Mindmup, Messiness, and Mastery


mindmup of TotS

PDF of TotS Mindmup

Using Mindmup helps me contain my creative ideas and reign in the mess that’s in my mind as I plan. I mindmap with my students as we write, so I naturally felt the urge to use the process in my planning. I’m sure over my nearly three decades of teaching, I’ve mindmapped hundreds…well, maybe dozens…of plans.

Recently, I wanted to find a mindmapping tool which I could access online as well as offline. After a simple Google search, I discovered Mindmup. If I recall correctly, it was the first hit in a long string of possibilities. So far Mindmup has served my purposes well.

One thing I know about myself is that I am a planner. I love to plan anything: vacations, Christmas, lessons, my birthday party (yes, that really happened, embarrassingly enough…rough patches in life make people do crazy things!)

Conversely, when it comes to carrying through on my plans, if I don’t have written evidence, I’m screwed. Loose papers of mindmaps do me no good when I can’t remember where I placed them. Enter Mindmup—an online, free (you can purchase an amped-up version, but the free version is working fine for me at this point) program that has helped me document my thinking.

I’ve inserted a picture of a Mindmup I’m working on currently regarding the teaching of Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare. As I researched various avenues to travel in teaching this play to my students, the information became unwieldy, in fact, enormous. I had to have a process of taming me before I became a shrew.

Fortunately, Mindmup fit my needs. If you choose to use Mindmup and need some pointers (believe me, it’s really easy—you probably will catch on quickly!), email me, and I’ll be happy to help.

About Katrina Gonzales

Having taught almost 30 years, I have a wealth of knowledge to share about the field of education---some good knowledge, some not-so-good knowledge, and some knowledge that might just blow your mind, or not. I decided to name this blog "Mining the Magic" as a tribute to those magical moments that surface often unexpectedly in the classroom. After this much time in education, however, I realized that those magical moments are never random; lots of planning, hard work, and the establishment of a community of learners precludes these extraordinary, and seemingly magical, times in the classroom. Currently, I "mine" the "magic" in Room 320 at Sonora High School. In the past 29 years, I've been known to teach Early Childhood Handicapped, 8th Grade ELA, self-contained elementary, and even adults as a consultant at Education Service Center XV. While I am turned into a claustrophobic mess at the thought of actually spelunking in a natural cavern, the lovely formations that occur in the classroom fascinate me. It's with this eye for a "jewel" with a student that I set out to explain how to "mine the magic."

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