Teaching: Your Role During Independent Learning

Following our November Workshop, take a look at the below to continue your learning on the topic. If you want to develop your teaching practice even further then take our Planning Lessons to Reach All Learners course.

Activity 1

In the workshop, we considered the teacher’s role during independent learning. Download a poster that reminds you how to ‘PAUSE’ and ‘REACT.’

Activity 2

Read the following classroom scenario. Consider carefully:

  1. How does Mr Zulu circulate the classroom effectively? What non-verbal cues does he use effectively?
  2. Which PAUSE and REACT strategies does Mr Zulu use? Think about the following:
  1. When does Mr Zulu decide to help students, as opposed to letting them work through the challenge themselves?
  2. What work does he provide for students who have finished?
  3. How has he carefully planned for those who he knew might struggle with the task? What effect does this preparation have on the students?

Mr Zulu was teaching Year 6 geography. The independent task was that students had to draw and label a volcano.

Mr Zulu began by providing instructions and informing the students that they would have ten minutes to complete the task.

After Year 6 had begun working, he began to circulate the classroom. He walked up and down the rows. From this, he saw that the pair at the front, Mary and Elisabeth, had their heads in their hands and were struggling. They looked like they were trying their hardest. 

Mr Zulu had anticipated that these two girls might find the task hard, as, in the last lesson, they could not remember other facts about volcanoes. He had prepared slips of paper, each with a key term written on them, like ‘ash cloud’ and ‘lava flow.’ He went over to them. 

“Mary and Elisabeth, here are some labels to put on the volcano. Now, all you must do is place them onto your drawing correctly, rather than trying to remember everything by heart,” he said quietly and encouragingly.

“Thank you, Sir. This is very helpful. Now, I can copy the names out and put them into the right place,” said Mary, with a relieved look on her face.

At that point, Mr Zulu could see that Patrice was also struggling, but he had a determined look on his face. Mr Zulu decided to let Patrice try to work out the answers for himself.

Mr Zulu then noticed that Promise and Patricia had begun to look out of the window. He moved towards them and checked they had labelled their volcanoes correctly.

“Ok, you two. You have now finished and everything is correct with your work. Now, I would like you to circulate the room and help your peers. Do not give them the answer, but check that what they have written is correct so far. If it is not, then simply ask them whether they think everything is right with their work.”

Want tips on how to circulate your classroom effectively? Watch this video below.

If you want to develop your teaching practice even further then take our Planning Lessons to Reach All Learners course.