Tuesday, January 3, 2012


     There seem to be more and more online mind mapping tools popping up everyday. How could you possibly have time to try them all out, and then decide which one is best for you? Sometimes it's frustrating when you just get comfortable with a particular web tool, and then you read some amazing review about the "best of the best" thing that your classroom cannot live without. Well, I strarted using Wise Mapping last year, and it really works for me. The true test will be when I have my students start using it during our Biomes Unit in Science this year.
     The video below does a good job of explaining the usefulness of this very handy Web 2.0 tool.

     For my class Read Aloud, we are reading Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby. It's a fantastic book, but the progression of events can be very confusing. There are basically three main characters: Hannah, Frederick and Giuseppe. In the beginning of the story, the chapters go back and forth, focusing on each character individually, completely separate from the other characters. As the book moves along, the characters' paths slowly converge until they are, all three, sharing the same story. The beginning can be confusing for students though. You've got three characters, each with their own collection of supporting characters. So, together we created the mind map below to help us keep everyone straight. You can zoom in and out (buttons in the bottom left-hand corner) to see different parts of the map.

     As always, I am by no means a master of this tool, but its intuitive design had me up and running in just a few minutes. The maps are easy to share and publish, and they also have a pretty sleek design. I'll let you know how things go when my students construct their own Biome maps. Like I said, that will be the true test. Until then, try this one out, or let me know what mind mapping tools you prefer.

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