A Word
to the Teacher
Concept Mapping
A concept map visually displays information by
using main ideas and labeled lines.
The concept map identifies relationships between important ideas and concepts,
and it demonstrates a deeper, conceptual student understanding.
Many students
find it easier to make sense of information when it is presented in a visual format.
The concept map can help students to organize information by
focusing, identifying connections, and supporting interpretation.
Select a unit of work
for concept mapping.
Identify the major/minor concepts.
Each concept may be put onto a separate
piece of paper in order to rearrange them.
Rank the concepts from most general to most specific.
Arrange the most general concept at the top.
Link this concept to the most specific concepts using straight lines.
Label all lines with linking words that explain the relationship.
Maps usually, but
not always,
read from top to bottom.
Crosslinks can be used to show even more connections and relationships (Skoog
& Lien, 1988).
Keeping a science notebook is an effective way for students to save
about experiences for future use and provides a way for students to reflect upon
those experiences (Marcarelli, 2010). The process of notebooking:
Creates a space for students to reflect about experiences and encourages insight
into activities
Allows students opportunities to create
Encourages students to process what they are learning
Allows for students’
free flow of ideas and feelings
Gives a broader perspective over time and encourages students to reread and
identify recurring themes
Provides students with a safe format to communicate in a healthy and
constructive way
Involves student expression and exploration of thought
An interactive notebook is another tool students use in activating prior knowledge,
recording learning experiences, and revising their thinking about the topic or
concept. The input is the content learned, and the output is reflective thought gained
through learning experiences.
Benefits of the use of interactive notebooks are
developing students’
thinking skills, increasing communication, and differentiating
instruction (Marcarelli, 2010).
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