Last week we had another successful Facebook discussion, all about how to help our children to become more independent learners.
We had an overwhelming response and lots of great ideas and questions were shared. Below is just a summary of some of the most popular responses during the discussion.
As well as this blog post, the discussion has also prompted me to create a few new tpet resources to support some of the ideas.
I hope they help and inspire you to build a more independent classroom.
It’s OK to not know but it’s not OK to not try.
Kate F said “Last year I found that some children had a fear of being wrong and were very reluctant even attempting something that seemed a little challenging. We had circle time to discuss how it was alright not to understand but it wasn’t ok not to try. It kind of became a class mantra and would remind them of it regularly throughout the day. The children really seemed to take it on board, reminding each other of it.”
We now have a new poster to encourage this way of thinking and you can download it for free here >>> It’s Okay to not know…
Give the children ownership over what they are learning.
Naomi P said “To encourage my children to be independent learners I feel passionate that they need to feel ownership of what they are learning.
My children discuss their new topic with me and we decide together the course we would like to take. Another important thing for my children is success criteria, which both myself and the children come up with, they know that if they are stuck before anything else they can use the success criteria to help them. When they are finished they must check they have included everything we discussed to reach their objective. All about their ownership of learning for me.”
Use classroom reminders such as verbal phrases or posters for when pupils get stuck, so that they are not tempted to come to you immediately.
There are lots of different reminders teachers use. Some of the more popular ones are:
– see 3 before me. These 3 might be 1) Re-read the LO 2) Use some resources 3) Ask a friend
Download for free here >>> VIP Plates
-Self Neighbour Others Teacher…Download for free
Download our free What to do if I’m stuck posters
Paula H said “Children need to feel empowered to choose resources without the need ask. I like the idea of a ‘help desk’ where they can find what they need.”
Keep an organised and easy to access classroom.
If your pupils feel they can access the resources around them easily, then they will learn to use these as part of their independent learning process.
If you want to minimise what they use, you can prepare a table of resources but personally I think the resource selection side of things is just as important as what they do with them.
You can download all our classroom labels for free here >>> classroom labels
Reward independent behaviour
Jaclyn G said “If someone stands out for being independent they get to be a VIP (very independent person) and they get to wear a special pass for 2 days. They get special privileges such as going to front of the line, sitting on a chair rather than the carpet, sit on a bench in assembly etc”.
You can download our new VIP passes for free here.
Stacie G said “I teach year 5 and have p scales to level 4 so when my HA children have finished rather than set them a challenge I encourage them to go and work with my LA children to try and encourage collaborative working. That way it also frees me up to support my MA”.
To read more about our independent learning discussion, head to this link on our Facebook page >>> Independent learning
How do you promote independent learning in your classroom?