Mind maps are marvelous for all your learners
1. A review of all the good studies on mind maps and comprehension showed that they improve students’ understanding of a text. Get all your students to fill in a mind map once they’ve read something, whether it’s a textbook page as well as a novel. Some teachers also got students to create ever growing mind maps as they went along in their reading. A separate study showed that it works with maths too!
2. A replication study confirmed that mind maps are better for revision than a traditional textbook. Students need a bit of training on how to convert their notes or textbook page into a mind map but once it was set up, students saw clear improvements.
There are lots of tools that let students create and track their own mind maps. The app SimpleMind and the website X Mind are two good starting places. You can set up a teacher Evernote notebook to receive these mind maps when a student creates one.special
Paired writing probably doesn’t work (unlike paired reading)
It seems Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are the exception. Pairing students to work on a piece of writing wasn’t going to plan for this researcher. Though it’s worth noting these were primary school kids.
Someone is doing a review of whether you can actually teach spelling
It seems German schools have an actual system for doing this that’s rather different to the spelling tests I’m familiar with.
There were also many other investigations into things like how kids with special educational needs feel socially excluded.