, counting everything, playing Tetris on the computer or chess,

building using all the available materials, designing science experiments , programming your computer or taking everything apart in your house to see how it works. They are also very creative, artistic and good at drama and music.

At the Gifted Development Center, we have followed the phenomenon of the visual-spatial learner for over twenty years. We have developed strategies for working effectively with these children, guidelines for parents on how to live with them, and techniques to help students learn successfully by leveraging their strengths. This information is now available Upside Down Brilliance:

The Visual-Spatial Learner (Denver: DeLeon Publishing, 2002); Raising Topsy-Turvy Kids: Successfully Parenting Your Visual-Spatial Child (Denver: DeLeon Publishing, 2004); If You Could See the Way I Think: A Handbook for Visual-Spatial Kids (Denver: Visual-Spatial Resource, 2005); and Gifted Education Communicator, Spring, 2003, Volume 34, Number 1 (Whittier, CA: California Association for the Gifted).

Over a period of nine years, a multi-disciplinary team developed the Visual Spatial Identifier . A simple list of fifteen points to help parents and teachers identify these children. There are two forms of this Identifier : a self-rating questionnaire, and an observation form to be completed by parents and teachers.

The Visual-Spatial Identifier has been translated into Spanish with the help of two grants from the Morris S. Smith Foundation, the two forms were tested on 750 students in grades 4,5 and 6. This study found that a third of the whole school learned strongly visual-spatial. In addition, another 30% showed a slight preference for this style. Only 23% were highly auditory sequential. This result suggests that a substantial percentage of students would learn better if visuospatial methods were used.

You can visit our websites for more information and . Or call the Gifted Development Center (1-888-GIFTED1) or Visual-Spatial Resource (1-888-VSR-3744) to order a copy of Upside-Down Brilliance ,

Raising Topsy-Turvy Kids, If You Could See the Way I Think , Gifted Education Communicator , or the Visual-Spatial Identifier , or articles on visual-spatial learners. The Visual-Spatial Resource Access Team also offers presentations to groups and provides telephone consultations to parents.

Research of the Gifted Development Center:

The survey included 750 students in grades 4, 5, and 6 (US system) (translator’s note: ages 10,11,12 years) white as well as of Mexican origin, urban and rural, and of all socioeconomic backgrounds and IQs. heights.z

The visual-spatial identification.

A self test:

1 I hate speaking in front of a group of people.

2 I mainly think in pictures rather than words.

3 I’m good at games (no).

4 I often lose the sense of time.

5 I know more than others think I know.

6 I am having problems with testing/assessments with a time limit.

7 I have neat handwriting (no).

8 I have a vivid imagination.

9 I like to take things apart to see how they work.

10 I hate writing assignments.

11 I solve problems in an unusual way.

12 It is much easier for me to talk about things than to write.

13 I find it very difficult to explain how I arrive at my answers.

14 I am well organized (no).

15 I found it easy to remember math facts (no).

Are you a visual spatial learner? How is your style of learning?

1. Do you think mainly in images rather than words?

  1. Do you know things without being able to explain why?
  2. Do you solve problems in unusual ways?
  3. Do you have a vivid imagination?
  4. Do you remember what you see and forget what you hear?
  5. Are you terribly bad at games?
  6. Can you visualize things from different perspectives?
  7. Are you organizationally handicapped?
  8. Do you often lose awareness of time?
  9. Would you rather read a map than follow verbal directions?
  10. Do you remember finding places you visited only once?
  11. Is your handwriting difficult for others to read?
  12. Can you sense what others feel?
  13. Are you musical, artistic or mechanically inclined?
  14. Do you know more than others think you know?
  15. Do you hate speaking in front of a group of people?
  16. Did you feel prettier as you got older?
  17. Are you a slave to your computer?

If you answered yes to 10 of the above questions, you are most likely a visual-spatial learner.


