Thinking Maps in Math

I don't know if you have heard of Thinking Maps. They are graphic organizers, but so much more. They transcend disciplines more than I thought. See, I teach math, and I only saw Thinking Maps in reading and English classes. I was having a very hard time seeing the use of these organizers in math. Then I went to a two day professional development specifically for math teachers. I now have a new appreciation for these organizers.

My first use of these thinking maps will be a combination of the circle map and tree map. They are the easiest ones (so I have been told) that students relate to. My plan is this:

In the center center, "Properties of Equality." Note to self, write the words, then draw the circle. Have students write down anything they know about properties of equality. You may want to start them off by giving them "addition." Students should have:
  • Addition property of equality
  • Subtraction property of equality
  • Multiplication property of equality
  • Division property of equality
  • Transitive property of equality
  • Symmetric property of equality
  • Reflexive property of equality
  • Substitution property of equality
It kinda looks like the inside of a CD case. The Center is what you want to talk about. The large circle encloses items about the inside word/phrase/concept. The rectangle is called "Frame of reference." This is where attributes are given. Where did this information come from? Did the student already know it? Did the get help from classmates (missing from this pic), from the teacher (Mrs. Wood) or from a textbook.

The idea isn't to stop with the map, but to expand on it. In this particular case, I thought students could explore more about the properties and categorize them. Guess what, there is a map for that, ironically names Tree Map.

Get students started on this by showing them at least one example. Here I have given the algebraic method, an  example with numbers, and when to use this property.

You can split the work up by having groups work on different ones, then putting them together in one large tree map. When I created my  #made4math post last week, I was thinking of creating a gtree map that I could put on the chalk board. I hope to post pics after I have done this with my students.

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