Mind mapping in the Classroom and Beyond

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Mind mapping in the Classroom and Beyond by Mind Map: Mind mapping in the Classroom and Beyond

1. David Weiner: Mind mapping can be used for a variety of professional development initiatives, including brainstorming certain topics, but it is perhaps most useful for faculty meetings. I can see how a mind map would help organize faculty thinking on an issue and it would cater to different learning needs (visual/spatial instead of verbal-linguistic).

2. I am sometimes hesitant to give students projects in which they come up with their ideas all on their own, as they are at first excited but then very confused and disorganized. Mind mapping takes the frustration out of this process for students of all ages, and could be an essential part of project planning and note taking in general, allowing students to summarize organized notes from the week into a way that they can personally understand as a cohesive concept.

3. Khalid: Educators can use mind mapping in PD sessions to create visualizations for lesson plans and units. In brain-targeted teaching, it is recommended to provide students with visualizations of the learning objectives. In turn, mind-maps can be used to visualize learning goals for teachers and their students.

3.1. Crystal Tyson: Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking. When teachers take the time to break down the learning objectives, the mind mapping platform can help teachers have a better visual of what teaching strategies would be best suited to the learning objectives.

3.2. Colleen: We have done this in our math department a couple of times, and it's SO useful. I want to use mind maps more to plan out more units. Great idea!

3.3. Jenine: Khalid, myself and the science teachers for  grades ,6,7,and 8 meet at my school every other Tuesday, we definitely could use mind mapping to make the bigger connections between the concepts that scholars are learning throughout the year, we usually do it verbally but as the reading said it can get lost in thought and this would be  a great way to have those  connections stick.

3.3.1. Khalid : Thanks team! I have never done mind mapping in a PD; however, I truly believe it would be a useful tool. Thanks for reading my post.

4. Jenine: Can be used in personal development meetings in order to explain the reason behind a certain problem in your school. We have done mind mapping at my school to brainstorm the behavioral issues that we have in our school.

4.1. Meaghan: Jenine, I had similar ideas. I can see the power of using this tool to problem solve issues on a whole school basis. The ability to keep comments anonymous could also be powerful and create a space where teachers and staff can be transparent about the issues and potential solutions.

5. Discussion Question A: In what ways can you use mindmapping in a K-12 environment?

5.1. Khalid: Crystal, this is a great idea! Too often students just choose what they think will be easiest to argue without truly considering which side will be "easiest" to support. Tasking students with mind mapping both sides of a controversy would be extremely helpful and good practice for forming logical arguments.

5.2. (Example) Kathleen: Identifying multiple character traits for a character in a novel

5.3. Khalid: During a seminar or discussion based lesson, a teacher and his/her students can use mind mapping to capture the thoughts of each contributor during the discussion. In turn, students can witness first-hand how everyone’s thoughts are interwoven and interconnected. Undoubtedly, student engagement will rise, as students will want to have their thoughts immortalized in the mind map.

5.3.1. Anna Reman: Khalid, this is an awesome idea and I would love to see it in action during a socratic seminar style discussion where the debriefing is for the students to look at how the teacher has mapped their ideas and develop a better understanding of how the class thought process developped.

5.4. Brooke: Brainstorm a class set of norms and rules at the beginning of the year.

5.4.1. Crystal Tyson: This is a great idea. Normally I have students contribute to shared norms by writing them on the board. This idea could definitely add a twist to that opening of school routine. Students can just continue to build off of each others' ideas, and from there they can see how much they have in common.

5.4.2. Colleen: I might use this idea in my classroom this year. Not only will students create important norms, but they will be practicing a useful note taking strategy while they do it.

5.4.3. John: Great idea Brooke! Mind maps are not limited to content based activities. Rules are a great application.

5.4.4. David Weiner: Ah, I like this a lot Brooke! Having students visualize class policies and norms would be a great way of making sure all students "get" the policies that are created.

5.5. Brooke: organize ideas while reading a text and help visual learners grasp concepts

5.5.1. Jenine: Brooke, this is a great idea, my scholars really get lost in making connections in science,. I originally wanted to have them make concept maps, but to me mind mapping helps the scholars think on a deeper level.

