8 thoughts on “Independence is…

  1. Well, that sounds great, but how exactly did you achieve this?

    What’s missing in education blogs is the specifics. We have lot’s of evangelists for independent learning but very few people tell us how it can actually be achieved. I’d love to see a sample lesson plan.
    What tips would you give someone who has tried independent work and been stuck on the ‘off-task giggly teenagers’ phase?

    • Have a look through some older posts for actual lesson plans and methods. I linked up two in this post but there’s lots of others. This was just expanding a thought I had the other night so I’m sorry it’s not very practical. I do have lots of lesson plans I could forward you if you send your email.

      The off task giggly bit is inevitable as they are kids so my advice is go with it but then hold up a mirror to the effect it has on learning. I take photos as they work and try to snap off task and on task behaviour so we can reflect on it at the end of the lesson. That way we have real examples of what good learning looks like. I also listen in on conversations and note down things they say. I then stop them and explain what I’ve heard word for word. Pupils laugh at their silly conversations and decide what good learning sounds like too.

  2. Also echoing the ‘how’?! plea.

    Have a similar class at the moment, and many times have wanted to go back to rows and silent working, but am persevering! There are some improvements – the less disruptive lessons are increasing, and I do think there is a gradual realisation of which lessons include the most progress…will definitely try showing them/reflecting on how good learning happens and what it looks like to keep this up.

  3. I really enjoyed this post. As an NQT, at the start of term I was told by my HoD to put my classroom into rows (I originally set my room up in groups). I did so, and it worked for a bit, but I found it really restricted my teaching. I’ve been wanting to move into groups, but, if I’m honest, she’s scared me off so much I’ve only managed to go into a horse shoe which, really, isn’t much better than rows! I like the idea that, even if group working is difficult at first, pupils can be trained into it. You’ve made me rethink about having a go… Thank you!

    • I’m pleased you’re rethinking groups. It is my favourite way of working. If I ever put desks in rows it means we are doing a test. I think it is important to know how to work totally independently but group work has so many merits it shouldn’t be avoided altogether. Let me know how you get on 🙂

  4. I have found your blog really interesting. I’m an NQT and have a set 2 Year 10 class that hate any kind of interaction with each other. They simply sit and stare at me. I have moved the tables so some are sat facing the wall rather than me to encourage group talk. However, when I dared mention peer assessment I had a protest on my hands! I would really appreciate some advice on how you managed to get your Year 10’s to do a small amount of group work or peer/self assessments. Any lesson plans that might help would be great – kimberleyl84@googlemail.com

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