Math and Thinking Maps

We have been working hard to incorporate Thinking Maps into our daily learning in all subject areas.  We are finding all kinds of ways to use them:)  Today I'm sharing a few ways we have used them in Math.

Brace Maps
One way to use brace maps that I just learned about at a training was taking apart word problems.  I love this because it really helps students find those important parts, what we know and what we need to find out.  Some of my students really caught onto this and liked using them to solve their word problems. 

Flow Maps
I have to confess, this was one of those "last minute/oh my gosh I'm gonna change my lesson plans" ideas:)

Flow maps are so easy to incorporate into our reading block and with good results but I wanted them to try it in math.  We were working on making bar models to solve word problems and were almost ready to quiz on this lesson.  I typed up about 6 new word problems similar to what were had been practicing.  I broke the kids into teams of 3 and gave each team a word problem and told them they had to create a flow map giving the steps to make a bar model to solve that word problem.  

THEN, I took collected the flow maps and word problems.  I then handed out the flow maps only to the teams (mixing them up) and they had to try and solve the word problem based on the flow map only.  Wowzers!!!  Some of them found that this was not so easy based on the information or lack of information in the flow maps.
Finally, I gave back the actual word problem that went with that flow map and they had to create a new bar model based on the word problem only and then compare:)  Some got the same answer because the flow map they had included very clear details/steps....some found that they got the incorrect answer or no answer based on their flow map because it didn't have enough info or some steps were left out.

This was really eye opening to my kiddos!  They really enjoyed it too!  We glued the flow map and bar model on one side of a piece of construction paper and word problem and bar model on the other side and hung them up;)  

Tree Maps
"Taking apart" word problems is always a challenge for kids...looking for those "key words/phrases" is so important so we made Tree Maps in our STEM journals listing several of those key words and phrases based on the operation.

Thanks for popping by.  It has been forever since I've blogged...I'm hoping life will settle down so I can get better about it....and yes, I forgot/ditched Monday Made It last month:(   That will be back a week from tomorrow:)  Would love it if you linked up something!

Have a blessed day!!


  1. Can you give a step by step lesson on how to incorporate flow maps? I'd love to see an example! :) Please and thank you!

  2. Yes!!!^^^^ would be great to have an example.

  3. Yes!!!^^^^ would be great to have an example.

  4. WOWSER....Is Correct! Loved the application ideas and that you did not have students solve a gazillion problems but rather focused their efforts on just a couple to make certain they truly understood. Great to see some awesome usage of the Thinking Maps in Math!!


Back to Top