Instructional Openings

Independent Learning Zone Expectations

At the beginning of each Independent Learning Zone class session, I do a quick review of Independent Learning Zone Expectations. This strategy encourages the whole class to come together as a community with common expectations in mind before students begin working independently for the remainder of the class.

Strategy Resources (2)
Student Handout
 
 
This is the slide from my Town Hall presentation that sets the expectations for Independent Learning Zone. I show the actual slide at the beginning of the year and then periodically throughout the year as necessary. Most of the time, I greet my students and say the expectations out loud.
 
Student Handout
 
 
This is the slide from my Town Hall presentation that sets the expectations for Independent Learning Zone. I show the actual slide at the beginning of the year and then periodically throughout the year as necessary. Most of the time, I greet my students and say the expectations out loud.
Aaron Kaswell
Middle School 88 Peter Rouget
Brooklyn, NY


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Math
Grades:
Sixth grade, Seventh grade, Eighth grade
Similar Strategies
Independent Student Learning
Answer Keys

During an Independent Learning Zone session, every student in my blended classroom is working independently on a different set of problems. It's impossible for me to be an answer key for 25 different students doing 25 different problem sets, so I print out their respective answer keys in advance and give each student his or her about 5-10 minutes into the period. This empowers them to monitor their own academic performance and self-correct as they are completing their assigned task. 

 
Academic Culture
Town Hall Meeting

Since I work with 3 large cohorts of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students (100+ students in each cohort) my colleagues and I developed a Town Hall Meeting for the beginning of the year to explain our Rules, Routines, Procedures, and Consequences to the entire cohort at once. Having all of my students on the same system has provided tremendous consistency and stability and created a solid community foundation. Town Hall Meeting is a place where students not only hear the expectations but are encouraged to ask questions or make comments to the entire community. Delivering this presentation once to the entire cohort helps to set the culture in an efficient way. 

 
Individual Instruction
Individual Writing Guidance

Even in a 1:1 environment it is essential to provide students with teacher feedback. Students in my class are submitting work electronically and receive feedback in the same format. The challenge has been (as with written feedback on paper) getting students to incorporate the feedback. Conferencing with students gives me the opportunity to have more facetime with students and deconstruct the feedback they have received. Giving students indivudal guidance makes the personalized classroom a reality because students are having a unique exchange with their instructor.

 
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