In an earlier post, I wrote about using Mind Maps as a tool for organizing my thinking on complex topics and tasks. Graphic organizers were something that I certainly had my students use frequently over the years but didn't use for my own learning very often.
This week I decided to explore using graphic organizers in the self-reg course that I'm taking through the MEHRIT Centre. The goal of Shanker Self-Reg is to help children and adults recognize and reduce the stressors in their lives so that they can be 'Calm, Alert and Ready to Learn.'
One of the challenges working with people in today's hyper stressed society is that we don't even know what calm is any more. Some people use screen time to feel calm but that's mindlessness. Calm means being aware of what's going on inside and outside of you, not tuning out with screens or alcohol.
After some reflection, I decided to use a Frayer Model to explore the concept of calm. In the one I used the four quadrants are:
Definition in Your Own Words
Instead of Characteristics you can use this quadrant to draw an image that represents the concept, in this case calm. I like using images because that is the one area where I find the answers from person to person, or group to group, really change. In workshops, after the groups have completed their Frayer Models, we provide time for participants to do a gallery walk and look at each other's work. What is the same? What is different?
I've used Frayer Models with adult learners in workshops for concepts like self-regulation, mentor, and teacher. A colleague was saying the other day that people confuse inquiry learning with collaborative inquiry so it might be interesting to do a Frayer for collaborative inquiry with a group as a culminating activity.
What graphic organizers do you like to use with adult learners? With students? I envision using it for exploring vocabulary in science - biology, experiment - or social studies - democracy; history; citizenship. I can see using it for discussions at the beginning of the year for concepts like responsibility, respect or friendship.
What are your experiences using the Frayer Model?