Independent Practice: Everything You Need to Know
This is a scenario where the students use everything they have learned without having the guidance of a teacher. This helps the teacher to decipher if they have done justice to the lesson in terms of teaching. Independent practice is often considered a difficult process, but it can lead to great gains in student achievement if properly implemented. During the process, the instructor encourages learners to apply skills previously demonstrated. Learners then perform the task independently, exhibiting what they’ve learned and showing their competency. The instructor’s role in the process is to support learners as a facilitator.
The design of this process intends to improve learners’ independence by optimizing these characteristics:
- School curriculum
- Students’ learning styles
- Learning and instruction
- Classroom delivery
The two-pronged objective of instruction should be that learners internalize the lesson content in a manner by which they can retrieve and appropriately apply it. In doing so, they continue to build upon the information as they learn independently. The procedural components of independent practice involve the following:
- Reviewing individual student’s performance
- Specific and immediate teacher feedback
- Academic gains
- Classroom structure
Independent practice can be utilized to develop one-on-one relationships with learners during the process by which the instructor carries out individualized assessments and when following up on homework. The process is also useful for small-group discussions.
Teachers should consider the following factors when writing an independent practice session of a lesson plan.
- Based on observations during guided practice, what activities will the students be able to finish on their own? Teachers should be realistic in evaluating the class’s capabilities and expect any challenges that might arise. This helps them be proactive in identifying assistive tools that can help learners work independently.
- Real-world applications bring lessons to life and help learners recognize the value in what they’re learning. Teachers should try to find creative and fun ways for the students to practice what they’ve just learned. It’ll help students acquire mastery of the topic and better assist them in retaining the skills and information over a longer period of time.
- Learners may get weary of repeated tasks, so teachers should look for ways to give them a repeating schedule with fun and creative options.
- Teachers should try to integrate the learning objectives from one particular lesson into future lessons. Finding ways to weave earlier lessons into the present ones and the present lessons into future ones can be an effective method to support retaining skills and knowledge.