Tornadoes and Tsunamis- More Alike or Different?


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in 5th GATErs, Inquiry, Natural Disasters, Thinking Maps | Posted on January 7, 2011

Comparing and Contrasting 2 Natural Disasters: IMG_0736

Causes and Effects of Disasters


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in 5th GATErs, Natural Disasters, Thinking Maps | Posted on December 9, 2010

Today you will choose one disaster from the list below to investigate.  Create a Thinking Map to show the causes and effects.  Afterwards, you will find a partner who did a different disaster to compare and contrast them. Don’t forget the Frame of Reference (National Geographic).






Double Bubble Map: Comparing and Contrasting


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in Thinking Maps | Posted on September 17, 2010

This week’s map helped us to compare and contrast two people/objects. The similarities went in the middle bubbles and the differences on the outside. One 4th grader stated, “We compare and contrast in Math!” I always get excited when they make connections across disciplines. I added that we compare and contrast in any subject and in life. After creating the double bubble map with their partner, I asked them what the big idea was. What did you notice while you were comparing and contrasting? This is the metacognition that makes this activity higher level thinking. In the frame of reference they wrote their sentence.
Why not use the Venn Diagram? It organizes information for comparisons and contrasts as well, but was specifically designed for Math. The 2 overlapping circles usually leave little room for the similarities, whereas the double bubble is more flexible.

Thinking Maps


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in Thinking Maps | Posted on September 4, 2010

thi_mapThinking Maps are visual teaching tools that are based on the 8 thought processes: defining in context, describing, comparing and contrasting, seeing analogies, classifying and categorizing, cause and effect, whole-to-part thinking, and sequencing. The Frame of Reference is added to each map to show metacognition, reflection, and synthesis information.
Thinking Maps are:
      Visual patterns
      Based on 8 cognitive skills
      Can be used in all content areas and all teachers
      Used in combination with depth and complexity

I have been using TMs for about 12 years now with students from pre-K to adult and have found them to be a crucial part of my teaching. I have had success with ELL students, GATE, and RSP. They are about teaching kids to THINK and organizing their thinking to add depth and complexity.

To start using TMs with any class, I introduce about 1 map a week using a topic they are very familiar with: themselves!  I always give them a template for the introduction but from then on I have them draw the maps themselves. This is important so they own the map.