How much time do your students spend actually reading and writing? There is so much research out there that supports the need for independent reading and independent writing with conferencing to become better readers and writers. More than half of your instructional block should be dedicated to independent reading and writing, so students can practice the strategies and skills taught. When we teach a strategy, we have to give opportunities to apply their understanding of the strategy. Imagine taking dance lessons where the instructor explains, demonstrates, and guides you through the dance steps, but you don't practice the steps on your own.
Some people can learn like that (don't get me wrong), but the vast majority of people will need time to practice the steps to make them their own. Independent practice with the instructor looking on, ready to jump in and assist, is a necessary part of performance-based tasks. Reading, writing, listening and speaking are performance based, and independent practice is required to ensure mastery. Structure your instructional time to reflect that belief.
Now wait a minute. This was easy to do in face-to-face settings, but what does this look like in virtual?? Here are some options to consider:
11/30/2020 05:17:34 pm
Yes! Practice makes habit! Thank you for sharing your insight!
12/8/2020 04:27:56 am
Student choice is highly effective. Naming channels peer review, peer writing, and writing independently are all options that address the needs of students. Peer review allows students to work with peers before they get to the teacher who may be working with face to face students. Peer writing gives students the ability to write with peers, bounce ideas ,a thought partner or writing buddy. Great for sped students and ELLs. And the independent writing channel is for the students that likes a quiet space to work in alone. Choice is always important and a great way to engage students especially in a virtual space.
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Malene Golding has been a professional educator for over twenty years, teaching, coaching, and managing reading and writing teachers, as well as administrators and specialists.