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what does independent learning mean?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mel22, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. I feel a bit confused about what is meant by independent learning. I would love to hear what other people mean by this and how they encourage independent learning in the classroom. Thanks
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    It means 'It is Friday afternoon. I'm tired and fed up and having a very bad day, so please go away and work all by yourselves. Thank you.' There sorted!
  3. Yup! Or 'Here's something I've photocopied from a Topic book, now go and make pretty notes and do some nice pictures... anything to keep you quiet until the paracetamol kick in!'
  4. lol @ minnieminx and teacher1974. :-D
  5. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I means "I can't be ***** to organise anything proper or teach anything this afternoon so go and get the laptops out and research Neil Amstrong on the internet - just remember that WikiAnswers is 98.9% bollocks, kids"
  6. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    It means Teacher busy at desk playing Foxy Bingo while class self-motivate...
  7. hpblossom

    hpblossom New commenter

    Ha ha Thank goodness for real people
  8. hehe love all your answers!
    unfortunately i dont think that is what ofsted meant when they said the children need to become more independent learners!!
  9. razziegyp

    razziegyp New commenter

    It means' You're Year 6, Sats are over, I cannot give any more, choose a project title, get a computer, research it yourself, I will pretend to look at it and distribute random prizes at the end of term and don't complain cos you've had a nice skive for the last four weeks' .

    Long live honesty!!!
  10. Ramjam

    Ramjam New commenter

    In FS it means children don't pester you for half an hour while you talk to a visitor ( who is very impressed by this). What they are doing doesn't really matter.
  11. Wow...shocking responses here.
    Our school Ofsted was last month and we were graded outstanding based on our costant observation, assessment, enhancements and scaffolding during independent learning in areas of Constant Provision.
    I don't know what year you are asking about, but I'm a Y1 teacher and in YR and 1 we do whole class carpet learning sessions and then let the children choose to work in zones in the indoor or outdoor classrooms.
    Each area has a task. Some of these are 'open' and the children can run in any direction they like (independent), some are tasks or questions I ask them to specifically answer (adult initiated, but independently answered) and some are done with an adult in a group (anywhere from 2-15 children at a time) and are adult directed and supported.
    I have 6 outdoor zones and 8 indoor ones...and anyone who thinks that setting them up, resourcing them, observing and assessing for understanding and next steps for 30 children all learning in a different place and way drive me bonkers. We also use an 'enhancement' system to keep the environment alive and engaging.
    If you are talking about KS1 feel free to let me know your email address and I can send you some plans, Constant Provision sheet examples for YR EL Goals or KS1 National Curriculum objectives, enhancement sheets and ideas etc.
  12. Marvellous.
  13. In response to BestIcanbe's post, do you think it is possible to teach this way in KS2? I teach in year 5 and wanted to develop my topic work in this way, with children having some responsibility in their own learning. Have tried to set up a range of activities linked to the topic, but I feel I am still giving too many instructions or too structured activities as the children have had very structured teaching from year 1 to when they get to me in year 5. Any suggestions?
  14. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I did it in literacy last year with year 5. (Being serious now, as opposed to silly yesterday.)

    Over the course of a week, 5 lessons, I had five different activities. One was a shared writing activity working with me. One an independent writing activity. One an art activity, linked to our book. One a role play. And one was free choice, but had to be linked in some way to the book.

    In each lesson I read a bit more of the book, we discussed it and then the children went off in their 5 groups (top group, bottom group and three mixed middle groups) to one or other activity. They rotated round each one during each week over three weeks.

    The shared writing was obviously led by me totally. The independent writing was a genre given by me, but not much guidance. The art they made a life sized collage of a given character, but could do it in any way they wanted and make the character look however they wanted. The role play was their choice, but linked to what we read that day and shown to us at the end of the lesson. The free choice was just that, but they told us at the end of the lesson what they had been doing.

    Worked a treat. We did it twice for two different books in the last summer half term.
  15. Sounds interesting Minnieminx. Which books did you base this on? What sort of things did they come up with in the free choice activity? Had they had any suggestions or training on what you expected? I'm concerned that they may not produce high quality work.
  16. to besticanbe....anything you could share would be very gratefully recieved..thank you
  17. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    The boy in the girls' bathroom and a child's version of The Tempest.

    Goodness all kinds. Art and DT based generally, but sometimes a letter or a poem, even emails. One group made a puppet theatre of one of the scenes working all together.
    Not for free choice no. Only that it had to be something year 5 would be proud of and would impress us all at the end of the lesson. For the tempest I id give each group a scene each as they wanted to perform it to other people. We performed to year 3 at the end of the topic.
    Only you know your class, but we had no problem.
  18. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Interestingly we usually do something like this in the school where I do regular supply this half-term.
    As I'm on a temporary sick-cover teaching Year 8s and we're doing an investigative task for 3 weeks.It's baseically an extension on the 'Design a new Quiet room' investigationwhich they do in Year 5 and on the Theme Park idea which they do in Year 6. Task is to 'Design their own Festival', could be a Music Festival, Agricultural Festival, whatever they like.
    This time they are not given a budget in advance, but have to plan their Festival, research what they need and present a budget in Excel. Convert their figures each time there is a change to numbers etc.
    They have to pitch their idea to potential sponsors (the class) and the sponsors vote and then depending on how many vote they are awarded sponsorship.
    We also see how popular their idea is to work out how many tickets they can sell.Lots of multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, percentages, fractions, ratio etc.
    They have to plan a scale drawing and design symbols and a key and an entrance wristband based on a geometric shape.
    There's also potential for planning an advertising campaign with radio/tv adverts,(even a musical jingle?) brochures etc. in literacy. You could do a model of a ride for DT.
    They have been given a checklist of what they're going to be assessed on at the end of the project, to help keep them on target, but what they do, which order etc. is very much up to their group.
  19. Thank you BestIcanbe I teach KS1 and would love to see examples of your planning, I'll pm you my email.
    Do you still plan and teach topics that you choose or are they decided on by the children?
  20. Cocopop...our school is slowly phasing in this type of learning in KS2. The other posts on here sound like our Y3 and 4, but Y5 and 6 aren't lucky in terms of their classroom sizes so they have an independent or adult led task running in the outdoor classroom (not near their rooms, but a group goes with the teacher or TA, and they have 1 zone in the classroom that the children totally run. This is linked to their current work or topic. During work on the Time Travelling Cat they made a time machine and used it as a very 'grown up' (their words!) role play area. They resource this area from their homes (by writing notes home to parents) and the school and town library and they love it.
    Hope that helps a bit.
    I'll email the people that have asked on here later...I've gotta shower and get out to meet a friend!

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