What Defines Us?

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Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in Technology, Thinking Maps | Posted on September 24, 2010

On our first week of GATE class, we created circle maps to define ourselves in context.  I typed up all of our definitions and created the Wordle below.  A Wordle is a “word cloud” that gives more prominence to words that appear more frequently.  What trends do you notice??

Wordle: GATE

Circle Map: Defining in Context

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Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in Thinking Maps | Posted on September 10, 2010

The first Thinking Map we learned was the circle map. It is used for everything we know about “something”. Any topic can go in the middle of the circle and then phrases are written around the topic.

Outside in the Frame of Reference, we put what influences the information in the circle, what perspective it is from, or the main idea. Color coding the information from the Frame of Reference with the information inside the Circle Map helps to show the information from that perspective or resource.

Thinking Maps

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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.