Graphic Organizers and You

This is for my students in 351 and anyone else who is interested (looking at you, future 580 students…)


The task was to read an article (“Eight Things Skilled Teachers Think, Say, and Do”) and construct a graphic organizer to illustrate how they think about and do (or don’t do, or don’t agree with) the things described in the article.  Nonlinguistic Representations and Identifying Similarities and Differences are actually two strategies in one class text, Classroom Instruction that Works.  This assignment occurred to me when I was reading the same reading assignment that the students read, which is a chapter that ties together nine research-based strategies for student achievement.  The photo I’m adding below is actually  my notes in the margin of that book, because as I read the content, it reminded me that I also need to make some super strides in my domain for the Domain of One’s Own initiative if I have any hope of competing.  So the content of the organizer is different from the students’ task, but the process of creating it is the same.


Sorry that you will have to turn your head…I’m still learning here.  Anyhoo, here’s what the picture shows: for the domain task, I have to show how my work and technology are integrated.  So I thought about the standard areas for most professors, which are teaching, research, and service.  Those became boxes in a square formation–they were kind of equal at first.  Then I thought about this very blog, which I see as a way to link together and respond to all of these areas.  So I made that (the blog) the center of the graphic organizer.  I was also thinking about the problem of how this would look on the front page of a website, and recalling my fascination with Pinterest, and thought that an image for each of these areas would be cool.  So the graphic organizer on the left is the first version I created.  But they are just boxes, and we teachers like cool shapes in our graphic organizers.  Plus, it doesn’t really show relationships other than just having a center.  So the one on the right is the next version, which is more like a wheel.  The blog is still in the center, but now I thought about persona (one my research interests) and an earlier graphic representation/finding I made for my dissertation, and decided that service doesn’t quite include all the considerations of the context.  The term “Context” includes something like service, but is bigger, because it includes things like the interactions that faculty have and the specific issues that apply to them in this place (UMW).  So that (Context) become one “spoke” in the wheel, which left teaching and research for two other spokes.  But there was still something missing, which is basically who I am and what is interesting to me, which is also integrated into this whole business–so I added “interests,” which I thought about calling “me,” but that doesn’t quite do it, because the whole wheel is me and how I show it.


You can’t see this, but I even added the names Carly, Kelly, and Dana below these sketches.  They are some of my current student teachers and they have all used quotes to introduce their work/writing.  I like that and I think I might add this to a future class (Teaching of English)–having a quote to begin or organize each day.  So I learn a lot from my students as well.  This idea is basically a piece of what might go into the “Teaching” spoke if I had kept drawing or would be moving this to another medium like Inspiration, and in practice it would be explained in the “Blog” spoke at the middle.  And look, I’m explaining it now: Mind. Blown. (gif #1)


Let me know if this makes sense or if you still have questions.  I <3 graphic organizers.  And the lights are flickering again…must publish….



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