Sunday, May 12, 2013

Self Directed Learning

As usual... I was on Pinterest when I came across this blog post on Self Directed Learning. You may want to hop over there and read it now... I LOVE the idea of students creating their own schedule for learning activities. One of our goals in our district is for students to become self directed learners. After reading the blog post I had an idea for next year... STAR Fridays (Students Taking Academic Responsibility).

Students would fill out their STAR Schedule on Thursday and they would follow the schedule on Fridays.

 

I would implement it slightly different from the blog post I read. I would limit math work to the math block and reading work to the reading block and so on. Content is for Science and/or Social Studies. VIP is an acronym for their VIP Folder which holds all unfinished work. I set aside a 30 minute block just for this, if a student has no unfinished work then they would use this time for studying or possibly making study materials (flash cards).

I also want to create some type of tracking sheet and goal sheet for math, reading and writing. I want students to spend these days working toward their goals. With this being said, this is what I envision...

Math- students can sign up for a mini-lesson (remediation) with me on a specific skill (I would offer 3 different lessons, 20 minutes each), students can play a math game on the computer or one that's available in the classroom, or any task that will help accomplish their goal.

Content- this time is for science and/or social studies. I have created Design Briefs (mini projects) for just about every content topic. Students would use this time to work on these projects. (Example: when learning about map skills students have to create a classroom map)

Reading- again students can sign up for a mini-lesson with me based on the goals they have (summarizing, inferring), there's also reading games they can play, one *required* activity will be 20 minutes of read to self during that block, if fluency is a goal students could also do repeated time readings and so on.

Writing- students will be writing independently or collaboratively during this block, I also envision students signing up for writing conferences and publishing writings on the computer.

So to sum this all up...
My students will have a 1/2 inch STAR Binder that will house their...
  • quarterly requirements in Reading (4 response letters, 1 reading project, 1 comprehension interview) and Writing (2 writing processes and 2 poems)
  • tracking and goal sheets in math, reading and writing
Every Friday would be STAR Friday and students would be self directed for the day and sign up for lessons/ conferences with me as they need.

What do you think of all this? Do you think could work? Would you try it in your room? Pros...Cons... I would LOVE some feedback on this approach!!!

12 comments:

  1. I really like this idea!! I think it'd be a perfect fit for my 1-2-3 Multiage class next year! What are you thinking about the mini-lessons that you'll offer? Will you post the topics ahead of time (based on the needs that you see) & then let them choose out of those being offered? Trying to wrap my brain around it......but I really like it!!

    Brenda
    Primary Inspired

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    1. I also keep records of students who fail math tests. So I would require them to sign up for a lesson on place value, fractions, add/sub with regrouping, etc... While creating their schedules on Thursday I would have the sheets available and call students over who needed to sign up to make sure they put it on their schedule.

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  2. This is a fabulous idea!!! I need to wrap my brain around it a bit as well but oh I could GO PLACES with an idea like this!

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    1. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this idea as well!

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  3. I love it. So much more detailed then what I wrote about on my blog. I'm trying to get a couple of classroom teachers to try this out next year. I'll be following your progress (so please keep posting!).

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    1. Thanks, I will definitely keep posting!

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  4. Will you be posting your design briefs on teachers pay teachers? I would be interested in seeing an example. This has become the big buzz word in our county. Thanks!

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    1. I won't be selling them because they are curriculum specific, however I can post them on Teaching Oasis if you'd like.

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  5. I really like this idea as well but I'm right there with some of you about trying to wrap my mind around things. Next year will be 40th and last year of teaching; my second year in 1st grade but I feel up to it! (When the year starts and the kids are actually still kindergartners, I'm not sure they can handle it but who knows... they adapt pretty quickly). Anxious to think more about it and hear more from everyone.

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  6. I would really appreciate you doing that. Thanks!

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    1. I've uploaded them here http://www.teachingoasis.com/resources.htm

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  7. Thanks for sharing your briefs...love them! I think I may just try this independent schedule with my 3rd graders. I will probably do it on Wednesday as it short day in our county.

    Rosie

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