Character comparison

The visual-spatial learner

The auditory sequential learner

Thinks primarily in images


Thinks primarily in words

Is visually strong


Is auditory strong

Can handle space well


Good with time

Learns from overview


Learn step by step

Understand immediately or not (yet)


Learn by trial and error

Understands complex concepts easily;

has difficulty with simple tasks


Performs well when difficulty is gradually increased

Is good at synthesis, merging,

make connections


Is an analytical thinker

Works from the big picture;

may overlook details


Works from parts to the whole; pays attention to details

Can read maps well


Follows verbal instructions carefully

Is better at mathematical reasoning

then in numbers


Can count well

Learns whole words easily


Learns sounds easily

Need to visualize words

before being able to spell them


Can spell words out

Preferred keyboards

to write


Can write quickly and neatly

Organize and organize in your own way


Is well organized

Finds the right solution intuitively


Can easily clarify steps in work

Learns best by seeing connections


Excels at memorization/stamp work

Good visual long term memory


Good auditory short term memory

Teaches concepts for eternity;

drops out with stamping and repetition


Sometimes needs repetition to keep remembering what has been learned

Developed proprietary methods to

to solve the problems


Learns well through instruction

Is very sensitive to the teacher’s attitude


Learns independently of emotional responses

Thinks up special solutions

or problems


Feels good with one correct answer

Develops asynchronously (unbalanced)


Develops reasonably well

Can get very irregular grades


Usually gets high marks

Enjoy geometry and physics


Enjoy algebra and chemistry

Learn the languages ​​on location, through immersion


Learn the languages ​​in the classroom/lesson, through education

Is creatively, crafts, technologically, emotionally or spiritually gifted


Is academically talented

Is a late bloomer


Is an early bloomer


Why all students need visual-spatial methods

The first child with unusual visual-spatial abilities I observed had the high IQ of over 175. Therefore, I assumed that visual-spatial learners were highly gifted. However, I subsequently found that children who matched giftedness characteristics, but failed tests in this category due to hidden learning disabilities,

were usually visual-spatial learners. As a result, I thought that visual-spatial learners were either highly gifted or special in two ways: gifted as well as with learning disabilities.

In 1991 I was asked to make a video about visual-spatial learners for the State of Missouri. The director in charge of the education curriculum was convinced that the information would be applicable in all areas and at all levels from kindergarten through grade 12. I wasn’t so sure at the time, but he turned out to be right.

When we developed the Visual-Spatial Identifier , a process that began in 1992 and lasted nearly 10 years, we thought that only a small proportion of the population would turn out to be visual-spatial learners.

However, the results of a second test in 2001 really surprised us, ⅓ of the 750 students studied at two schools showed strong visual-spatial thinking and another 30% were moderately visual-spatial. They thus represented the majority of the school population.

While writing my book Upside Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner , which was published in late 2002, I better realized that Dr. Jerre Levy had said, “unless the right hemisphere is activated and involved, attention will be poor and learning will be poor.” She talked about every student in the class.

Throughout the book, I hinted at the possibility that the visuospatial learner would soon have an advantage in finding a job. Tom West (1991) author of In the Mind’s Eye states that in the 21st century workers will need strong visual skills: “Able to recognize larger patterns, intuition, a sense of proportion, imaginative vision, an original unexpected approach and the proper connection between apparently unrelated matters”. (p.88)

Daniel H. Pink (2005), author of A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age , argues that at a time when information is available on the Internet, success in the world depends on empathy, intuition, spirituality and gifts controlled by the right hemisphere:

“In the United States, the number of graphic designers has increased 10-fold in 10 years; they outnumber chemical engineers by a factor of 4 to 1. Since 1970, the US has had 30% more people earning a living as writers and 50% more as composers or performers of music….. Today more Americans work in the arts, the entertainment business and as designers than as lawyers, accountants and financial experts.” (p.55)

I started thinking about how schools prepare their students for career success. Most likely, in the past, the skills emphasized in school were necessary for adult performance. However, the world is changing very fast and our education system is not keeping up. Success in school depends on the following factors:

  • follow guidelines
  • submit specified work on time
  • remember facts
  • reproduce quickly
  • show work step by step
  • just legible handwriting
  • Correct spelling
  • be on time
  • good organization and cleanliness

What jobs require the skills so highly regarded in school? In fact, these auditory sequential abilities limit the potential of all students to find employment in today’s world. Citizens of the 21st century are rewarded after school for:

  • suitability to predict future developments
  • be able to see the whole
  • be able to think outside a fixed pattern
  • taking risks
  • identifying problems and being able to solve them
  • combine own strengths with others to form a strong team
  • be able to use the computer
  • be able to cope with complexity
  • the gift of valuing people

Isn’t it time to recognize the importance of the gifts of the right hemisphere and give all students the opportunity to develop their visual-spatial skills? These skills are essential to success as adults.

