The Teacher's Tool Kit For Literacy

Independent Practice: Time For Learning

Episode Summary

Literacy expert Sharon Callen talks about how to make time for learning in the classroom.

Episode Notes

As teachers we spend a lot of time teaching new skills, but students often don't have enough time to rehearse these skills in real contexts. Practice should make up the majority of a lesson. So, what does high impact practice look like?

Firstly we use the MINI LESSON to have our students practise WITH us as we continue our demonstration. 

The active art of student practice begins right here, with the teacher, trying it out for themselves along with their peers, checking on how it’s working for them and being aware of what they are doing. 

This MINI LESSON is what sets the learner up to know what to practise, what it will feel like to be doing it for themselves as they pursue individual learning.

The MINI LESSON should allow an entry point to take the next step, because the teacher has explained and demonstrated what they have noticed in conferring or roving sessions during INDEPENDENT PRACTICE time.

So during INDEPENDENT PRACTICE, students have the majority of the lesson time to rehearse a specific strategy or skill, whilst teachers have their ears and eyes on how they are managing what has been explained and demonstrated in the MINI LESSON. They give pointed, differentiated feedback to each student and set goals together.

In this episode, Sharon covers this and much more, including:

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Teacher question on our facebook group: Hello. Can anyone recommend a poem or picture book about holidays that I could use as a way in to quick writes and then holiday writing? Here are some answers from our experts....

Answer from Giselle, Year 6/7 teacher


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The Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy is the free podcast for motivated teachers and school leaders who want the latest tips, tricks and tools to inspire their students and school community in literacy learning. 

Hear from literacy expert and founder of Cue Learning, Sharon Callen, and special guests.

At Cue Learning, our literacy specialists draw on over 30 years of teaching and international consulting experience to deliver world-class learning solutions. We equip, empower and support teachers to become their authentic selves. 

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