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Updated: Sep 17, 2019



Who is YOUR Thinking Maps Champion???

Following years of studying the most successful Thinking Maps projects, it became clear that one of the "secret ingredients" to success is having a school and/or district leader that is a relentless champion for Thinking Maps.

About 4 years ago, Assistant Superintendent Layne Hudes of the Ardsley Union Free School District learned about Thinking Maps and took it on as a personal mission to engage the staff and students in all schools in the district in a rigorous, high fidelity, high integrity implementation of Thinking Maps. Four years later, there are over SEVENTY (Yes! 70!)Trainers in the district! That's 70 Trainers across THREE schools! This is the kind of ratio that supports deep, deep roots within an implementation. Want to know what deep roots lead to???

Layne Hudes is a true Thinking Maps champion in every sense of the word. She saw the value of the language in transforming learning and set out on a long term, strategic plan to support every teacher with the training and resources and support they needed to implement the initiative. Over the years, Layne has worked intentionally to strengthen the implementation by adding to the cohort of Trained Trainers. (Did you know... Research by Linda Darling-Hammond and the NSDC in 2009 points out that 49 hours of PD is needed on a topic, if the goal is an impact on student achievement. Layne ensured that this would happen by offering the 36 hour Thinking Maps Training of Trainers course to a new cohort of educators every single school year! Bravo for your investment, Layne! Every school district deserves a champion like you!)

Check out what's happening in the Second Grade at Concord Road Elementary School...

Implementation Coach, Adam Fachler shared the photos above and below and commented: This is an example of a purposeful and interactive Bridge Map from the intrepid 2nd grade team at Ardsley's Concord Road Elementary School: Jill Rogovic, Tricia Poveromo, Devon Wright, Rebecca Schiz, Linda Yesko, Julia Nichols, Susan Friedman, Stacey Buerkle -- three or four Trainers in the bunch!

As part of their biography unit of study, they read a range of biographies, each discussing a different leader and what he or she accomplished or was known for. They stacked two Bridges atop each other and drew a powerful conclusion that they continually reflected on throughout the unit. Their routine was: read, discuss, then convene at the back of the room to update the bridge map. What a schema the kids built around biography!


Inspired by this success, Jill Rogovic gave students more autonomy in their mapping for their end-of-year bird study writing project.

"This has definitely been life-changing," she said. "All the teachers and students are on the same page when it comes to the thinking. And in this unit, we let second graders choose the Maps--after much practice during the year, of course--and they really did it. They gathered ideas in a Circle, sequenced them on a Post-It notes flow, and have been getting into the habit of taking all the information off the maps. They really deliberate about the order of their ideas. It's amazing to watch."

Hats off to this team who has found ways to push the work forward and engage with using the Maps in such a purposeful and integrated way!

Layne Hudes, your belief in Thinking Maps and the incredible support you have offered to your educators has clearly made a difference. Ardsley is lucky to have you as their Champion!!!

Who is YOUR Thinking Maps Champion???





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