Continuing to prepare students for jobs that existed in the 1950s limits their potential rather than increasing it. One of the central functions of the school has always been to prepare citizens for paid employment. Are we missing that goal?

Effective techniques for teaching visual-spatial learners.

Spatial and sequential dominance are two different mental processes that influence perception and apparently lead to a different worldview. Information considered central to one point of view turns out to be irrelevant to another. The sequential system appears to be profoundly influenced by the auditory aspect, while the spatial system relies heavily on vision and visualization.

Auditory-sequential learners are highly aware of time but perhaps less aware of space; visual-spatial learners are often preoccupied with space at the expense of time. Sequential learning involves analysis, an orderly progression of knowledge from the simple to the complex, skillfully categorizing and organizing information, and linear, deductive reasoning.

Spatial learning involves synthesis, intuitive overview of complex systems (skipping many basic steps), simultaneous processing of concepts, inductive reasoning, the active use of images, and idea generation through new combinations of completely different elements. These different ways of relating to the world around us have had dire consequences over the centuries for the development of different philosophies, religions, cultures, fields of science and psychological theories.

Western and Eastern philosophies and cultures provide dramatic examples of these differences. Western thinking is sequential, limited in time, analytical. Eastern thinking is spatial and holistic. (Bolen, 1979). In European-American thought, cause and effect are emphasized, while in the Asian view of the world, the synchronized occurrence of unrelated events is valued.

Western languages ​​​​are made up of elements without meaning of their own: letters of the alphabet. Eastern languages ​​are traditionally composed of visual representations. Perhaps the greater ease with which Asian children deal with the visual-spatial terrain can be reduced, at least in part, to the emphasis on visualization in their language system.

Temporal, sequential, and analytic functions are considered to be the strengths of the left hemisphere, while spatial, holistic, and synthetic functions are considered to be the right hemisphere (Dixon, 1983; Gazzaniga, 1992; Springer & Deutsch, 1989; West, 1991). However, most researchers agree that integration of both hemispheres is necessary for the higher level thought process.

We all use both hemispheres of the brain, but not with the same ease. Gifted individuals show a strong integration of sequential and spatial functions, but the most gifted children we have studied seem to have a natural preference for one mode or the other.

These different mental processes appear to be innate. While a person can learn to deal with one mode or the other with greater ease, it is unlikely that a person with sequential dominance can learn to view the world in exactly the same way as someone with spatial dominance, and vice versa.

Rather than trying to reshape one or the other style of learning, we must accept these inherent differences in perception and value their complementarity. Since we all live in a spatial and temporal reality. If these differences are not understood, discord arises; if recognized they allow an exchange of information that constitutes a more complete view of reality than is possible from any perspective on its own in isolation.


Individuals who exhibit greater visual-spatial abilities than auditory-sequential are considered to be visual-spatial learners. They are particularly good at tasks involving spatial components: solving puzzles, following mazes, multiplying block designs, counting three-dimensional rows of blocks, visual transformation, mental rotations, imagining how a folded and cut piece of paper looks like after opening and similar topics .

The block design subtest of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) is one of the strongest indicators of visual spatial learning style. The Abstract Visual Thinking section of the Stanford Binet Fourth Edition and the Progressive Matricesvan Raven, also studied the spatial abilities of the subjects. The Mental Rotations Test has been used in several studies to identify children with particularly strong visual-spatial and mathematical talents.

Visual-spatial learners perceive the interrelationship of the parts of each situation. Their learning is holistic and takes the form of an all-or-nothing. They will most likely experience the “AHA” phenomenon when they suddenly “see it”. Many have a photographic visual memory: they can visually remember where they have been and how to get there. This type of learning does not take place through a series of steps.

Sequential skills are usually kept in reserve as a support system in case they cannot grasp an understanding through their preferred method of total perception. They can create visual models of reality that are multi-dimensional.

As preschoolers, these kids like to see how things work and they enjoy taking things apart to see if they can put it back together. When given a toy they will play with it until they understand how it works and then never touch it again.

They like novelty and challenge. Visualization is a key element in the mental process of the visuospatial learner. If they are introverted, they will think things through mentally before trying anything: walking, talking, reading, cycling, etc.

