Often we may go through a course, teaching topic after topic. The students do not see the connection between the topics. However, if we could give them an over arching scaffold, then they could fit things into it. For example, an English teacher may teacher a standard format for writing within the writing process (introduction; body with paragraphs to supply the examples; and conclusion). Students can use this format whenever they have to write in class. They learn that they only have to slightly vary the body organization and content to achieve the specific purpose of any writing. Therefore, each writing task does not seem like a completely different type of writing. One teacher had the full writing steps printed out on business cards so the students could always have the scaffold with them.
What do you have in your course that provides an over arching scaffold to the students? What serves as “the great connector” for all the learning in your course?