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ILLA Blogs

Commentary and reviews by classical Lutheran education commentators.

Mind Mapping

WiseMappingOn one hand, mind mapping might just be another distraction created by progressive educators to make students look like they're doing something when in fact they are wasting time when tried-and-true classical methods would do just as well if not better. On the other hand, mind mapping might be a way for disorganized students to learn a step-by-step method in a visual way -- who can then move on to outlining and the proper format of paragraphs.

There are ways to do mind mapping with pencil and paper which may serve either to outline an essay or as a variant form of note-taking. A simple Google search can turn up many resources and YouTube videos such as Ten Mind Mapping Strategies or Using mind mapping as a memorable fact-retention tool.

There are mind mapping programs which can be installed on computers or cloud-based services often cost money which frugal classical Lutheran educators have learned to do without. With WiseMapping.com, however, you (and your children or students) can determine whether cloud-based mind-mapping is a useful tool or just another distraction.

Have  you used mind-mapping successfully and can offer some sample classical lesson plans? Do you have outlining and paragraph-building exercises you'd like to share?

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TED . . . and Classical Education

indexTED lectures run the gamut from liberal to conservative. One can even find some lectures on classical education. You may enjoy watching What If Everyone Had a Classical Education? There are also numerous YouTube videos which may provide some grist for your mill like Classical Education vs. Common Core.


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Let's Get Analogous

teacherThe Wordly Wise and Vocabulary from Classical Roots workbook series are popular in many classical Lutheran schools. One feature of the chapters and tests is a section on analogies. One must match poor : money; tired : energy . . . or "Poor is to money as tired is to energy."

These analogies often proved quite challenging to my students. I started looking for ways to teach analogies which provided copious examples. One free resource I found was found here: Teaching Analogies.

I downloaded the free instructional material, worksheets and answer keys . . . and recently I have been converting them to Moodle quizzes so that students can take the quizzes online on ILLA our classical Lutheran LMS. This not only gives students the ability to have plenty of practice, but it also gives them instant feedback. I often use these once a day three or four times each week.

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Nota Bene

handwritingHearing a teacher say, "Just take notes," may leave students somewhat bewildered as to what to do. It might be helpful to teach students about note-taking -- about organizing one's thoughts on paper or recording ideas in an orderly manner. The Cornell Note-Taking System is one method which has proved to be quite sucessful for many students. (This website also has several other study-skill topics.) Note-taking need not only be limited to live lectures. It could also be used for watching educational videos and online presentations.

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Printable Paper

PrintablePaperPenmanship paper. Music staves of every variety. Hexagon paper. 3D paper. Perspective paper. Polar co-ordinate paper. Just about every kind grid or column  paper you can imagine is available free for download at Printable Paper . . . or you can save your time and purchase the full library of 800+ styles and templates for $39. These papers privide numerous options for everything from math to science to art.

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