These children are usually fascinated by puzzles and mazes and can handle them well. They will be able to construct endless buildings with blocks, Lego or other materials and their structures are often very intricate with a detailed design.

Spatial gifts underlie both mathematical talent and creativity and are essential in a number of fields, mathematics, science, computer science, technology, architecture, mechanical work, aeronautics, engineering and the most creative fields.

Unfortunately, visual-spatial learners may dislike school for its over-emphasis on lectures, factual knowledge, stamping and practical exercises and the lack of sufficient stimulation of their formidable abstract visual thinking abilities.

Lectures are more suitable for auditory sequential learners unless visual aids are used. Lessons learned and quizzes are effective strategies for clearly auditory and sequential learners, but they are counterproductive to the style of learning of the visual-spatial thinkers.

For visuospatial thinkers, learning happens all at once, absorbing large chunks of information in intuitive leaps and not in the gradual accretion of isolated facts, with small steps or patterns of behavior acquired in practice. For example, they can learn all the multiplication facts as an interconnected set in a table and do so more easily and quickly than having to remember each fact separately.picture paper

When something is learned, a permanent change in the child’s consciousness and understanding. In this case, it doesn’t get perfect through practice; it is wholly unnecessary to the style of learning and it kills the child’s natural interest in a subject.

When a student with great ability in abstract thinking is asked to use only the simplest mental function of memorization, much of the potential of the child’s intelligence remains unapped. When a gifted child is given more stimulating, more advanced and complex material and presented at a faster rate, his natural gift of abstract thinking is practiced and developed.

Gifted spatial thinkers do well with abstract concepts, complex ideas, inductive learning strategies, multidisciplinary studies, holistic methods and activities that need synthesis; they are naturally focused on finding patterns and solving problems. When raised in accordance with their learning style, they are capable of original, creative thinking.

Education strategies

The following strategies have been found to be effective in teaching children with visual-spatial abilities:

  1. Use visual aids such as overhead projectors and visual images in lectures.
  2. Use tangible learning resources to enable a physical experience.
  3. Use visible reading instead of reading aloud.
  4. Use a visualizing approach to spelling: show the word; have the children close their eyes to visualize it; then have them spell the word backwards (this demonstrates visualization), then forward and finally have them write it once.
  5. Have them discover their own methods of problem solving (eg instead of teaching division step by step; giving a simple division sum with a divisor, dividend and quotient. Let them figure out how to find the answer in their own way. If they succeed, then give a harder sum with the solution and see if their system works.).
  6. Avoid memorizing lessons. Use a more conceptual or inductive approach.
  7. Avoid repetition and repetition instead give them the hardest problems in the group.
  8. Check what they can already do before teaching.
  9. Give them advanced, abstract and complicated material at a faster pace.
  10. Give them a chance to accelerate in school.
  11. Emphasize mastering a higher conceptual level rather than perfecting simpler concepts in competition with other students.
  12. Approach creativity, imagination with new insights and new approaches instead of acquiring knowledge. Creativity should be encouraged in all subjects.
  13. Group gifted and visual spatial learners together in education.
  14. Involve students in free study or group projects related to problem finding and solving.
  15. Have them construct, draw, or otherwise represent visual representations of concepts.
  16. Use computers so that teaching material is presented visually.
  17. Have students discuss the ethical, moral and global implications of what they learn and involve them in service-oriented projects.

Visual spatial learners are more attentive when they understand the intent of the teaching. They are more cooperative, at home and at school, when they are allowed to contribute to the decision-making process and some legitimate choices. Discipline should be a private matter as these children are very sensitive and easily humiliated.

If they are respected they will learn to treat others with respect. When placed in the right learning environment, with a good combination of their learning style and the way they are taught, visual spatial learners can develop their potential to become innovative leaders.


Bolen, J.S. (1979). The Tao of Psychology . New York: Harper & Row.

Dixon, J.P. (1983). The spatial child . Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Gazzaniga, M. (1992). Nature’s mind: The biological roots of thinking, emotions, sexuality, language, and intelligence . New York: Basic Books.

Springer, S.P., & Deutsch, G. (1989). Left brain, right brain (3rd ed.). New York: W. H. Freeman.

West, T. G. (1991). In the mind’s eye . Buffalo, NY: Prometheus. Note : For more information, please see Silverman, LK The visual-spatial learner. Preventing School Failure , 34(1), 15-20.

