Friday, January 4

Guest Blogger from Primary Possibilities Blog Hop

I'm thrilled to be participating in this fun Blog Hop from the wonderful ladies at Primary Possibilities! 

Primary Possibilities

With no further's my fantastic guest (when you get to the bottom of her wonderful post, check out where I'm guest posting today and head there to pick up your Writing Workshop Freebie!)...

Hi Everyone! This is Tammy from The Resourceful Apple and I am so happy to be here. I teach first grade in sunny Florida and LOVE it! Today I am here to share a little about Thinking Maps. I have seen so many fabulous thinking map outlines by creative bloggers in their TpT units. At the time, I didn't know they were called thinking maps and I thought all story maps were thinking maps. Surprise! I was wrong.

I attended a training on Thinking Maps this year and now frequent their website and blog. There are actually 8 patterns for thinking maps which are directly related to a particular thought process. The thinking maps are used across content and grade levels.

Back in September, we made a circle map about Johnny Appleseed in Science. A circle map is used to show your frame of reference for a subject. My little ELL firstie used words and pictures to tell all she knew about deal old Johnny.

Later in the year, while reading The Little Red Hen, we used a Double Bubble Map to Compare and Contrast The Little Red Hen and the other characters in the story. A Double Bubble Map works like a Venn Diagram, but it uses circles in the middle to write the comparisons in. A Venn Diagram's middle space is often limited as it is the cross-section of the two larger circles. I had the firsties use red and blue crayons so they could see the connections.
Finally in December, we made a class Tree Map to classify the information we learned on our Christmas Tree Farm Field Trip. We grouped information into types of trees, needs of trees and farm jobs to care for trees. The kids did a great job recalling information they had learned on the tour and used it later in their writing.

After the thinking maps are made, connections are made and many times they are used as a bridge for a bigger project. In the midst of the Christmas excitement, my principal walked through for an informal evaluation. The kids were on the carpet in front of me and we were comparing and contrasting two different stories. My little cutie (You know the one...who is NEVER paying attention!) YELLS OUT "Hey, Mrs. Wathen, we should use a double bubble map!" My principal laughed after because normally she said she would have thought I prepped the kids, but knowing this little darling she knew that most definitely was NOT the case:) 

Two lessons were learned that day: 1- The kids are making the connections between the thinking maps and the thinking processes behind them. 2- The little ones who appear to be not paying attention DO take in what we are teaching them in their own way and in their own time and this dear friends is why we teach:).

Thank you Lisa for having me. I would love you to stop by my blog and visit. There will be a freebie to get you started with your own Thinking Maps.

Tammy Wathen
The Resourceful Apple

Me can find me over at this cute blog...go read my Reading/Writing Workshop post and snag a WW freebie from Google Docs. Smiles - Lisa
Grab button for YOUR BLOG NAME


  1. Love your blog! Thank you for your post :)

  2. Tammy! That was wonderful! :) I learned so much about thinking maps! I will definitely check them out! :) I loved how the kids were making connections to the text through the activities...VERY common core! ;) Great job! ;)


  3. A wonderful post! We use thinking maps in my district as well and I love seeing how other teachers use them in their classrooms!

  4. Thinking Maps are awesome! I love them, the kids love them, and it really gets them thinking about different ways our brain analyzes information! Our district has been big into them ever since I started 6 years ago, and we've had tons of training!

    Another way I like to use them is to pair up or group up students to create one together, but each student writes in a different color of marker so that I can see who came up with what ideas. :)

    Teach On.

  5. Thanks Lisa for having me! I grabbed your chart on Non-fiction text features over at Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten:)

    The Resourceful Apple


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