Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for many things: one’s health, one’s family, and one’s job are commonly mentioned as “Things for which I am thankful.” At Thinking Maps, of course, we are thankful for all the dedicated teachers who give so much for children throughout the year.
But today, let’s also give thanks for something a little out of the ordinary: the Thanksgiving sitcom. As you kick back and enjoy your holiday, perhaps you’ll recall some of these classics:
“Turkeys Away” — WKRP in Cincinnati – Les Nessman reporting live from the infamous “turkey drop” promotion put on by the radio station. Even the actors had trouble keeping a straight face.
“Thanksgiving Orphans” – Cheers – Who can forget the gang from Cheers going to Carlas’s house for Thanksgiving? Of course, the food fight is what made this one memorable.
“The One with All the Thanksgivings” – Friends – Joey gets his head stuck inside a turkey. Need we say more?
These are just a few of our favorites; we’re sure you have yours, too. Feel free to share them below!
So – whether you celebrate with turkeys falling from the sky, a fabulous food fight, or a turkey stuck on your head, we hope you have a happy, laughter-filled Thanksgiving.
We’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming after the holiday.
“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” -John F. Kennedy
The cuteness is nothing compared to the brains at work here. From Mickey Gurganus, Instructional Coach at South Greenville Elementary School in Greenville, North Carolina:
South Greenville Elementary serves has about 520 students. Many of our students are from homes in poverty or high needs. Our teachers work daily to create an atmosphere for learning. Write From The Beginning and Beyond and Thinking Maps provide them a framework on which the students can model their ideas, learning, and writing. Our second grade team began teaching WFTB immediately because they knew it would help our students grow as writers. This year they are leading our school in implementing the program with fidelity. Here is what the Second Grade Team at SGE had to say about WFTB
A lot of writers struggle with “I don’t know what to write.” Using Thinking Maps is a prescription for brainstorming and planning the pre-writing process. This process provides scaffolded instruction for students allowing them to concentrate on the content of the story rather than the mechanics and conventions. Students have exclaimed after being exposed to the use of thinking maps in conjunction with meaningful colors, “My story writes itself!”
I remember meeting Judith McLaurin in a coffee shop one weekend to talk to her about a job opening we had. Neither of us had any coffee, but we spent two fast hours talking about all sorts of things. She was engaging, delightful, and willing to laugh at almost anything. I knew I had found our next receptionist.
But she was so much more than that. Judith quickly became part of the family. All those qualities I was fortunate enough to witness in the coffee shop came through in more ways than I could have imagined. Judith was a star – adored and beloved by all. Her warmth and spirit were infectious, and you couldn’t spend time with her without being better off for it.
When she had to retire a few years ago for health reasons, it was a sad day for our office. Happily, however, Judith remained an important part of the Thinking Maps family. She attended company parties and get togethers, and continued to maintain close relationships with those she met in her time with us. My kids (as did many others) knew her as “Jugee.”
The world lost a bright light when Judith passed away last week. She is missed by so many, but we shouldn’t grieve for long. Rather, let’s be bold, put on some bright colors, and embrace all that life has to offer. Jugee would’ve wanted it that way.
Kindergarten students commenced their partnership with the Norton Museum of Art with unforgettable tours of the exhibit Block by Block and several galleries. This collaboration has been coined Mu-SEE-uM. Docents BJ Golboro, Carol Ann Khawly, and Barbara Mitrione, who will be working with the children throughout the year, led them in a specially designed and pre-planned exploration of architecture. We discovered all kinds of colors and shapes, examined LEGO models of skyscrapers, and even got to build our own structures.
Teachers followed up the visit documenting the changes in students’ thinking prior to and after the museum visit. Attached below is a Multi-Flow Map embedded with Circle Maps, which narrates the flow of ideas centered on the following question: What is a Museum? The map illustrates that visiting the Norton Museum affected the children’s thinking resulting in some wonderful new insights and discoveries. It’s our “Multi-Flircle” or “Multi-Clow,” depending on whom the question is posed. Also included is a video detailing elements of our map.
Here is a sequence of what happened:
Here’s brief narrative of what happened as it is illustrated through our Thinking Map and the additional images:
- As a group, the teachers and students chose a Multi-Flow Map and the I Used to Think, Now I Think routine to tell a story about how their thinking changed after visiting The Norton Museum.
- Before the visit, they were asked the question, “What is a museum?” (initial responses are on neon green sticky notes).
- We created a visual pictorial of their actual visit.
- After the visit, they were asked, “What is a museum?” (answers in neon fuschia)
- Teachers made their thinking visible through the documentation they posted on the bulletin board outside their classroom. This would enable visiting parents, colleagues, and other students to view this visual story.
- Students gathered around the finished documentation with their teacher and talked about what it represents (change in thinking), with their teacher pointing out and asking the children to share the new thoughts that flowed after the visit.
- A student played “The Teacher” and demonstrated what it would be like to teach their parent about what our documentation means.
- We encouraged the children to talk about our Multi-Flow with their parents on their way to class so their parents know just how their THINKING changed after going to the MUSEUM.
About the teachers:
Rochelle Ibañez Wolberg is the Learning Specialist/Coordinator of Support Services and Museum Partnership Coordinator at Palm Beach Day Academy. She holds graduate degrees in Educational Psychology and School Psychology from Fordham University.
Anne Methe holds a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University and a M.A. degree in Early Childhood Education from Florida State University. She has been a Teacher of Kindergarten for 31 years, 28 of which have been at PBDA. Anne writes, “A wise person at my school once said, “Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.” My personal mission is for children to love coming to school and experience the joy of us all learning together.”
Danielle Aronson holds a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida. She has been teaching for 14 years, 8 of which have been in Kindergarten at PBDA. Danielle says, “I feel so lucky to teach kindergarten and to be able to play such an important role in each child’s life in our class. I love to learn and to be able to pass that gift to young children is an honor. I often think of Henry Brooks Adams’ quote “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
Look at this map that preschool teacher Unique Wilson uses for classroom management at Centennial Avenue Elementary School in Roosevelt, Long Island. Clever!
There’s nothing better than hearing feedback and tales from educators. Take a look at a recent letter we received from a teacher who won a Thinking Maps Day 1 training at her school. She shares how she immediately implemented what she learned. Do you have a Thinking Maps story to share?
Susan and Terri,
Thank you both so much for Thinking Maps training on Friday. I really feel like I walked away with tools to implement immediately in my classroom. I came home very excited to put these maps into my lesson plans and I got right to work. As I was working, I kept hearing my husband (currently back in college) making frustrated comments from his desk. I asked if I could help and he said, “only if you can tell me the difference between the pelvis and the false pelvis.” I said, “I don’t know, but I do know the map to use.” We mapped the differences together and literally 3 minutes later, he completely understood what he had been struggling with for a day and a half. He said, “Wow, that’s like a trick.” I told him it wasn’t a “trick,” it was organizing his thinking in a visual format to make sense of the information. Needless to say, he is completely hooked and wants our sons (one in college, one in high school) trained immediately. I agree. Thanks again ladies… from all of us at the Soto house.
Maria Louisa Soto