Friday, April 3, 2015

Graphic organizers

I have been reading a great article about graphic organizers, thinking maps, semantic maps, webs... They have different names and we find them extremely useful and a great help not only when you have to study but when you have to provide a framework for the topic concept to be learned or to organize newly acquired information.

I want to share one book: "The Power of Retelling: Developmental Steps for Building Comprehension" where Carrice Cummins and Vicki Benson emphasize how the students learn to use organizers as a way to prioritize and organize their thinking. The process facilitates the activation of existing schema and helps students chart new knowledge.

Another very helpful information, if you want to deepen in them, are the applications and tools that we can find in internet. The most widely known programs are:
1. Inspiration
2. Popplet
3. Idea Flip
4. iBrainstorm
5. Creately

You can find tens of examples and choose the one you like most in
6. Cooltoolsforschools  or
7. Techtoolkit

I also found some pages where you can download prepared material if you just go easy or in a hurry...
8. Eduplace (in English) or Eduplace (in Spanish)
9. You can find also printable diagrams in Enchantedlearning
10. Teachervision 



In The Power of Retelling: Developmental Steps for Building Comprehension, Carrice Cummins and Vicki Benson emphasized how students learn to use graphic organizers as a way to prioritize and organize their thinking. This process then facilitates the activation of existing schema and helps students chart new knowledge. As a result, students are engaged in a continuous process of establishing cognitive categories, or schema, as they work with the graphic organizers.
In this age of accessible digital resources, there are a variety of easy graphic organizer applications to support our students’ thinking.  Students can use these tools to create graphic organizers to facilitate brainstorming ideas, create outlines, illustrate topics or concepts, and plan presentations. Many applications are either cloud-based or available for download to your iPad, iPhone, or Android, making the apps readily accessible to students.
Inspiration is probably the most widely known program in terms of graphic organizers used in educational settings. Inspiration has also shown that it can grow with the digital age and the basic version can be downloaded as a free application available for the iPad. Features include adaptable templates or templates built from scratch as well as a variety of fonts, colors, styles, shapes, and graphics.  One especially neat feature is that students can add audio to different elements of the graphic organizer they create.  The graphic organizer can be shared through iCloud or emailed. 
Popplet is a cloud-based application designed to make textual and visual experiences available to users. Students can draw or add pictures to illustrate, and they can include lines to show relationships between each element. Once students are done creating, they can save the Popplet to their account, or they can export as jpeg or PDF. Students can either use Popplet through the cloud or download to their iPhone or iPad. 
Idea Sketch enables students to create a graphic organizer with the additional capability of switching back and forth from visual view for your more spatial learners to outline view for your more linear learners. Students can insert pictures, change text size, add connecting lines, and use the color feature to show relationships between key thoughts or ideas.
A fourth tool, iBrainstorm, facilitates students’ ability to capture and share information.  As sticky notes are added, then each note can be dragged to change the hierarchy or order, colors can be assigned to indicate relationships, and the freeform drawing tool can be used to add lines or arrows indicating relationships. This application can also be shared between devices.
- See more at: http://www.reading.org/literacy-daily/digital/post/engage/2015/02/20/taking-organized-thoughts-to-the-cloud#sthash.3FLPwBmm.dpuf
  • epresent students’ background knowledge about a topic,
  • provide a framework for the topic concepts to be learned,
  • deepen analysis of the topic, and/or
  • organize newly acquired information about the topic
  • - See more at: http://www.reading.org/literacy-daily/digital/post/engage/2015/02/20/taking-organized-thoughts-to-the-cloud#sthash.3FLPwBmm.dpuf
  • epresent students’ background knowledge about a topic,
  • provide a framework for the topic concepts to be learned,
  • deepen analysis of the topic, and/or
  • organize newly acquired information about the topic
  • - See more at: http://www.reading.org/literacy-daily/digital/post/engage/2015/02/20/taking-organized-thoughts-to-the-cloud#sthash.3FLPwBmm.dpu

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