5.6. Mikaelle: When designing an experiment students can use the tool to brainstorm independent, dependent and control variables.

5.6.1. Maryann Velasco: Mikaelle, I love the idea of brainstorming I could really see my students using this in the classroom.

5.6.2. Brooke @Mikaelle: Love this idea! Maybe take it a step further and have them design a hypothesis to test too...design the whole experiment.

5.7. Colleen: Ask students to brainstorm ideas and key points about a topic before beginning that topic, then modify the mind map as necessary throughout the lesson/unit.

5.7.1. Khalid: Colleen, having students brainstorm ideas and key points prior to diving into a new unit would be extremely helpful. Students would benefit greatly from having a visual of their learning goals.

5.8. Crystal Tyson: Mindmapping would be an effective tool to use when I have students to provide the pros and cons for an argumentative essay. Many times students will choose the side of an argument that they agree with most instead of choosing the side of an argument that they can support with the best evidence.

5.8.1. Kathleen: I love this idea Crystal! Each reason has multiple pieces of evidence to back it up and I think this would be an excellent way to display a pro/con organizer!

5.9. Jenine: Mind mapping can be used to connect the different units o science together in order to understand scientific phenomenons and how they work together in the natural world.

5.9.1. John: I constantly am using mind maps instead of graphic organizers in my science classes. Can really help students make connections among the broader concepts.

5.9.2. Brooke @Jenine: Aweomse Idea!  maybe even mind map one unit to see how the objectives relate...give students the big picture before they dive into content.

5.10. Maryann Velasco: Mindmapping can be used as a form of graphic organizer for student. It allows students to visually see how things are connected and to also write their own opinion and see the opinion of other students.

5.10.1. Micaela Baker: Maryann, I love the idea of teaching students to use mind mapping as a form of graphic organizers! This is a great way for them to get all of their ideas out as they come and not have to worry about complete sentences.

5.10.2. Hi Maryann, I agree that mind maps really cater to visual/spatial learners. It's a great way to reach these students! We have to be careful, however, not to overuse mind maps because for some students who do not respond well to visual cues, other learning tools may be needed.

5.11. Micaela Baker: Mindmapping can be used in lower elementary as a way to have the whole class connect on ideas behind a certain discussion or topic. The teacher can facilitate this by writing the students' ideas on the board and making connections between everyone.

5.12. Anna Reman: A lot of my students struggle with picking the best high school for their needs and future hopes. A mindmap could assist in matching the qualities they aspire to find in a high school experience (or a college experience) and they can compare the mindmaps to each other, where each student creates a maindmap for one school in order to choose the best fit for them. Sometimes school and college criteria is difficult to visualize and understand so being able to include pictures in a mindmap instead of dense text or just bullet points can help the decision-making process.

5.12.1. Meaghan: Hi Anna! I love this idea! A lot of my 8th graders go through the same thing, and a tool like this could help them organize information on each school and serve as an info bank for future scholars to use. I could also see them taking information gathered and using this tool to create a pro/con list as well as a personal inventory for what they want in a high school.

5.13. Meaghan McGovern: I can see many uses for this tool in my classroom, including prepping scholars for seminars and longer essays. This could also be very useful in a history class where timelines are necessary, notes can be taken from texts, and scholars can begin to see continuity and change over time (a key historical thinking skill!)

5.13.1. Allison Rosen: Meaghan, I agree that this strategy could be  of great use in prepping for essays and incorporating the use of timelines and source references. I am sometimes nervous that my students do not keep track of multiple sources and where/how they fit into a "big picture" but this would certainly remove that worry! Thanks for the ideas.

5.14. David Weiner: I'm so glad that you've introduced me to mind mapping online! I've used graphic organizers before to help students understand concepts in history or the writing process in general, but this takes it to a whole new level. Mind maps can help me meet the objectives of Bloom's Taxonomy; for example, by moving one branch of a mind map to another area, students have to think critically and justify why it's OK to move a branch.

5.14.1. Mind maps could also be used for formative assessment! In fact, this is a great way to make sure students are understanding material. In my AP European History class, for example, I can see students using mind maps to connect major events and/or ideas.

