Self Directed Learning: Own Your Learning
Teachers should introduce students in a progression of events and should never just assume students know how to direct their own learning.
• Teachers that are interested in self directed learning can start with the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model which works basically on the thought of “show me, help me, let me.”
• Another way to promote self directed learning is by creating a culture in the classroom and therefore the student becomes the culture-maker to deepen understanding of topics, create critical thinking skills, bring awareness to incorporating positivity towards cognitive behavior, and heighten the level of conversation between peers.
• Another way to promote self learning in the classroom is to allow diverse terms of achievement.
Collaboration: Work Together, Learn Together
There are several cool ideas you could use when creating a collaboration project.
• "Skype in the Classroom" - You can join thousands of teachers, guest speakers, and virtual field trips to bring real life learning to students all over the world (you must download the software onto your device, first). This is done through Microsoft Education now (it moved sites).
• "Mystery Skype" - offered through "Skype in the Classroom" Mystery Skype is an educational game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other yes or no questions. It's suitable for all age groups and can be used to teach subjects like geography, history, languages, mathematics and science.
• Google Docs - Whether it's collaboration in your classroom or pairing up with a classroom across the country, students are able to work together on projects in real time (Skype can also be used with this as students work in other schools)
Information Literacy: Untangle the Web
Let's start with a clear understanding of what "information literacy" means. Most definitions center on the basic communication competencies of accessing, analyzing, evaluating and communicating information.
Ask students to pose simple questions about topics that interest them. Once they have their questions, help them make a plan for gathering information about the topics. Lead students to the resources and assign meaningful, technology-rich methods for them to evaluate and repackage the information they learn.
Teach Information Literacy and Critical Thinking Skills! A great resource for teachers and librarians alike that includes great ideas and resources, click here.
Teaching Internet Information Literacy: A Critical Evaluation This site speaks to teachers and librarians about internet dependency, reliability dilemma, skills for evaluating internet sites, the students' internet dichotomy, teaching effective research strategies, and provides a GREAT internet site evaluation sheet! Click here to check it out!
Today's students must develop information and media literacy skills in order to function in society. As teacher-librarians, we have a responsibility to use our resources to collaborate with classroom teachers to make sure that our students become both information literate and media literate. Let's take the challenge!
Capstone Press, Initials. (2007, October). Teaching information literacy skills. Retrieved from http://www.capstonepub.com/content/TEACHER_ARTICLES.
Critical Thinking: Think Deep, Think Different
Active learning promotes critical thinking.
The 3 Steps of Critical Thinking Lesson Plans: (for more ideas, click here)
1. Anticipating- Lesson Introduction
2. Building Knowledge – Lesson Activity / Discussion
3. Consolidating - Lesson Reflection
Ideas for critical thinking and active learning:
Active listening: paraphrasing spoken statements
Active writing: submit questions (thinking in writing), editing the work of others, or writing to determine comprehension in mid-lesson (a brain dump)
Role Playing, Simulation, and Drama: Assign a role, understanding the audience (depending on whom you are speaking to will change the way you write or discuss a topic)
On the site, The Critical Thinking Community, there are some great resources to use in all grades. There are lesson plans for ELA, recommendations for critical thinking, and much much more! Click here to visit.