A Report from the Field
“Let Me Learn has seen a resurgence at Delsea Middle School over the past three years. More teachers and students are using the Let Me Learn terminology, integrating LML into lessons, and using it to intentionally group students. Administrators are beginning to use LML terms in their observations, and are working with teachers to develop and nurture a focus on the student as learner. LML has been integrated in the school wide Literacy Initiative known as LIFT (Literacy Inspires Future Thinkers). Guidance counselors assist students in individual conferences using LML. They also use LML to help students explore career paths, understand themselves as learners, and prepare for academic classes.
In the summer, LML is on center stage. Students identified as “at-risk” attend the summer SHAPE program to enhance their Language Arts, Math and hands-on skills. In this five week program, students develop learner profiles, strategy cards, and are grouped with intention. Teacher learners use the language to develop an understanding that learning is first. Students, as a result of attending the program, are able to use the lexicon of terms to describe their use of the Learning Patterns.”
Delsea Regional Middle School
Delsea Hill School, Pine Hill, NJ, USA
Randy, a new teacher expressing his thoughts on the Let Me Learn Process:
“This is my second week of my own classes and classroom and there are so many things that I want to convey not only to you but to all those potential teachers out there that are attending all the PED courses. I have been taught so much and learned how to apply ALL that has been taught. Every bit of the curriculum has been applied to my everyday existence here at Delsea.
Webster’s cannot do justice to the words I need to convey my thanks to you as well as all the other professors at Rowan. I am not supposed to be using any formal “Let Me Learn Program” in my six classes, but I want you to know that I have used the information gained in the workshop to full advantage and the results are unbelievable. I will tell you of one such case.
There is a 7th grade girl who has not been very focused in class, and her grades reflected her inattention and lack of concern for the subject matter. When I took over the class, I immediately switched from a lecture method of presentation to a class discussion/class participation method. This drew comments from the students (I have the students keep a daily journal and they are required to write a paragraph on what occurred in class and what they learned.)
This young lady commented that my presentation style was something that she had never experienced before and was unique. Her attention span went from near zero to near 100%. She also became involved in class discussions and activities. By the way, I should mention that this student is HIGHLY confluent. When I mentioned that their first test was going to be an oral test instead of a written test she commented in her journal that she actually would enjoy the oral test more than the old written test though she was petrified of experiencing something new.
Today during the test she excelled at being up in front of the class, giving the correct oral answers (she received an A). It was obvious that she was in the ATMOSPHERE where she could be herself and excel! Afterwards, I read her journal entry, and it said that at the beginning “she was afraid that she was going to fail just like all the other times but that the test was the awesomest [sic] and so was I.” This student has been reborn in terms of her perception to learning, at least in my class, and the reason for this rebirth lays with what I learned from the Let Me Learn Program.
I wish that all potential teachers could experience the feeling that I have now: the thrill of knowing that at least one student has had a positive learning experience. There are so many things that I would love to convey to the upcoming teachers to allay any fears that they might have concerning classroom management, or the dreaded lesson plans or any other subject. If you ever want a speaker to come into class let me know. I am most willing.”
Pine Hill Schools Faculty Meeting, Pine Hill, NJ
Teacher Responses to the Different Patterns of Learning:
Precise Processor could ask:
- What is the correct spelling? Give spelling
Will this be graded? State clear expectations
Could you check my paper? Immediate feedback
Could you explain the again? Clearly written precise/sequential directions
What’s on the test? Have a review session
Can I write what I know that you didn’t ask? Provide extra credit
What the teachers could provide in an ideal sequential environment
- repeat directions
- do an example
- start the work in school so students can get immediate assistance
- have students redo at home
- have on the board what needs to be done today
- clearly state expectations
- allow students to practice, practice, practice.
- let neat freaks be neat freaks
- and produce organization through the day
Ideal environment for technical:
- Teacher provides a model for the project
- Teacher allows the student to work on the project at home
- Teacher allows students to use bathroom and get a drink
- Allow students to experiment
- Allow students to do role plays
- Use dioramas, mobiles, posters, sculptures, and puppets
- Relate learning to real-life experiences.
Ideal confluent environment:
- More choice time
- team teaching so students have more than one teacher
- Students allowed choice of assignments.
- Allow confluent student to be brain storming leader .
- Allow times when not following directions is okay.
- Permit crafty and artistic culminating activities.
9th Grade, Cherokee HS, Marlton, NJ
What a difference LCI has made for the teacher!
- increased variation of assignments in unit
- more detailed directions given verbally and written models of assignments, lab drawings given
- asking for student feedback on assignments
- more creative and open-ended labs
- more consideration in grading based on learning connections
What a difference LCI has made for the students!
- tolerance towards others; fewer “put downs”
- more questions; less embarrassment over difficulty
- more self confidence
- more pride in work and labs
- greater personal interactions both student to student and student to teacher
- more time spent on assignments
- less use of “it’s because I’m PI”
Maureen Davis, Kingsway Regional High School, Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA
In the fifth year of using a total quality “process over content” focus for the instruction of U.S. History to underachieving senior high students, I recently administered the LCI to sixty pupils in the program. It was remarkable to discover that the only “homogeneous” trait among them is a will to avoid precise processing. This is an exciting observation because it supports the effectiveness of managing rather than memorizing the material. I am convinced this instrument will provide many “keys” to unlock the potential of each learner.
Chris Bloom, Kansas City, Kansas, USA
I think the growth of using the Learning Connections Inventory is going at a good pace. It is just amazing. I always found that students were interested in the LCI results much more so than an IQ test because it gave them something they could do–which is what motivation is all about.