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Fostering Learner Independence
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Fostering Learner Independence
An Essential Guide for K-6 Educators



December 2008 | 240 pages | Corwin
Learner Independence = student success! This resource examines the importance of supporting students to become independent learners, thinkers, and problem solvers. Educators will find essential information, checklists, and useful tips for helping students learn to work independently, establish strong work habits, problem-solve, and develop authentic personal independence to serve them throughout life. The authors provide reflective questions and encourage teachers to reflect on how they teach and learn in order to identify practices that most effectively foster student self-sufficiency. The bookáillustrates ways that teachers can nurture independence through: Assessment Classroom environmentDifferentiationEvaluationPlanning
 
Foreword by Ron Ritchhart
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Learner Independence
Defining Learner Independence

 
Learner Independence Encourages Self-Esteem

 
Independent Learning: A Habit of Mind

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
2. Structuring for Learner Independence
Controlling Versus Structuring for Learning

 
Fostering Independence Through Student Thinking

 
Interdependence Encourages Independence

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
3. Teaching That Promotes Independence
Implicit and Explicit Teaching

 
Constructivist Education

 
Supporting Students: The Zone of Proximal Development

 
Problem-Based Instruction

 
Gradually Releasing Responsibility

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
4. Expectations and Communication That Supports Independence
Benefits of a Well-Managed Classroom

 
Setting Expectations

 
Communicating With Students

 
Language of the Classroom

 
Peer Communication

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
5. Aligning Understandings and the Environment for Independence
Benefits of a Well-Planned Environment

 
An Environment That Mirrors a Teacher's Understandings

 
Analyzing the Physical Environment

 
Role of the Teacher

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
6. Setting Up for Independence
Arranging the Physical Environment

 
Whole Group

 
Small Group

 
Student Seating

 
Student Seating: The Freedom to Choose

 
The Teacher's Desk

 
Learning Centers, Materials, Supplies, and Resources

 
Wall Space

 
A Final Touch

 
Routines and Procedures

 
Change Over Time

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
7. Assessment That Fosters Independence
A Comparison of Assessments

 
The Link Between Rubrics and Independence

 
Assessment That Encourages Independence and Creativity

 
Assessing With Purpose

 
Reflect on Your Use of Rubrics

 
The Benefits of Assessment for Learning

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
8. Evaluation and Analysis That Develops Independence
Supporting Students Through Evaluation

 
Using Evaluation in Planning

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
9. Information That Fosters Learner Independence
Observations as Assessment

 
Conversations as Assessment

 
Feedback: Descriptive and Evaluative

 
Feedback That Informs Instruction

 
Analyzing Student Work for Evidence of Instruction

 
Analyzing With Others

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
10. Planning to Support Independence
Purposeful Decisions

 
The Teaching and Learning Cycle

 
Long-Range Planning

 
Daily Planning

 
Approaches, Grouping, and Resources

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
11. Differentiating for Independence
All Students Can Learn

 
Teaching Responsively Encourages Independence

 
Using a Variety of Processes and Resources to Encourage Independence

 
Go Deep, Avoid Coverage

 
Students Need to Know Themselves as Learners

 
Student Choice Is Critical

 
Differentiation Leads to Independent Learners

 
Conclusion

 
A Time to Reflect

 
A Visit to Our Classrooms

 
 
12. Conclusion: Changing and Reflecting
Our Behaviors Are Influenced by Thought and Perception

 
Teaching Is Constant Decision Making

 
Learning Requires Engagement and Alteration in Thought

 
Humans Continue to Grow Cognitively

 
 
Resource A: Task Analysis
 
Resource B: Moving From Controlling Learning
 
Resource C: Responses That Encourage Independence
 
References
 
Index

“The authors have written a highly accessible book that could change not only the way teachers teach and students learn, but also contribute to the satisfaction that both teachers and students feel at the end of the day.”

Cynthia L. Wilson, Associate Professor of Teacher Education
University of Illinois at Springfield

"This book has challenged me as a teacher, and I believe others will become better teachers with this book."

Renee Peoples, Fourth-Grade Teacher
Swain West Elementary School, Bryson City, NC

“Teachers and administrators will find this book valuable. It has a strong theory and research base along with concrete examples from many classrooms.”

Marilyn Duncan, Literacy Consultant
Author, The Learning Network

"The authors have spent years thinking and writing about the conditions necessary to design, implement, and reflect upon for teachers to be intentional in our work and what independence means for our students. Their book acts as a personal coach for any teaching wanting to increase the rigor of their classroom, establish a classroom of independence, manage their own planning time productively, increase parent support, and truly increase student achievement."

Dawn Christiana, Teacher, Literacy Consultant
Bellingham School District, WA

"This excellent book covers all aspects of what teachers can do with their students to help them develop as independent learners.”

Linda Lee and Mary Haymond, Multi-age Classroom Teachers
Spokane Public Schools, WA

“This one will be dog-eared, highlighted intensely, and readily accessible on the corner of my desk. However, in the spirit of this book’s call for independent thinking, don’t take my word for it. Read and judge for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.”

Rick Wormeli, Columnist
Middle Ground, National Middle School Association

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412966078
£29.99