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Deliberate application of metacognitive strategies is yet another way that Thinking Maps are different than graphic organizers. The “Influence” Frame is one of three uses of the Frame of Reference.  This Frame reminds us of the importance of considering multiple perspectives and points of view that influence our thinking. Because the honest consideration of multiple perspectives and ways of thinking about a topic is very deep, we use the color blue (like the ocean that is also very deep) when we write while applying the Influence Frame. Influences can be surfaced from a private point of view one holds to a more global application of influence by looking through the lens of different groups of people and/or how topics are influenced by historical or social issues.

There is an endless variation of questions that help us surface influences on thinking. Try out a variety:

  • Is there a specific POV? Is that POV biased?
  • Would another POV change the information? How would it change?
  • If you referenced a specific source: How does the author’s POV shape the content?
  • Is the content influenced by a primary or secondary source?
  • Does a specific time period or historic event influence the content? (i.e. the Civil Rights era or Rosa Parks refusal to sit in the back of the bus)
  • Are there beliefs that influence the content? (i.e. religion, culture, race, economic status, age, gender, etc.)
Go back to the Maps you have made thus far this year and, as a content review, add an Influence Frame in blue to as many Maps as you can.  See the example Map above by that could be a note-taking device to help one think through their important choice on election day.  The "pros" and "cons" of candidates are likely quite relative to the perspective from which one is considering their strengths and weaknesses.

Get started right away trying to figure out all the ways to use this tool for:
  • PLANNING- "What is influencing my planning of this unit?" (My personal beliefs?  Previous test scores? Other demands on my curriculum and calendar?)
  • INSTRUCTION- "Would anyone else think differently about this?  Is there another perspective that we can think about this through?""
  • LEADING MEETINGS- "Whose voices are represented here?  Whose voices are being left out?" (For important decisions, consider: administrators, parents, teachers, students...)
Every time you or someone else would feel strongly about something, the Influence Frame should be a focus of your Mapping efforts.  You can apply the Influence Frame to previously made Maps and to the new Maps you make this week and hereafter. Remember- the focus of the week is about moving students to independence!  At the beginning of the week, you should be doing a lot of modeling and coaching. By the end of the week, your scholars should be insisting upon the consideration of multiple perspectives- "Would anyone else think differently about this?".

I'd love to see your applications of the Influence Frame!!! Click here for the Map Memo for the Influence Frame!

Need help coming up with ideas? 
Reach out to
me or your Implementation Coach!
Thinking Maps Learning Community 
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Wednesday, October 26th... 3:30 - 4:15 PM EST
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Not a member of the community and want to learn more about this online technology before the webinar?  Send me an email and I will set you up with a 2 week trial so that you can explore this amazing resource.  See here to learn more:

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FALL, 2016- November 17 & December 15, 2016

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FALL/WINTER, 2016- December 1 & 2, 2016; January 3 & 4, 2017; February 1 & 2, 2017.
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For more information, contact Elizabeth Dellamora, Ph.D. with The Balance Between, Inc. representing Thinking Maps in the Northeast (CT, MA, RI, ME, NH, VT, NY).

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