Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pedagogical Flow Map

With the start of the second semester, I added a pedagogical flow map across the top of my white board so that students could track their progression through a unit and know where they were on the map each day. I made magnets that say "today" so that I can move those to the appropriate box of the pedagogical flow map each day. I can also write specifics on the white board about the area with the "today" arrow, basically making a flee map for the day's activities.
Some days involve more than one area. For example, the day displayed in the photo above has arrows pointing to both "concept development" and "skill development." Students were exploring the concepts that will develop into themes in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, and students new to my classes this semester were developing their skills with Thinking Maps as they explored those concepts.
I reduced the pedagogical flow map to eight boxes by combining some areas so that it didn't appear too overwhelming for students. And practically, it now fits well across my white board. The eight boxes are concept development, vocab development, skill development, guided lesson, mediation & reflection, independent practice, review, and assessment. Since the unit will be working on vocab and concepts and reflecting throughout, I told students that the "Today" arrows would not be progressing exactly from one box to the next.
The pedagogical flow map is new this semester, but for the past two years I have kept a flow map for the daily agenda on the right side of my white board (see photo above). With the start of the semester I added just two simple magnets--a stop sign that says reflect and an arrow that says "We are here." Simply adding the arrow and moving it throughout the day allowed students to see that they were progressing through the day and allows them to know where they are at all times, even if they happen to daydream for a few minutes. My seniors were so impressed that I made magnets to keep them on track.
I hope that both flow maps will be a classroom management aid by helping students stay focused because they know what they are supposed to be doing at any given time. The pedagogical flow map also lets students know that I have a plan for each unit and that everything we do is connected and has a purpose.
Finally, the "reflect" stop sign reminds me and my students that their brains need a break throughout the daily agenda flow map. Yesterday, during 6th hour with my second semester seniors, I noticed that the noise level was picking up, so I moved the "reflect" stop sign to the middle of the white board and put the "We are here" arrow by it. Two minutes later, I simply moved the "We are here" arrow back to the appropriate place on the daily flow map. The students calmed down and got back to work. I couldn't believe how smoothly that worked.

1 comment:

Scott Woelber said...

I really like the idea of creating a flow map so students always know what is supposed to be happening during a day and during an entire unit. The magnetic arrow is a great idea!