Monday, October 24, 2011

Thinking Maps and Guided Reading

In a whole group lesson, the students used a vertical sequencing flow map to order the events in the book How Apples Grow after we discussed the book and practiced orally with a partner several times. We made construction paper apples for a little fun and touch of Fall. After modeling and using this thinking map several times, the students will now begin to use this thinking map in small groups to order the events in their guided reading books. I keep copies of the thinking maps that have been used and modeled extensively in whole group lessons such as circle maps, flow maps (including beginning, middle and end) and the one pictured, bubble maps, etc. handy in my guided reading area. This is a fast and simple way to deliver powerful differentiated instruction because the books the kids use to complete the maps are on their own instructional level. Many kids like to work with a partner in their guided reading group and others like to work independently, but all of them have to think about and refer back to the text that is just right for them providing scaffolding and challenge at the same time. While I am reading with one group, other groups are working on their thinking maps and having great literacy discussions much like in literacy circles or book clubs.

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