How to Write Lesson Plan Step #6: Independent Practice
Since it's all too easy to copy a classmate's completed worksheet before handing it in, what kinds of assignments are better?
Hi, I'm Kaytie Sproul, here for About.com. I'm a credentialed teacher in the state of California and today we're going to talk about the sixth step of writing a lesson plan: independent practice.After your students are done with guided practice and you've conducted a worthwhile closure session, it's time to reinforce each student's learning on an independent level. To do so, you'll find that choosing the right assignment is key. While worksheets and homework may be the first things that come to mind, you really want to choose an independent activity that requires the students to demonstrate their understanding of the material on their own. It's all too easy to copy a classmates completed worksheet a few minutes before handing it in, so the more expressive the assignment, the better.Ultimately, original student work gives you a much clearer impression of whether or not your lesson objectives and goals are going to be met. For example, let's assume you're reaching the end of a sixth grade English/Language Arts unit on Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting, and your current lesson focuses on the structure of fiction. You could have your students complete a graphic organizer on the major plot points of the story. This type of independent practice ensures that they use their own words to convey an understanding of both the novel and its structure.Some other independent practice options for English/Language Arts include creative writing, journaling, drawings, and oral presentations. It can be tough to find independent practice options that are expressive in nature when it comes to subjects like Math. Assigning students a set of problems from the textbook or having them complete a stock worksheet is often effective in driving the necessary concepts home. However, you can always throw them a curve ball to make sure they're synthesizing the information. In addition to completing their ten textbook problems, have them write an original problem of their own and solve it.Whatever independent practice activity you choose, keep your students' learning modalities and interests in mind. Drill-and-kill methods usually don't have a lasting effect, or give you an accurate picture of your students' progress. As you plan your independent practice activity, make sure it's something that will enhance your students' understanding of the material so they can better retain and apply their new learning to future lessons. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.
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