Thinking Maps

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mstnteacherlady, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Jun 4, 2009

    So, our school (along with 3 others in the district) officially voted to adopt Thinking Maps to use within our schools. We will be required to attend a 2 day training session the first week of August in order to implement the program at the beginning of next school year. We, of course, have used various forms of graphic organizers, but the use of these same organizers repeatedly seems to be very helpful. I would like to learn as much as I can about uses for Thinking Maps before I actually attend the training. I've been doing some research online and have found many ways that teachers use them in their own classrooms. Next stop, AtoZ to see how some of the BEST teachers use them. If you use Thinking Maps, would you share some ideas that you have for using them in the classroom? I am really excited about this and think it will be very beneficial for our students and school. I can't wait to hear more suggestions.
     
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  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I hope I am thinking of the same thing- we call them Mind Maps. I use them a lot in my history classes and they are very helpful to some of my students. I use them in teaching River Valley Civilizations, when we study absolute rulers, English Civil War, French Civil War, Industrial Revolution and the list goes on. I really like them and sometimes will allow my students to use them when they take their test.

    When I use them for absolute rulers, I have the put the name of the ruler in the center along with a visual - like a sun for Louis XIV as a visual connection. They I give them 6 areas - economy, religion, trade, military/war, culture, and government to create text and visuals for information. I think it works great.
     
  4. Lotte

    Lotte Companion

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    Jun 4, 2009

    We've learnt to call the middle 1s, first extension 2s, 2nd extension 3s etc. Allow the students to (either draw or) write and use colour to suit their comprehension.

    1.
    You can use them f.i. before a new topic to do brainstorming.
    Write the topic in the middle and give the students 5 minutes to write down everything they know about it. Make a bigger mindmap on the board.

    1+
    To extend, tell the students to only write with pencils/blue pen.
    When going through the subject, extend it, using red and green pens. What the students had guessed correctly, circle green. What was wrong, circle red. Keep extending, using green for known facts.

    2.
    You can use it for teaching phrases or key words to a topic.
    F.i. Topic in the middle (1), then write important key words (2). Extend using 3s for definitions and maybe a picture to help remember.
    (This can be in any subject, whether language concepts, periodic table or math terminology.. You name it!)

    3.
    Use for planning a story.
    Middle (1) will be title. Either Start with the title or fill it in at the end .
    The 2s will be place, time, characters, plot, ending etc.
    The 3s Will be filing it out. Naming places, people etc.
    And then the trick is (off course) to stay within the planned chart :rolleyes:

    4.
    Use to give students an overview of what their topics will be that year -and to keep track of their progression!
    Can also be good if you fill out all the topics, and goals if you please, and have the student colour the circles once finished so they always know what they are doing and remember what they have gone through that year.

    4+
    When colouring the circles of topics you can have the students use one of three colours: Red, green and yellow. (Green if they learned a lot and feel they know what they were supposed to learn, yellow if they know some, but not all and then red if they didn't understand. (Can be used for parent teacher conferences as part of self evaluation)

    5
    Tell the students to write their own name in the middle and wirte the names of their preferred playtime companions (2s).
    = Basis for sociogram, in all privacy you'll get an overview of who's friends with whom.

    6
    Can be used as a test.
    Give the students a specific amount of time and just give them the middle word and have them brainstorm (in solitare) what they know about the topic.

    I just love mindmaps! :D
    (But haven't been through any programs or anything..)
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 4, 2009

    Since the term is capitalized and requires training and all, I'm betting that Thinking Maps is a commercial program, trademarks and all, that formalizes and codifies mind mapping. It will be interesting to see whether I'm right and to discover the similarities and differences that get posted here.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    TG~you are right. When I googled it, it popped up with a program website.
     
  7. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    me too - I got the idea from another teacher. I try to get my students to think of them as road maps of information. That is why I let me organize their map the way it makes the most sense to them. I know my students find them useful because they will write me notes on their tests ,"my mind map lead me to this answer."
     
  8. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Yes it is a program. Most information pops up easily when the title is googled. We will be using them for more than introductions to topics and such. There are some introduction videos on different sites that give more information. There are 8 specific maps that are linked with the program and are to be used in different ways throughout the curriculum.
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    mstn~the district I'm trying to get into is BIG on thinking maps!
     
  10. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Yeah, apparently there are several districts around us that use them and really seem to do well with them. I am interested to see different ways to use them other than the basic "graphic organizers" we are all very familiar with.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    If you go here they show some student examples. Maybe you can get some ideas from here.
     
  12. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Thanks stg. :) These are similar to what our presenter showed us at the meeting recently - with LOTS of powerpoints and information (haha). I was just kind of hoping for some people to actually be able to share experience with them. In the presentations they have done for us, they show the best examples and share the best stories (best being the most successful). I know that sometimes the best is great for presenting, but I want to know more about it coming from a teacher's actual experience. Hopefully we'll get some of that at the training. lol
     
  13. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Completely missed your post somehow! Thanks for these ideas! My students loved mapping out stories before writing them! :) I even saw some doing it as they were doing their state writing assessment writing. I really like #4 and the extensions you added. Great ideas! Thanks!
     