CV: Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and Director of the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development and its subsidiary Gifted Development Center, in Denver, Colorado. Founder of Advanced Development magazine and editor of the popular textbook Counseling the Gifted and Talented (Love, 1993).

For nine years, she was a faculty member at the University of Denver, teaching the subject of gifted education and counseling psychology. Her popular book Upside-Down Brilliance: The VisualSpatial Learner summarizes this phenomenon (Denver: DeLeon, 2002).

Mathematics education for non-sequential students

In our files we have dozens of students with superior understanding of mathematical relations but with insufficient abilities in mathematical calculations. These students constantly consider themselves bad at math and most hate this subject. This is extremely unfortunate because their visual-spatial abilities and their talent for mathematical analysis may indicate that they are “born mathematicians”.

Visual-spatial abilities belong to the area of ​​the right hemisphere, sequential to the left hemisphere. The test results of this group of students seem to indicate that they achieve unusual results on tasks involving the right hemisphere, and are less comfortable with tasks involving the left hemisphere.

In order to educate them, it is necessary to access their right hemisphere. This can be done with humor, the use of perceived useful material, emphasis on discovery, the method of whole-part teaching, rhythm, music, a high level of challenge, emotion, interest, factual experience, fantasy and visual presentation.

Students who have difficulty with sequence cannot learn by saying lessons, especially numbers of numbers, such as math tables. Since the right hemisphere is incapable of processing series of insignificant symbols in itself, it seems that these spatially oriented students must first imagine things before they can reproduce them.

For example, when they undergo a test, they must first see numbers before they can calculate with them. This substance is apparently transferred to the left hemisphere of the brain so that the student can give an answer. However, this takes them twice as long as students who have no problem with sequentiality; therefore, such tests are extremely unreasonable to them.

I have found that students can learn their multiplication data in less than two weeks when taught in the context of the total grade system. I had them fill out a blank multiplication table as quickly as they could using all possible simplifications.

Some help may be needed to do this, but it allows them to see the whole image before dividing it. I ask them to look for simplification in order to increase their ability to see patterns. After this work is completed we look sadly at the table and regret the fact that more than a hundred multiplication facts have to be memorized. Then I ask how we can reduce that number.

First of all, we delete the lines with a zero since a digit multiplied by 0 still results in 0. Then we delete the lines with a 1, since every digit multiplied by 1 remains itself. Then we take the 10 and then the student finds to his joy that these are easy, because one only has to place a 0 after the number to be multiplied.

At that point, the student notices that there are three rows of zeros, ones, and tens, and that one half of the table is a mirror image of the other half of the table. If we fold the leaf on the diagonal, from top left to top right, this becomes even clearer. I then ask why this is and then the student discovers the interchangeability principle: that axb=bxa. That discovery certainly lessons the task of remembering considerably.

Many visuospatial learners can skip counting the 5s because 0.5,0.5 is rhythmic and easy to recognize as a pattern. Then I ask them to count by 2 at a time; if they can count by 2 they can also multiply by 2.

Then I teach them different tools for multiplying by 9. The easiest way I know of is to reduce the number of 9’s to be multiplied by 1 and then find a number that, when added to the first number, results in a factor nine.

For example with 8×9 the order becomes: subtract 1 from eight that gives 7. What do we need to add to 7 to get 9? That is 2. The answer is then 72 since 7 is one less than 8 and 7+2 equals 9.

There are other tricks for memorizing the table of 9, such as the finger method shown in Upside Down Brilliance on page 304. Visual-spatial learners are very good at seeing patterns and in the table of nine they find a lot of them.

For example, every answer has a mirror image. In addition, if the tens increase by one digit, the second column is decreased by one digit.











The number 09 at the top is the mirror image of the 90 at the bottom, and so on. The column of 10s is 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, while the column of units is 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.0.

There are several other tricks. American students may remember that you have to be 16 years old to drive a 4×4 car (with 4 drive wheels). Also 1,2,3,4, is 12=3×4 and 5,6,7,8 is 56 = 7×8. If something rhymes, it is also easier to remember: 6×4=24, 6×6=36, 6×8=48.

Another advantage of these tricks is that sharing is learned at the same time. When you have an image of a 4×4 to drive at age 16, you can simultaneously see that 16:4 comes out to 4. I try to teach them all the double digits at once from 2×2 to 9×9. Double digits are apparently easier than others because they have a natural rhythm. Young children love games where they can count with 3’s.

