Promoting Independence and Self-Directed Learners
The OJCS North Stars continue to help us navigate our journey through Distance Learning. ‘We Learn Better Together’ has never been more apparent than during this pandemic. The collaboration we are seeing between teachers, with administrators, with and between students and with parents is truly inspiring. One of our main objectives continues to be to promote independent and self-directed learners. In some ways, this is very challenging to do through distance learning, and in other ways, it becomes easier to do in this format. One of the biggest barriers and frustrations we are hearing from parents is that their child is not independent and struggling to navigate this platform without parental support. Together, we are working collaboratively to address this very real concern.
Over the past few weeks, we have been putting many resources together to help students become even more self-sufficient (We Own our Own Learning). Kindergarten students are learning how to log onto a Google Meet independently by clicking their Morah’s picture. Grade 1 and 2 teachers have added visual posters and checklists to their weekly schedules. Grades 3-8 teachers have added “To-Do Lists” to their weekly plan and are highlighting priorities of what should be worked on first. All teachers are doing their best to pre-record or live record their lessons so that students can watch them at a more convenient time, or watch them again as they begin their work. All of these added features have been in response to the feedback we have and will continue to collect from parents and students. So thank you for continuing to share what is working and what is not.
Here are some posters to help students become more independent and take even more ownership of their learning. Feel free to print these and hang them in your child’s workspace to help empower them to “own their own learning.”
Some additional tips for parents to continue to promote independence:
- Believe in your child and tell them that you do. Empower them to work through struggles on their own and help them learn from their mistakes. Encourage them to ask for help from their teachers once they have tried themselves.
- Help with organizational skills and planning so that your child has the tools they need to be successful. Print sheets they may need ahead of time, help them practice logging into their drive and blogs to find all the files they will need for their day and then encourage them to follow their daily schedules. Have folders available to help students organize their work, and/or help create folders in their Google Drive to keep their work in order.
- Set timers and expectations (and encourage your child to learn how to do that themselves) for times they need to be working on tasks.
- Remove distractions and help your child recognize distractions so they can remove them themselves. A quiet working station is ideal if that’s possible in your home.
- Keep lines of communication open so that the teachers and the school can know if students are struggling.