It seems that VTS is a strategy that allows students to focus not only on their interpretations and connections to art, history and their experiences but also with speaking and listening. I've taken a liking to the idea of focusing on verbal communication within my classroom and VTS is a great way to get get that ball rolling.
I started to gather a notion that a shift in teaching has actually emphasized this very topic. Due to ELL students, autistic learners, etc. there is a need for creating a comfortable and inviting classroom. These lessons are a great way to open a dialogue for those that need the exposure.
The following is actually a reflection from a school that incorporated VTS into their curriculum. They found that students were able to transfer questioning to both literacy and math. In terms of writing students showed growth of critical thinking skills such as evidentiary reasoning, speculation, and elaboration.
I am interested in implementing this strategy into my social studies and vocabulary lesson planning. I feel my ELL students and all levels of learners will benefit.
I would agree with you in the use of this with ELL students. I have use the four square method to teach new vocabulary words to ELL and non-ELL students as a tool to master vocabulary. I never knew I was using this process as I never thought of the title VST. It definitely brings students voices out and makes learning a maybe not so interesting idea more interesting.
I agree with you! VTS allows more students to be active/engaged learners in the classroom. There are no "wrong" answers, and students find comfort in knowing that. I often speak with the ELL teacher who works in my classroom, and VTS goes right along with Glad strategies used in ELL. We love using it to introduce a topic because we find that those gaps in vocabulary disappear as they hear the words mentioned in a comfortable discussion setting. They aren't expected to know anything, and they learn from their classmates.
I agree that there is definitely a growing need to have an inviting classroom where students feel welcomed and safe. We all know that not everyone learns the same way. Your idea of implementing more verbal communication in the classroom goes hand in hand with VTS. I feel it is extremely important for students, especially ELL students, to practice their speaking and listening skills. Once they have practice, they can use that in other subjects like literacy and math (like you mentioned).