There is also a School House Rock video titled Multiplication Rock with an appealing tune to learn times tables, especially of the 3. One can also learn the times table of 3 to the tune of Jingle Bells: “3,6,9-12 15-18 21-24 27-30 and you’ re done. The table of 6 can be learned as the doubles of 3. All these mnemonics reduce the number of difficulties in tables under 10.

I ask students to indicate a real problem for each of the remaining tables that they are having trouble with. I ask them to draw a picture (do not use stickers) for each problem. The drawing should contain something they are emotionally involved with, such as a pet or treat. For example if they like an ice cream and are trying to learn what 3×7 is I ask them to draw 7 cones each with 3 scoops of ice cream.

They then write 3×7 on the top of the drawing and 7×3 on the bottom and then count all the dots to find the correct answer. For 4×6 they can draw 6 horses and give each horse 4 carrots. Then they can hang the drawing on the wall of their bedroom until they have formed a permanent mental image.img025-300x274

These methods bring facts to life and enable students to visualize them and form meaningful associations.

Manual dexterity and calculators should also be encouraged. Students need to be made aware that mathematics is more than arithmetic. Those who have trouble with multiplication can be brilliant at geometry, because it is not sequential. Algebra and chemistry are highly sequential, but geometry and physics are spatial.

Students with a more developed right hemisphere should be introduced to geometry and scientific principles as they struggle with math so that they don’t come to see themselves as unfit for math. In a world of calculators and computers, the math miracle is almost outdated.

Sharing is often very difficult for these students because it is usually taught as a step-by-step process, with them already lost after the second step.

They are not step-by-step learners. They would learn much faster if they simply got a divisor, dividend, and quotient and had to work out their own method to arrive at that quotient. Don’t ask them to indicate the steps to do so.

Just give them another sum with the solution and see if their system works. Gradually increase the level of the sums to test their system. This teaching method is very similar to the method used in video games. Even as adults, these individuals will thrive if they know the purpose of an activity and are given the freedom to develop their own methods for achieving that goal.

Time-limited tests should be avoided because a visual-spatial learner takes longer to convert his images into words.

Time limits can only be used when visuospatial learners compete with each other and not with others. If a student has continued difficulty completing assignments in the same time frame as his classmates, a comprehensive assessment should be made to determine if the student has a tempo problem.

The teacher should then change and track the amount of time given and record these changes in the student reports. This will help the student to get permission to take a higher education entrance exam with extra time.

Reading education for visual-spatial learners

Visual-spatial learners are artists, inventors, builders, creators, musicians, computer gurus, seers, and healers. They have empathy and are often spiritually aware, even at a young age. These children have a strong right brain and learn in multi-dimensional images, while most schools, educators and curricula are primarily a haven for left brain thinkers.

The auditory sequential learners (children who think and learn in words rather than images and in a step-by-step manner) While visual-spatial learners are often highly intelligent, they are not always successful in an academic environment.

Those who prefer the right hemisphere—I call them “reverse”—are at a disadvantage in traditional classroom education. One of the many challenges they face is learning to read. Today most children in school are taught reading with a phonetic approach. For the visual-spatial learner, however, this goes against his intuition of how to think and learn.

Many visual-spatial students have great difficulty with phonetic sounds because words are read by breaking them into syllables, ie with shorter sounds. Like ra, ta, ga, fa, then the whole word is formed with that. But visual-spatial thinkers understand the big picture first and not the smallest details. Because they think in pictures, they must be able to read the whole picture.

What is the image of a syllable ga? Or from ‘it’? Can you form a mental picture of ‘it’? But when visual-spatial students are taught to look at the whole word first instead of the syllables, they can easily form mental images for those words and store them permanently. A novice reader can form mental images of many words that represent something; often the harder the word the better it goes. There is a difference in the shape of the letters that represent ‘xylophone’ or ‘Disneyland’ that the visuospatial thinker does not find when reading a word like ‘a’.

Some words automatically make you think of an image because the shape of the letters gives rise to it. In English this applies to the letter M and N in the word mountain, which already evoke the image of a mountain.

awYour beginning readers can probably find many more ways to draw words that involve images. For words that by themselves cannot be associated with an image (such as one or it), they can mold the word in clay.

