How to put a grade to visual scanning
Written by Cheri Dotterer
The following is a transcript of the video.
Full word search
In this particular word search, we have borders around the letters all the way around. Not all word searches are going to come that way. This particular one is. Because they’re divided, it’s going to give a different perspective and a different impact on the student. I know some word searches, the letters are so close together and they’re so tiny, it’s harder for some students to see them. More white space, bigger letters, more spread out, are going to be much easier. And then, as far as time goes, the fewer, the words in the word bank, the happier some students will be.
a and e are circled
What I did in this particular slide that I’m sharing with you a technique that I use. I will hand the student the word search. I will cut the word bank off the bottom because right now what I’d like them to do is just find the letters. In this particular case, I picked a and e. You’ll see in the upper left quadrant, that there are eight letters. After I get the paper back from them, I will divide it. See the purple line and the green line. I take a look at how many of those eight letters they actually found. If they only found six of the eight, I do six out of eight, and then I will figure out the percentage.
I then will figure out the percentage of the entire paper, and I will compare the differences between that quadrant and the whole piece. If there is a quadrant that is significantly less than the rest of the quadrants, I want to take a look at what it is looking like with those students when they’re reading, when they’re doing math, when they’re writing. Are they having more trouble in that particular area?
I use the example of a math worksheet. A lot of times math worksheets are laid out very similar from one lesson to the next lesson, if they’re having trouble in a certain quadrant, for instance, like the bottom left is always a particular little item that you might want to have the students do, and they’re constantly having a struggle with that, we need to maybe take a look at their visual scanning and see if there’s anything that they can do to support their visual scanning. And maybe they need to be strengthening those muscles in their eyes because there might be a subsequent convergence insufficiency or a divergence insufficiency going on.
Another way that you can adapt a word search is when they’re looking at left to right and they’re not going all the way to the left or they’re not going all the way to the right, you can highlight the outsides of the word search with a bright color that’s contrasting to the word search. In this case, I used red. I like red because it’s so contrasting to the black, but that’s not always what you want to use. Depends on what the word search looks like. And then encourage them to go all the way back to the left.
One of the other things that I will do is I will take cardstock or note cards, and I will cut out a rectangle out of the notecard or the card stock that’s as long as the resource that we’re trying to find. In this particular case, I might use a three-quarter inch cardstock, or three-quarter inches, cutting out a rectangle out of the long way of the cardstock so that I can put it over one line and just go one line down the page over time. If you don’t have card stock, you can always just use another piece of paper and go on top and bottom to grade it down. You want to only use one piece of paper over time, but I always start out with two and I work my way down and eventually eliminate it. You can also, over time, open up the space. You might only have half of it covered when they’re looking at the top half. So just some ways that you can increase the amount that they have, the visual field that they see over time.
9 letters with arrows
In this particular case, I put the r in the middle. Earlier I talked about the a and e I had them find those. In this particular case, I would have been finding the r instead. If with the r I have them go through the entire word search, search circle, all the Rs, then we look down at the word bank. Is there a word that begins with the letter R? Usually, the reason I pick one of those letters. And we go, “Okay, so what is next to that?” Suppose the word is ran, R-A-N, so then we go back up to that r. Is there an a? Oh, in this case, there is, it’s up to the left. Well, then we look at the diagonal and see if the N is next. Otherwise, we move on to another R. When I’m helping them get used to seeing the whole worksheet and we’re then going to look at letters, we start by just circling.
And it’s amazing to me how quickly they want to move on from that stage to be able to find the entire word themselves. I do notice a lag in time when we’re going from, being circling that first letter, to not circling it. Another thing that I try to have them circle the R, and then go through their word bank and pick out the words that have R in them, and what are on either side of those. If we had a word that was E-R, that would be coming from the right diagonal, I might have them find that E-R combination, and then try and find the rest of the word. Just some ways to get around using the word bank and including that with the letters.
Now, let me stop sharing. And we’re going to talk a little bit about gross motor. Some of the gross motor activities that you can do with visual scanning, is doing whole-body movements, or more like head movements more than the whole body. You want to start a whole body, then over time, work it down. You want to have a whole body going from left to right, left to right. Then you want the head moving left to right. Then you only want the eyes moving left to right. And then to strengthen the eye muscles themselves, there are three different sets of eye muscles. You can go vertical, you can go diagonal, in both directions, and you can go horizontal. Let’s go back. I went overall what you can do as far as motion.
If you’re walking down the hallway with a student, “Hey, look at that tiger on the left. How about the bird over here on the right?” And then you have them looking over there and try to keep the momentum of them walking forward and not stopping, turning their entire body, looking at the tiger, and coming back and looking at the bird. Try to keep that momentum forward, looking to the tiger, looking to the bird, and then over time, trying to get them to look straight ahead. Can you see the tiger? Yes. Can you see the bird? Yes. And really working on that.
Using the letter H, it is a really good motion. If you’re starting at the top quadrant and the following it, you’re making an H, but what you’re doing is you are engaging all six of the muscles around your eye to get all of them to work. Encouraging them to follow something. One of the other exercises that we did when I was working with adults, is we’d have them, the adult, put their thumb out as far as they can. I’m going to turn to the side so you can see. Their thumb is out. Then you’re going to look at the thumbnail. You’re going to continue to look at the thumbnail and move your head to the side. I’m going to flip back so that you can see what I’m doing. I’m looking at my thumbnail, I’m going to turn my head and continue to look at the thumbnail.
Now I’m going to take off my glasses so you can really see. And yes, I do struggle with this one. And then I actually want to get them going in that metered pattern. And then you can also do vertical. Yes, you did see that I struggle going left to right and keeping my eyes there because I have convergence insufficiency, and I really do have a weakness when I’m trying to do a lot of visual scanning activities for myself.
I hope that gave you some ideas that you can do for visual scanning. Can’t wait to see what you put in the comments to supplement what I have talked to you about today. Otherwise, have a wonderful day.