  14. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jun 6, 2009

    The school at which I taught this past year used Thinking Maps exclusively (K-5). They are okay, and it is true, that the repeated use of the same basic forms throughout the grades does seem to lessen the learning curve (no time spent teaching the organizer itself after a bit). Initially, I was hesitant, but found that you CAN get creative with them. For instance, instead of just using circles for the bubble maps, I have used leaves, kites, whatever worked with the skill/unit I was teaching. I was teaching first grade, so not all of the maps were appropriate to the developmental level (for instance, the bridge map for analogies), but we used a number of them!
     
  15. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Jun 6, 2009

    I have had thinking maps at the 2 last schools I've been in and yes they can help but maybe I missed the wave of when they were used a lot because I didn't see a difference - we have the posters of the thinking maps to display and went to a 1 day crammed training on it but it wasn't pushed the rest of the time. Not sure if the districts here are just going through the motions with it or what.
     
  16. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Ah, I see. I'm wondering what our training will be like. Our district seems to be one of those that does something for a while and then forgets about it, so I can see things going that way.
     
  17. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Our district is big into thinking maps. My cluster piloted their use this past year, and this upcoming year, the whole district is using them. I liked them - but didn't find all of them applicable to Pre-K, so I did, of course, like some better than others. And, yes, it is a purchased program. I'd be happy to talk to you more about it - maybe summarize each type of map for you - but only if you're really interested....lol.
    Kim
     
  18. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Our training was spread out over many weeks - about an hour and a half each week after school. We covered one map a week, tried that map during the week, and brought examples to share at the next meeting before we learned about a new map form.
    Kim
     
  19. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    I was trained on Thinking Maps last year, but didn't do a very good job of using them. The difference between Thinking Maps and graphic organizers is just that you can use the same Thinking Maps throughout your school career. The object is to learn them in the lower grades, when appropriate, then continue to use them. The students learn to draw them themselves and they can be used in a lot of situations.

    I did use the Bridge Map for analagies in 4th grade, because it includes a relating factor with the analogy. My kids had a hard time with knowing what the connection was between words so having to write it as an R.F. really helped them.
     
  20. beckyeduk8er

    beckyeduk8er Comrade

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    I love thinking maps. I teach pre-k (and did K for a year). We didn't use all the maps.

    I love circle maps-we started each theme with a circle map, used then to generate ideas for writing (march-may), made a circle map for each letter, etc.

    Flow Maps-we used these with science a lot-life cycle of a butterfly, snail, flower, etc, and well as the identifying the main idea of each chapter in our read aloud, and many sequencing activities (for picture books, cooking, getting dressed in the winter, etc)

    Bubble Maps-I like bubble maps, but I don't always use them correctly. Our trainer told us that the noun goes in the center and the other bubbles can only be adjectives-3 and 4 don't always understand. We bubble map feelings, characters in a story, winter cloths, jobs, ect.

    Tree Maps-I love these for writing. When we read non-fiction books we put our information on the tree and use that to write sentences for our books.


    Insects
    l
    have ------------------------eat ------------------------ don't like
    6 legs leaves predators
    3 body parts nector cold ​
    The sentence would be
    Insects have 3 body parts.
     
  21. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Thanks becky. Those are great examples. I'm excited to begin adding these into my lessons for next year!
     
  22. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    There are many ways to use bubble maps. Double bubble maps are generally for comparing and contrasting two different things/ideas. I used the tree map a lot in spelling (1st grade) - write the words using this phonics skill on this branch, using that phonics skill on that branch, etc. We used the flow map for story retelling and story elements. The multi-flow and the bridge maps were a bit above my first graders, though.
     
  23. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    When you are doing a "compare and contrast" activity with your class, the double-bubble map is much better than the old standby, the Venn Diagram. When I used to use Venns, I always ran out of space in the middle where the 2 circles intersect and show similarities between 2 items. Using a double-bubble gives you much more space to show how 2 things are the same. Love the double-bubble map!
     
  24. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I also like the double bubble because the rule is that what is listed on one side must be listed on the other. I know I didn't do a good job of explaining that...I mean, if you are comparing and contrasting two foods (pie and cake), and you put that cake has frosting, you must come up with something along that line for the pie side. (you might put that it has a crust on top, for example). It makes kids think more deeply than just saying "Frosting" and "no frosting."

    I think one of the goals is to teach kids the key words - double bubble = compare/contrast, circle map = brainstorming, bubble map = describing, flow map = sequencing, etc. That way, when they see those words on a test, they automatically start to draw a map (whether in their mind or on paper) to organize their ideas.
    Kim
     
  25. JustT

    JustT Comrade

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    Jun 7, 2009

    Did you say Thinking Maps?

    I love Thinking Maps. If your whole school uses them, each year the students are able to make more complex maps. Excellent tool for evaluating gifted students because the complexity and depth can easliy extend into all of the maps.

    Also, I recently used Thinking Maps to show the relationship of text structure. I also color coded the maps this past year so I could use it as a quick reference for students to differentiate. It worked wonders! Even my low ability learners were able to refer to the red map as main idea (Tree map)

    You can also duplicate many of these maps using PowerPoint Vista (chart feature) instead of the Thinking Map websites. Students can create their own thinking map using this feature.
     
  26. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Jun 7, 2009

    We have had mind maps in the uk for some time now. However I recall them from the 70's when we called them 'spider diagrams'! Nothing new in them really. Some people like them, personally I can't see how they help. If you can make one then you already know the information you are using. They don't teach you anything you didn't already know (In my opinion). The guy who wrote the book about them is now a millionaire!
     

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