Thinking Maps are a set of eight graphic organizers that involve higher level thinking skills and help set up a common “tool” for children to use to organize their thoughts. Thinking Maps help promote cooperative learning, creativity and aide the child in pulling out background knowledge in order to better link it with new knowledge. They are a great way for me to see what the child is thinking and if they are on the right track. We will use them in whole group instruction, small group instruction, partner work as well as individual work. Many times our assessments will be taken from our thoughts on the Thinking Map, therefore grades will be given and you may not actually see a pencil and paper assessment come home. The diagram below shows the eight types of Thinking Maps.
The first eight weeks of school will be spent introducing one Map per week and then we will utilize them the rest of the year. If you have any questions about them feel free to let me know, or ask your child throughout the year as they become a Thinking Map expert! J