What is that a picture of above you ask? Well it’s a concept map I created(forgive the dis-clarity) . The map states and links the various concepts of algebra indicating a relationships between them (indicated by the arrows). Concept maps are a great tool and a cool way to organized thoughts, ideas and all types of information. But what is a concept map? A concept map is a type of graphic organizer that depict the relationships of different concepts. What is a graphic organizer? A graphic organizer also known as a knowledge maps is a tool that communicates knowledge through the use of visual objects that express knowledge, ideas, thoughts and the relationship between them. They are commonly used in schools as a visual aide to facilitate learning and instruction. Research has shown that graphic organizers help student literacy development, improves thinking, organizing and learning skills, helps student retention and comprehension, help students to discern, organize and retain relevant information, is beneficial for students with disabilities and (my favorite) improves student problem solving in mathematics and more.
There are various types of graphic organizers each serving a different types of needs. There are Relational organizers(storyline, fish-bone, cause and effect web and charts), category/classification(concept map, KWL chart and mind mapping), sequence organizers( chain, ladder and cycle), concept development organizers ( story web, word web, circle chart, flow chart) and more. All of these organizers serves a a particular purpose (in relation to their titles) and yields some of the results stated by researchers stated above. As reading and writing skills are becoming more important and required to be taught throughout all subjects, implementing the use of graphic organizer is great way to incorporate the use of these skills within a lesson. For example, I was required to create a lesson in a previous course that had to incorporate reading and writing and I decided to have the students to create a flow chart putting into their own words what occurs in each step of solving two variable equations. Using the flow chart I believe, make it more meaningful to the students and helps them to better organize when and what was needed to be done.
Graphic organizers are great when used correctly and chose wisely. Thus, I implore you, my readers, to explore the various type of organizers there are. As your research you’ll find out that they are very useful, even to be used organizing your daily, weekly or even yearly lives/tasks. So, enjoy your exploration!
Thanks for reading,