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Back to Basics: Thinking Maps

Before school started last year at my middle school, at one of our workshop/meetings, our principal was ecstatic to introduce the new and shiny thing they wanted us to implement this year. What was it this time? Thinking Maps. We got very expensive, very informative books, hands on training, even an expert to come talk to us about this new fabulous thing! By now, I’m sure you’ve all seen them: the brace map, the double bubble map, the multi-flow map. I was reluctant at first, of course. I grew up with outlines and Venn diagrams. These just seemed cheesy.

But they won me over. I really appreciated the posters I got with the book to put in my classroom; I could point them out as a useful tool whenever the opportunity arose. They’re better than ready-made graphic organizers because it pushes kids to be independent critical thinkers, it’s more open to individual creativity, and we all know that the brain loves pictures.