How To Implement


Implementing Thinking Maps School Wide

Thinking Maps professional development is designed to increase teacher and leadership effectiveness. A 1-3 year plan of action should be designed to address the specific yearly goals within a school or district improvement plan.

“If we wish to create a school where reform will be enduring, we need to ask: Is this a school where teachers can learn? Unless we create the conditions for teacher learning, every single reform we initiate, even if it looks like it is working at the beginning, will eventually erode and disappear.” -Lee Shulman, 2004


Our Step-by-Step Process

Click Here: Start with Step 1!

STEP 1 Planning the Implementation

  • Develop and communicate a plan of action
  • Design an implementation model

STEP 2 Introducing Thinking Maps

  • Conduct initial training (one 6-hour training or two 3-hour trainings)
  • Establish an 8-week introductory period

STEP 3 Follow-up Training

  • Conduct a follow-up focus training in person or through TMLC
  • Allow time for practice (2-3 weeks)
  • Share with colleagues

STEP 4 Continuous Assessment

  • Assess implementation and impact on student achievement
  • Plan continued implementation to address specific school-wide goals



Implementing Thinking Maps School Wide

STEP 1 Planning the Implementation

Contact Rep or TMI office

When you contact your Representative, he/she will guide you through the implementation process.

Plan of Action

Collaborate, design, and communicate a Plan of Action establishing sustainable implementation with your teacher-leaders, instructional coaches and other key decision makers.

Implementation Model

Design an Implementation Model.

Prior to the start of the school year, the principal, teacher-leaders, instructional coaches and other key decision makers build a Plan of Action for implementation, tailored to address specific students needs and a school’s improvement plan.


Implementing Thinking Maps School Wide

STEP 2 Introducing Thinking Maps

Initial Training

You may choose to participate in one 6-hour training or two 3-hour trainings.

Introductory Period

Begin the introductory period by teaching students the 8 Thinking Maps (8 weeks, one week per Map).

The Day One Training provides the foundation for all future work with Thinking Maps. A Language for Learning text is required for all participants. A Language for Leadership text is recommended for all school leaders. Before coming to the initial Day One training, teachers should have an awareness of Thinking Maps, and be familiar with the Plan of Action and the why, when, where and how of the training.
The Introductory Period is essential for teachers to practice integrating each Map into specific content areas and instruction strategies, and for students to develop ownership and independence. Teachers should be encouraged to collaborate and share their ideas in grade-level or departmental meetings, professional learning teams and large-group faculty meetings.


Implementing Thinking Maps School Wide

STEP 3 Follow-up Training

Teach Focus

Choose a Follow-up Focus based on your school improvement plan.


Allow time for practice (2-3 weeks recommended). Make sure trainers or consultants are available to support and encourage teachers.


Encourage teachers to share, discuss and analyze their applications with peers to enhance the effective use of Thinking Maps.

Follow-up is the heart of any successful implementation. Teachers need feedback and support as they add Thinking Maps to their repertoire of instructional strategies. Trained Trainers or TMI Consultants help support teachers as they design accurate and rigorous applications of Thinking Maps to teach their standards. Each session should focus specifically on a diagnosed concern or a school-wide emphasis for the year.
click here for step 4

Follow-Up Focuses

Follow-up Focuses

Differentiated Professional Development

Professional Development in Thinking Maps–via in-person consultation or through the online learning community (TMLC)–provide sessions tailored to the goals reflected in your strategic plans. Possible follow-up focuses are identified below.

Critical Thinking
  • Thinking Maps: A Language for Learning
  • TMLC Course 102: Guiding Questions
  • TMLC Course 103: The Frame of Reference
  • TMLC Course 201: Multiple Maps
  • Thinking Maps: A Language for Learning
  • TMLC Course 202: Taking Information Off The Map
  • TMLC Course 301: Academic Vocabulary
  • TMLC Course 302: Analyzing Complex Texts
Content Connections
  • Thinking Maps: A Language for Learning
  • TMLC Course: 304: Thinking Like A Mathematician
  • TMLC Courses embed examples from all content areas
Instructional Strategies
  • Thinking Maps: A Language for Learning
  • TMLC Course 201: Multiple Maps
  • TMLC Module 102C: Enhancing Maps with Color

Upcoming Events

Join the Thinking Maps Revolution!


 Want to know the secret to accelerating student achievement? Visit us at these national and state conferences to find out!

Thinking Maps is a common visual language for learning that serves as a foundation for critical thinking and comprehension across all grade levels and subject areas. But you really have to see it to believe it. Stop by our booth for a demo!

  • ASCD Empower 2017
    March 25-27, 2017
    Anaheim, California
    Booth #951
  • CABE 2017
    March 29 – April 1, 2017
    Anaheim, California
    Booth #314


Information Request

Information Request

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