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Individual Think Time

April 23, 2012

Below is what I read this morning on a Common Core State Standards Webinar that was nicely summed up from what I have been thinking about and hearing about all school year. Students must have some individual time in a classroom where teams/partners are used. This article suggests the beginning of a problem/lesson as a good time for that:

“The goal of the introduction is to activate prior knowledge and to make sure that all components of the problem are clarified so that there are no barriers due to expectations, vocabulary, etc. Once the problem and/or assignment is clear, the students are asked to work alone for several minutes before being placed in a group or with a partner. This ‘work alone time’ is important because it helps maintain the aspect of individual accountability for the learning. During this time the teacher simply walks through-out the room perhaps asking probing questions of students who are hesitant to start, but never explicitly giving clues, hints, or corrections. Once the teacher feels that the students have a good start or at least an idea of where to start students are asked to move into groups or pairs.”

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