Our campus has been a Thinking Maps campus for several years. When I taught 2nd grade dual language, each child had enough background knowledge about the maps to be able to create them, and even my most struggling learner could manipulate the map in some way. However, at the Kinder level, each student comes in having no knowledge about the maps or how to create them prior to starting Kindergarten. During the introduction and development of each map, students will begin developing different levels of mastery. We strive to have each child creating their own maps as quickly as possible, but the reality is that some students will struggle with the map making. My objective is for them to commit the concept knowledge to long term memory, not get stressed out about the map. I have developed a system in my class that helps differentiate map making. Here is one example of a community helpers vocabulary circle map that I have planned for next week. After the students finished the lesson, I will post AFTER pics.
After learning about community helpers in various ways throughout the week, I will have each child draw a community helper card out of a hat. The student will then be required to create a VOCABULARY CIRCLE MAP for their chosen community helper. (My example is of a GARBAGE COLLECTOR).
The different colors of construction paper represent 4 different groups of students in my class. Each group has named themselves for the October month in small group.
Green: Trolls (it's what they wanted...)
Prior to the lesson, I "prep their maps". The students in the ghost group still need the map outline, a line to write their words on, and will most likely need assistance when completing the assignment. The students in the cat group just need the outline. The students in the pumpkin group need the middle circle defined and then they will be able to create the rest and the students in the troll group only need blank sheet of paper.
My ultimate goal is to phase out "prepping the maps" altogether. Eventually, the pumpkin group will not need the middle circle and the cat group will only need the middle circle....etc.
What is a vocabulary circle map?
This map combines a CIRCLE MAP with the FRAYER model.
CENTER: Community Helper card glued down
Top RIGHT: Draw a picture of your community helper
Bottom RIGHT: Write about your community helper
Bottom LEFT: what would happen if we did NOT have that helper in our community