6. Discussion Question B: In what ways can you use mindmapping for adult learning/professional development?

6.1. (Example) Kathleen: Brainstorming ideas for upcoming Professional Development

6.2. Brooke: Brainstorm and come up with solutions to a common problem at school.: decrease absentees or tardiness as a school.

6.2.1. Khalid : Brooke, I think your idea is a good one. Even if the teachers and the administrators are unable to decide on one solution, everyone will be able to "see" how interconnected and complicated problems within schools truly are.

6.3. Mikaelle: This could be used withing the UDL framework to brainstorm learning targets that will connect and lead to a larger learning objective.

6.3.1. John: Using Mind Maps as a brainstorming tool is a wonderful way to apply the resource.

6.3.2. Brooke @Mikaelle your comment made me think of Project Based Learning.  Mind mapping could be used for content areas to come up with a common project across disciplines.

6.4. Colleen: Teachers and other professionals could use a mindmap to brainstorm what is currently known about an issue, which would help them identify ways to resolve the issue.

6.4.1. Micaela Baker: Colleen, I agree with you! I think it would be an excellent platform for discussion across staff.

6.4.1.1. Brooke: I agree too!

6.5. Maryann Velasco: I can see mindmapping being used for curriculum mapping and creating concept webs for any subject.

6.5.1. Anna Reman: I like the idea of curriculum maps being able to connect branches to each other because in math everything builds off of the other units and if there was a large poster of a mindmap for educators and students to see where the curriculum builds and overlaps it would help to strengthen the weaker points of our curriculum.

6.6. Crystal Tyson: I could see mindmapping being an effective tool for teachers to use when curriculum planning or for breaking down the teacher evaluation rubric.

6.6.1. Maryann Velasco: I agree with you Crystal that mindmapping can be an effective tool for curriculum planning and breaking down a rubric. I can see all the elements of a rubric being explained and using it as a check list as well.

6.6.2. Khalid : Crystal, using mind mapping to explain and visualize teacher evaluation rubrics is a really creative idea. Too often these rubrics are complicated, outdated, or continuously changing. It would be best if teachers and administrators could visualize these benchmarks or evaluative markers using a mind map in lieu of just words. In turn, it may be easier for newer teachers to internalize the rubrics more easily.

6.7. Anna Reman: When doing any sort of activity where as an educator you are identifying the overlapping identities that affect your teaching practices, you can create a mindmap to help you better visualize the experiences and intersectionality of your identities in order to develop a cohesive understanding of how you relate to your school environment and your students.

6.7.1. Brooke @Anna, I love your idea, it made me think of presenting the overall big picture to our students too. You wouldn't start a puzzle if you didn't have the picture to go off of. Exactly the same with learning new objectives.  If you don't see how they overlap and fit together you are lost.

6.8. Meaghan McGovern: I could see this tool used in a few ways. First, as a way to gather information in a PD session or to gather ideas and brainstorm collaboratively (I'm thinking as a problem solving tool). This tool could also be helpful in creating Long Term Plans and breaking down objectives in a way that shows the connections throughout a subject/course (that would be especially helpful to new teachers)

6.9. Micaela Baker: Mindmapping can be used for staff collaboration over different ideas and data analysis conclusions. It could be a platform for staff to come together and discuss certain issues happening around campus.

6.9.1. Allison Rosen: Micaela, You and a few of our classmates thought in such a creative way that I really would never consider, as I thought of the question from a purely planning perspective! I agree that a minimal could be a wonderful tool to solve problems, especially when changes are anonymous and participants can feel free to speak their minds. I think that my school would certainly benefit from a place where we could share our ideas and build off of one another, adjusting to create a solution that incorporates the group's contributions.

6.10. Allison Rosen: I see mind mapping as a simple solution to the daunting task of curriculum and unit planning. With certain large goals in mind, teachers can use mind mapping to collaboratively work through different ideas and strategies of how to achieve them. What gives mind mapping an advantage, in my opinion, is its ability to adjust and transition along with the needs of students and the ideas and expectations of teachers.

7. NOTE FROM TEAM B: Green Bubble: Topic of Mindmap Blue Bubble: Discussion Questions White Bubble: Responses to the Discussion Questions

8. The white + above lets you add a thread to respond to the mindmap

9. + = zoom in - = zoom out gear = full screen