Some schools use sandpaper letters so that students can trace the shape with their finger. All of these techniques will help create mental images of the new words to be learned.

Whole words can be written on large cards and hung on a blackboard or stored in a special word box. Then the beginning reader can practice by sorting all words with the same beginning or ending sounds. This is called “analytical phonetics” and will help any reader improve.

Speed ​​reading:

I have an important piece of advice for visual-spatial reading students: read quickly. Just as novice readers have no need for imageless words such as ‘it’ and ‘and’, the child who is far enough along to make progress in his reading is not concerned with making images for these words. So, just skip them.

So have your visual-spatial children run their fingers very quickly over one line of words and then the next. Teach them to jump over the words for which they have not formed an image in the brain. Here’s an example. First read the line:

Then, the next morning, Jody rushed to the nearest one

grocer ran to fetch a gallon of fresh milk for his mother.

Then see how much easier this rule can be made if the words without a mental image are skipped and only the words that form an image in the brain are read:

Morning, Jody ran grocer’s gallon of milk for mom.

can you do that? Can you skip the pictureless words. Was it easier? Are you missing any facts from the first sentence? Does the short sentence still form a picture in your brain of what Jody is doing? And when? And for whom? You don’t even need an adjective like “fresh” because you know he buys the milk in the morning.

Isn’t it easier to form a mental image when you don’t have to stop at the imageless words? The next time your kids need to read, you might want to try fast reading to see if it speeds up their learning process while also helping them remember all the details.

If your children need help recalling the images they have mentally formed, you can ask them to record them. They should do this in the margin if it is their own book, or in a separate sketchbook if it is not. Really important information, such as the plot of a story or dates, names of people they study, must therefore be signed.

Reread for important information:

Remember reading your own textbooks and say to yourself, Geez, I know that’s going to be on the test. Did you know that because you had just read a name or a date or a definition or because it was printed in bold or italics? When I was in school I used to fold the corners of the pages that contained important information.; that got me in trouble because the book would have to be used again the next year and the pages would be dog-eared.

Now the stationery store has many products in many colors with which you can mark a page. Show your children how to use them to mark a line on a page of important information that they have just read. They can stick a sticker exactly on the right line of the text, so that it sticks out on the side.

This way they can easily find the rules they need to remember. They can also use colorful stickers for different types of information. Maybe green stickers for dates and blue ones for names. It doesn’t matter which system, as long as it works for them.

Another note on reading:

If your visual-spatial children have difficulty reading, consider giving comic books or other books with a lot of visual images. Maybe books with something they really want to know more about, a favorite animal or children in another country or something interesting enough to keep you committed.

You may want to consider borrowing audiobooks from a library. Nearly every book specified to read is also available on tape or CD. But don’t replace reading with movies or TV adaptations. Then too much of the story may have changed for them to miss the opportunity to create their own characters and scenes in their imagination.

But listening to a book instead of reading it gives them space to use the writer’s words to create their own mental movie. Listening to the story often helps visual-spatial thinkers to remember the plot and characters better, because then they can “see” the story. When they listen to the story, they don’t have to spend time decoding the words and run the risk of losing the thread of the story.Brain Left Right

Many books come out with a larger print. That is often easier on the eyes. You can also enlarge pages of a book when copying. Some children find reading easier when they can place a colored plastic sheet over the page, for example yellow or green.

In addition, books published by Barrington Stoke Publications have been printed on special paper with letters that are easier to read. You can find these at

Other strategies to help aspiring readers master this new problem include using magnetic letters and words on refrigerators or chests of drawers and attaching labels to everything in the house, such as furniture, stairs, doors, etc.

Make Your Home a giant visual dictionary. You can also play with words: what rhymes with what, or play scrabble with added images or make up your own games or use clay to write fun and act out interesting words, which will then become mental images to them.

Whatever strategy you use to help the novice reader, you should know that they will eventually master this skill, even if they are not structured to learn the old-fashioned way using phonetics. There are other options. The approach of seeing a word in its entirety often helps to force a breakthrough in old thinking.

Persist in encouraging reading by continuing to read to your children even after they have learned to read. As a primary school teacher, I saw many children read reluctantly because they were afraid of losing their mother or father’s reading hour if they could read themselves. At 11 and 13 years old, my children and I still liked to enjoy a good story together on a sofa or bed.


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