Mind mapping your goals and expectations for the new school year.
We are all familiar with the mind mapping concept, and we'd be willing to bet you've used the tool with your students from time to time. But, have you thought about using mind mapping to help you visualize your perfect classroom setting?
Glennis Edge Cunningham from the University of Texas in Austin conducted a study in 2005 to see if mind mapping would have any effect on student achievement in high school. Cunningham discovered that 80% of the students reported that mind mapping helped them understand difficult concepts easier, especially in biology.
Mind mapping can be a powerful tool for principals and teachers too! Here is how you can start using mind mapping to help you have the best school year ever:
Step 1: Start with making a big-picture list of the fundamental things you want to achieve in your classroom or on your campus.
- Classroom Behavior Management
- Social and Emotional Wellbeing
- Academic Achievement
- Parent Involvement
- Classroom Habits
- Community Extensions
Step 2: Draw out your mind map.
Take out a plain sheet of paper (or download this template) and draw a circle in the center, then write goals for 2019-20 school year in the center. Draw lines out from the center of the circle and write your big-picture topics. Next to these lines, write out the precise points you want to concentrate on for this year.
Step 3: Write a short mission statement for each subheading.
Writing out a mission statement for each subheading will help you keep your focus on what really matters to you. You can download this template to help you get started. An example mission statement for the subheading of parents is:
"I will strive to be a positive role model for my students by exhibiting kind, positive, and open communications with parents. I will seek out assistance from parents as they are partners in this educational journey."
Step 4: Go deeper into the planning process.
If you have the time and would like to dive a bit further in the details, go for it! Let's take a look at our classroom behaviors subheading; our big-picture is classroom behaviors. Our subheadings are kindness, gratitude, respect, and leadership skills.
Now ask yourself, how and when am I going to teach my students these subheadings? Let's take kindness; how about writing a kindness note to each student during the 1st week of school? Or how about creating a kindness wall in your classroom? Make sure you have specific activities and timelines for achieving your goals.
Step 5: Laminate it.
Laminate your mind map and keep it in a place where you can review it often. A suggested spot is in your academic planner. Take a peek at it when you are planning out your weekly activities or if you have a tough day. Viewing your mind map daily or weekly will help you to stay focused on what is important.
Let us know how it goes! Share a picture of your mind map with us on our social media channels or leave a comment on our blog.
Note From the Founder
Hello. I am the founder of the 21 Day Kindness Challenge Program.