Teaching Learning Continuum
Teaching students to become autonomous
The "Lifelong Learner"
I am writing this letter today to inform you of a teaching strategy called the TLC, Teaching and Learning Continuum, that I plan on implementing in my classroom. I am hoping to build your student up to becoming a “lifelong learner”. I feel that when students take responsibility for their learning, they can take control of what they are learning. I know this may sound like a fallacy, but students who are able to do this find more relevance in the material they are learning, have more motivation to learn the material, and show greater gains in achievement.
Another fact about the TLC, when it is practiced in the classroom is that students will progress at a different pace, at varied times, and then move up and down the continuum depending on the new skill or content that is introduced. The autonomy that the students develop will give them self-confidence, give them a deeper curiosity to further their research, and increase their critical reasoning skills, problem-solving strategies, and their ability to create better ideas.
Steps to develop autonomy
The first step in creating autonomous students is by the teacher being a role model with a teacher led lesson. By doing this, your child is taking in information and responding to this information. On our Unit 4 activities, we are learning or “taking in” information about Benjamin Franklin. We are filling out a graphic organizer by taking notes about the information we read, which consists of articles, textbook reading, short novels, and watching informative videos. In the first box of our graphic organizer, students took notes, we discussed the goals of what information we were looking for, students gave responses and I filled out the graphic organizer. As I was doing this, I was thinking out loud, so the students would understand the thought process I used. Most students copied what I wrote, however they also had to add any other information that they felt was relevant to Benjamin Franklin’s life based on the notes they wrote.
As I gradually give the students more responsibility, the third phase of the TLC continuum allows me to act as a coach. As they receive more information about Benjamin Franklin, they will continue to fill out the graphic organizer independently with the varied media they are reading. They will ask themselves if the information is relevant enough to include, is there enough textual evidence to back up their knowledge, and do they have enough information on their graphic organizer? I will conference with students as they are evaluating the information they wrote, while offering feedback. This allows them opportunities to fine tune what they want to write.