Independent Student Learning

"Look At Your Notes"

The most common answer I give students when they ask me a question is "look at your notes." The course is designed so any question in the practice problems or mastery quiz have been directly addressed on the current video lesson or a past one. Because the design of the lessons has been created with this intentionality, it's easy to refer students to the exact place in the notes they can find their answer. It's been a challenge to not jump in and immediately offer students help, and many get frustrated in the moment, but over the course of the year students develop strong independence in their learning, able to use their notes, peers, and online resources to find the answer they were looking for.


Strategy Resources (3)
Strategy Explanation
 
 
It may seem simple but it is the most important strategy I use with my students that contributes to their ownership over their own learning.
Student Handout
 
 
The mastery quizzes correspond closely to notes and practice. It's a fair system, and if students fail a mastery quiz it is usually because they hadn't looked over their notes closely rather than some deep conceptual misunderstanding. As the year progresses, they begin to realize the correlation and see the value in studying their notes.
Student Handout
 
 
Lesson packet that includes lesson notes and independent practice. If you look, there is a strong correspondence between the notes and the practice problems. If a student is having a problem, I can usually just refer them to a problem from the notes rather than reexplain the concept. As the year progresses, students begin to start looking at the notes closer before asking a question.
Strategy Explanation
 
 
It may seem simple but it is the most important strategy I use with my students that contributes to their ownership over their own learning.
Student Handout
 
 
The mastery quizzes correspond closely to notes and practice. It's a fair system, and if students fail a mastery quiz it is usually because they hadn't looked over their notes closely rather than some deep conceptual misunderstanding. As the year progresses, they begin to realize the correlation and see the value in studying their notes.
Student Handout
 
 
Lesson packet that includes lesson notes and independent practice. If you look, there is a strong correspondence between the notes and the practice problems. If a student is having a problem, I can usually just refer them to a problem from the notes rather than reexplain the concept. As the year progresses, students begin to start looking at the notes closer before asking a question.
Benjamin Siegel
New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities II
Bronx, NY


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Quick
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Tenth grade
Similar Strategies
Routines and Procedures
Student Filing

I was spending an hour every day filing students' graded quizzes when we realized, "Why are we doing all this filing? Students could easily do this themselves." Since the number one thing we are trying to get students to do is take ownership over their learning, we decided to have students file their own papers, cutting down on a lot of menial work for us and giving students a chance to see a physical record of what they had and had not mastered.

 
Assessment & Data
Mastery Zone

My blended classroom is based on the Flipped Mastery model (please see the "Introduction to Mastery Based Learning" strategy video). When my students think that they have mastered the skills and concepts in a particular lesson, they show their completed notes to me or my co-teacher and get a Mastery Quiz. Students then head to the Mastery Zone, which is a section of the classroom reserved for students taking Mastery Quizzes and Level Tests. There is no talking in the Mastery Zone and the only technology permitted is a calculator. If they achieve at an 80% or higher rate, students move forward in the curriculum. If not, they review the concepts and materials in the lesson and re-take the Mastery Quiz in the Mastery Zone when they are ready. The Mastery Zone assessment strategy is a concept I adapted from the Algebros Flipped Mastery program.

 
Instructional Openings
The Catalyst

Chemistry is a combination of the comprehension of scientific content and the application of mathematics to those concepts. My students have to be prepared to think deeply about difficult concepts the minute they step into my room. Starting the class with a relevant "Catalyst" helps them initiate their own thinking processes in preparation for a productive day in the same way that biological enzymes catalyze chemical reactions. During The Catalyst, I model my thinking process for how to approach a mathematical problem by having my students identify the key steps in the calculation and establish a foundation that students who struggle with math can fall back on when they're confused.  

 
 
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