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Towards Independent Learning

May 10, 2012

Having been inspired by Jim Smith (@thelazyteacher) at #TMClevedon last week, I’ve been thinking about how much we do for our students and, specifically the things we do for them that they really are (or should be) capable of doing themselves. This is also a little like Dan Meyer’s less helpful principal.

So, I’ve decided that I intend not to tell students the page numbers any more when we’re doing book work. They know what a contents page is right? They know to go back and look again if the first try wasn’t the right page. Surely? If not, I’m happy to be the one that teaches them that.

It’s only a small step but I believe it’s in the right direction.
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4 Comments
  1. @dukkhaboy permalink

    Good on you! Often after I have explained a longer task, asked if they all know what to do and then started them off I add "I am not answering questions for 10 minutes." esp good for fussy Year 7’s!

  2. Anonymous permalink

    <html> <head> <style><!– .hmmessage P { margin:0px; padding:0px } body.hmmessage { font-size: 10pt; font-family:Tahoma } –></style></head> <body class=’hmmessage’><div dir=’ltr’> I quite like that.<div>I’ll give that a go tomorrow!<br><br><div><div id="SkyDrivePlaceholder"></div></div></div></div></body></html>

  3. IanH permalink

    Thanks for sharing – I like the idea of any small change which is so easy to implement that it can be done straight away. It’s the sort of thing that, over time, would make a great display for the wall. "I don’t" list from you, with 2/3 responses from students explaining "because…" and "so that we…"@dukkaboy I do that – usually with a reminder of the 4Bs and that if they do need help at the end of that time, I expect them to tell me what they’ve already tried.

  4. ceejaypee permalink

    Excellent. Thanks for this – something I should do more is leave the students to figure it out: how attentative are they being when I introduce a task if they know I will obligingly come around and explain it again anyway?And what a good idea about page numbers. I recently had a student’s mum write in to say that the homework I had set (from our core homework book) was too hard and I hadnt taught it in class. They had attempted exercise 25, rather than the exercise on page 25 – the clue should have been the 3 minute discussion I had telling them it was very similar to the trig we had undertaken in class! An interesting phonecall home to tell a parent that their son needs to pay a little more attention and just occasionally use their initiative!

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