Math PK-2

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Math PK-2 > Strategies > Graphic Organizers

Graphic Organizers


Graphic organizers help learners Visualize how ideas fit together which helps them construct meaning and strengthen recall. Graphic organizers outsource the memory demands of a task by mimicking the brain's mental schema, supporting students' cognitive development and, in turn, their problem-solving skills. For learners with low Working Memory, graphic organizers hold onto the information for them.

Apply It to Your Learning Environment

  • Graphic organizers also scaffold problem solving by breaking down math problems into concrete, sequential steps.
  • Learners can organize their mathematical thinking and represent their work in a clear, methodical way.
  • Ensure learners understand how to use the graphic organizer structure to support Working Memory, so they can attend to the mathematical thinking.
  • In digital environments, graphic organizers can be used for both synchronous or asynchronous mathematical thinking, independently or in small groups in breakout rooms.
  • Remember to ensure the graphic organizer matches the task and includes brief instruction steps to support Working Memory.

Watch how this third grade teacher models using a graphic organizer to solve a word problem. By integrating the mnemonic device "UPS" with a graphic organizer, students are prompted to strategically think and explain their mathematical reasoning.

Apply It to Product Development

  • Graphic organizers that can be manipulated—layout, shapes, colors, fonts—provide even more support for developing mathematicians.
  • Provide a way for learners to collaborate within graphic organizers and receive feedback within the platform.
  • Provide easy access to the graphic organizers used when solving math problems.

Factors Supported by this Strategy

About this Strategy Content

The research review for this strategy was conducted by the LVP team. Application, examples, and resources were sourced with support from our Practitioner Advisory Board.