Monday, October 7, 2013

Thinking Maps!

During my one month hiatus from the blogging world, I went for the last two days of my Thinking Maps Training of Trainers course. So excited to say I'm officially "certified" to train teachers at my school in the use of Thinking Maps. We just need to purchase our teacher binders and schedule a training date. Yay! 

I was originally interested in bringing Write From the Beginning (the writing component of Thinking Maps) to our school, but found out that schools had to implement Thinking Maps prior to being allowed to purchase the writing component. I was a little bummed, since a school-wide writing program is really what we were looking for. 

I have to tell you, I am SO thrilled that we have to bring the Thinking Maps to our school first. The 5 days of training that I received was incredible. Seeing the possibilities for increasing student engagement and rigor was so exciting. I've been slowly introducing Thinking Maps to my 3rd graders and I'm excited to start pushing student thinking with the use of the maps. 

I'm also excited to share some snapshots of ways that we're using Thinking Maps in class. If you've never heard of Thinking Maps I suggest you visit the Thinking Maps website and watch the intro video for a taste of what Thinking Maps is all about.

Here's a Tree Map (used for classifying) that we created as a class before students even knew what a Tree Map was. Prior to the Tree Map we created a Circle Map (used for defining in context) to brainstorm what students thought the class rules should be. The tree map helped me show how all of their ideas fit into the 5 classroom rules from Whole Brain Teaching. It was a perfect beginning of the year lesson!


  1. I love the idea of using a tree map to add to what each of the 5 rules "looks" like. Definitely will have to add this to next year's procedures!

  2. It really was great since the kids came up with all of the ideas!

  3. I just received the Write from the Beginning Training today and I loved it! I actually just blogged about it! Really really awesome! I also do WBT, sooooo need to revisit the rules with my thirdsters using the tree map.

    The Gemini Teacher

  4. Hey Denay, thanks for stopping by. I'll go check out your post :)

  5. Our school uses thinking maps but I was never officially trained. We also got Write From the Beginning my first year here (6 years ago) but I don't think many people even use it anymore. :( I know I don't but when I did, it worked! I am interested to see what else you can be my informal training!