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Independent Learning - Previous Revision

Matthew NeedlemanAs a teacher, I no longer feel like I need to control everything my second-grade students do. I can now allow them to work independently in groups. I provide opportunities for students to work collaboratively, and I let them talk while they write. Students are now interested to be in my classroom, and behavior problems have diminished.

--Mathew Needleman Brentwood Science Magnet Los Angeles, California
8 years of teaching

NCTE Resources . . .

Read Write ThinkLearning Centers: From Shared to Independent Practice This lesson This lesson provides a framework for using a shared reading experience to introduce independent literacy learning centers.

NCTE Web SeminarsJoin us for Content Literacy: Four Factors in Building an Effective Instructional Framework on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. EDT featuring Douglas Fisher.  This Web seminar focuses the idea of a Gradual Release of Responsibility focusing on moving from teacher- to student-responsibility for learning and how to make this theory come alive in the classroom.

In "Bringing Children and Literature Together in the Elementary Classroom," Karen Smith describes how she encourages independent work by spending time each day a the beginning of the year engaging in literary events and then talking about specific behaviors that contributed to the success or failure of each situation. Primary Voices K-6, April 1995.


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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts