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
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Jeff's Model Overview

I would describe my classroom model as a tweak on a flex model of instruction. I start each class period by giving students a problem I want them to solve, such as “How would you use the gas laws to explain how popcorn pops?” Students then have the opportunity to create their own learning paths by accessing a variety of curated online and offline resources and activities. I determine if a student has achieved mastery on a given concept by evaluating the online and offline work products they have produced during class and by administering more traditional assessments. However, if a student fails an assessment, he or she can always go back and re-take it. My classroom is 1:1 with a mix of MacBooks and iPads, which have become the vehicle for my students to move at their own pace through difficult chemistry content.

Number of Students: ~ 36 students/period

Number of Adults: one teacher

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 120 minutes (M, T, Th, F); 45 minutes (W)

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: CK-12 BrainGenie; Google Apps for Education; eduCanon; Formative; YouTube; Screencast-O-Matic; Wikispaces; Weebly; Versal; Common Curriculum

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: MacBook computers (1:1); 2nd Generation iPads; SMARTboard; Surface Pro 3 (for teacher)

Key Features: competency-based; content in multiple formats; problem-based; gamification; student agency

 
Routines and Procedures
Student Binders

We don't use text books in our class, we make them. Each student is given a binder at the beginning of the year. The binder becomes a reference book for the students as they fill it up with the lessons they have completed. Many standard textbooks have become a diluted hodepdoge of information, hard for most students (and even myself) to decipher. This binder allows me to create a resource tailored to my students.

 
Learning Apps
Ben's Digital Content and Tech Tools

There are an infinite number of digital content providers and tech tools and education programs a blended teacher can choose to use in his classroom. Check out how and why Ben uses specific digital content and ed tech tools!

 
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