My students need butcher paper and markers to make Thinking Maps to display on our classroom walls.
One of my favorite parts of teaching is helping students make connections between ideas, but my most favorite part of teaching is helping students articulate these ideas in order to communicate well with others.
My students attend a large urban high school in southern California.
For most of my students, English is a second language, and although most of them live in poverty, they work hard to increase their language abilities. With help and structure, these students can and do earn top academic scores and increase their school wide academic literacy skills in order to be successful in all of their classes.
My students have been trained in Thinking Maps, a method of mapping out ideas in order to facilitate critical thinking skills necessary for academic success. In particular, these students become experts in comparing & contrasting, sequencing, cause & effect, classification, analogies, part-to-whole, etc.
By using the butcher paper and markers that we are requesting, the students can map out their thinking and place the maps on our classroom walls to help them learn and organize information in a manner that leads to writing and projects.
It has been said that the real poverty in low socio-economic students is the poverty of cognitive skills.
The academic self-confidence these Thinking Maps instill in these students is remarkable. The students use these thinking skills originally in their language arts classes, then transfer these skills to all academic classes. Not only do these Thinking Maps help students in K-12, they carry over to college, helping students to succeed in higher education as well.
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