With no further ado...here's my fantastic guest (when you get to the bottom of her wonderful post, check out where I'm guest posting today and head there to pick up your Writing Workshop Freebie!)...
I attended a training on Thinking Maps this year and now frequent their website and blog. There are actually 8 patterns for thinking maps which are directly related to a particular thought process. The thinking maps are used across content and grade levels.
Back in September, we made a circle map about Johnny Appleseed in Science. A circle map is used to show your frame of reference for a subject. My little ELL firstie used words and pictures to tell all she knew about deal old Johnny.
Later in the year, while reading The Little Red Hen, we used a Double Bubble Map to Compare and Contrast The Little Red Hen and the other characters in the story. A Double Bubble Map works like a Venn Diagram, but it uses circles in the middle to write the comparisons in. A Venn Diagram's middle space is often limited as it is the cross-section of the two larger circles. I had the firsties use red and blue crayons so they could see the connections.
Finally in December, we made a class Tree Map to classify the information we learned on our Christmas Tree Farm Field Trip. We grouped information into types of trees, needs of trees and farm jobs to care for trees. The kids did a great job recalling information they had learned on the tour and used it later in their writing.
After the thinking maps are made, connections are made and many times they are used as a bridge for a bigger project. In the midst of the Christmas excitement, my principal walked through for an informal evaluation. The kids were on the carpet in front of me and we were comparing and contrasting two different stories. My little cutie (You know the one...who is NEVER paying attention!) YELLS OUT "Hey, Mrs. Wathen, we should use a double bubble map!" My principal laughed after because normally she said she would have thought I prepped the kids, but knowing this little darling she knew that most definitely was NOT the case:)
Two lessons were learned that day: 1- The kids are making the connections between the thinking maps and the thinking processes behind them. 2- The little ones who appear to be not paying attention DO take in what we are teaching them in their own way and in their own time and this dear friends is why we teach:).
Thank you Lisa for having me. I would love you to stop by my blog and visit. There will be a freebie to get you started with your own Thinking Maps.
The Resourceful Apple
Me again....you can find me over at this cute blog...go read my Reading/Writing Workshop post and snag a WW freebie from Google Docs. Smiles - Lisa