Concept mapping can be built on overtime to show progress and growth in knowledge and understanding and also reveal connections or misconceptions that help your target needs. Concept maps come in many forms. For example: spider: students write the central idea inside a bubble in the centre of the map. They add sub-ideas by labelling a line drawn from the central bubble hierarchical: students present information in a hierarchical fashion with the most general or important concepts at the top of the map and the more specific or less important concepts arranged below flowchart: students organise information as a linear process to describe a sequence of events, stages, phases or actions that lead to an outcome systems: students organise information in a format similar to a flowchart, but with the addition of 'inputs' and 'outputs'. The educational evidence base Concept mapping was found by Project Zero to be a robust instrument for uncovering students’ thinking about thinking. As an assessment tool, it is: non-threatening open-ended enough to allow for rich and detailed responses (including associative, emotional, strategic and meta responses) manageable for you to incorporate into your assessments. How it might be used in practice You can use concept mapping at the beginning of a unit to uncover what students know and understand. You can then add to it throughout a unit to show a student’s growth and depth of understanding over time. You can use individual maps as the basis for constructing a whole-of-class map. Guides on concept mapping: Carnegie Mellon University offers this guide for designing and using concept maps. The University of Delaware offers an alternative guide to creating a concept map including this example for chemistry Making thinking visible Tools and processes that make knowledge, understanding and thinking visible to both teachers and students can take the form of a wide variety of simple scaffolds. These are designed to prompt or deepen individual or collective thinking, while simultaneously revealing where learners are in their learning at any point in time. The following examples are thinking routines developed by Project Zero to support teachers and students to make thinking visible. They can be used across various year levels and content areas to uncover what students know and understand, and to see the connections they are or aren't yet making: Interpretation with justification routine: what makes you say that? A routine for activating prior knowledge and making the connections: 3-2-1 bridge A routine for organising understanding of a topic through concept mapping: generate, sort, connect, elaborate A map for tracking and guiding understanding: peel the fruit A structure for activating and building prior knowledge, establishing a purpose for learning and for summarising what was learned: KWL (know, want, learn) charts The educational evidence base Visible thinking is the product of research conducted by Project Zero, which included a team of researchers from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The research focused on children's thinking and learning and incorporated a sustained research and development process in classrooms. How it might be used in practice Tools and processes that make understanding and thinking visible are everyday tools that enrich a teacher's repertoire while offering insights into learners. They can be used at the beginning, during or at the end of a unit. Six facets of the understanding rubric For Wiggins and Jay McTighe, when someone truly understands, they: can explain concepts, principles, and processes by putting it their own words, teaching it to others, justifying their answers, and showing their reasoning can interpret by making sense of data, text, and experience through images, analogies, stories, and models can apply by effectively using and adapting what they know in new and complex contexts demonstrate perspective by seeing the big picture and recognising different points of view display empathy by perceiving sensitively and walking in someone else’s shoes have self-knowledge by showing meta-cognitive awareness, using productive habits of mind, and reflecting on the meaning of the learning experience.



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