Tips for Independent Practice in the Classroom

December 3rd, 2008 by TC Bear
Independent practice is a natural follow-up to whole-class instruction (see previous post, “Whole-Class Instruction vs. Homeschooling“). Lessons are most effective if the materials and literature involved are made available to small groups or individuals for further investigation. Students naturally want to practice what has been presented in order to assimilate new information into their current knowledge. They want to manipulate, repeat, share, and expand upon the presented materials. Learning is a social activity. In most situations the children need classmates (no matter what the level) to bounce ideas off of and learn from. Always allow ample time and space for this valuable practice.

The teacher can provide a multitude of ways to practice. This enables individual needs to be met. Centers can be set up to store the practice materials and activities (see next post; to come soon). Students can then be allowed to choose or be directed to specific centers. They may work there individually or in small groups.

A few other practice exercises include journals and various other kinds of writing, sustained silent reading, rebuilding in the pocket chart, and work with individual word cards. The segment of the day labeled “open work time” is a time specifically set aside for these activities. Remember to allow students to spend several days on one activity if they wish since students learn at varying rates and extend their thoughts at different levels.

With purposeful practice, students’ literacy and thinking skills can improve over time. Given proper modeling, materials, and guidance, along with plenty of opportunities to practice, all students can experience successful learning.

For worksheets, activity books, and other resources to help strengthen independent practice at home or in the classroom, check out the following books:

One Response to “Tips for Independent Practice in the Classroom”

  1. [...] not, you may be neglecting a crucial follow-up to independent practice (see previous post, “Tips for Independent Practice in the Classroom“). Here are some things to consider when checking student practice [...]

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