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
Instructional Planning
Tanesha's Approach to Planning

Planning is an essential part of a blended teacher’s practice. In blended environments, where students can be at different points in a course on various modalities, blended teachers need to be very intentional about how they plan. Check out the video below to see how Tanesha plans for instruction in her blended classroom.

 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Tanesha's Model Overview

I implement a station rotation model in my classroom. On a typical day, following brief whole-class direct instruction, my students will rotate through three blended learning stations: small group instruction, collaborative learning, and independent work. At each station, students work either with a teacher, a group of their peers, or individually towards content mastery. The key levers of my model are student self-pacing and small-group instruction. Through a mix of student choice and teacher facilitation, I have been able to activate my students’ learning and accelerate them towards higher academic achievement.

Number of Students: ~25 students

Number of Adults: one teacher; one paraprofessional

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 45 minutes

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: Kahoot!; Plickers; PBWorks; Blackboard; Newsela; Edmodo; BrainPop & BrainPop Jr; Discovery Education Techbook; Padlet; Vimeo; Today’s Meet

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: 25 ASUS T100 laplets with charging cart (1:1); Promethean Board

Key Features: station rotation; student agency

 
Instructional Closings
Independent Station Whip Around

There are times when the work being completed at the independent station is not designed to be completed in one session. I noticed that, while I could get an accurate pulse of the small-group session and collaborative station, assessing the independent station was more challenging. My students are expected to account for the work they did or did not complete during the independent station by commenting on their progress or by talking about something that was interesting or challenging. This is an extremely powerful accountability strategy and also an opportunity for my students to practice their speaking and listening skills.

 
 
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