Friday, October 05, 2007

Aspergers and info mapping

It's been a long time since I've posted. Will is now in middle school, which is a bumpy road in itself. But before he entered middle school I did some research and found what I think could be a good technique for note-taking that will be easier to do than regular linear notes.

I learned from another parent that "info mapping" (I've also seen it referred to as webbing, extreme mapping, etc.) is a great way for kids to do note-taking, or to organize a writing assignment or a project. I bought some software from that shows how to use info mapping for all sorts of things. I have to really learn the software before I teach my son, but I think it could be useful.

Info mapping is a way of organizing information visually. Let's say you have a science theme of the day as being the metric system. In the middle of the page you would write "Metric System" and then draw a circle around that. Then you can write off-shoots of information that relate to the metric system, such as "units of 10" and "Also called the SI system, or System Internationale" and "standard unit for length is Meter", "standard unit of mass is Kilogram", "standard unit of time is Second", etc. etc. All of the offshoots can be represented by an arrow pointing away from "Metric System", with a circle or bubble around each concept. The fun part is that one could draw pictures of things along with the concepts -- such as a clock next to "Time," etc. If one was taking notes about liters, one could draw a picture of a 2 liter bottle of pop. Anything a person can do to draw or make visual whatever they are learning about. It's really a good excuse to doodle, but doodling with a FOCUS!!!

I used a type of this method in a law class (the only one I ever took) because there was so much information coming so fast in that class, and one concept after another didn't necessarily relate in a linear fashion. I think the professor taught us how to take notes this way, and I thought it was pretty cool. Who would have guessed then that this method might be the ONLY way that my son would be able to take good notes in class?


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