Our Grade 3 teachers, Mr Karl and Ms Stacy have just finished a UOI on Migration, they shared a sample of before and after concept maps and reflections completed at the start and end of the unit. Although there is nothing radically new about concept mapping, like all great thinking tools, simplicity of application lends itself to multiple uses – making them a great tool for assessment and evaluation.
Using the concept maps throughout the unit really helped both children and teachers to see the development of understanding in connection with the big ideas of learning. I was impressed by the quote from one of the students who said “if you learn the language you can understand the culture.”
At the start of the unit a number of students thought migration was about going on holiday. Through ongoing independent work and peer sharing students tracked their learning and made adjustments. Interestingly by the end of the unit some students chose to completely rewrite their concept maps in the light of their learning, a clear indication of metacognition in action. Reflecting on the process at end of the unit a number of students were clearly able to think about their own thinking through the connections they had made.