The value of practice cannot be emphasized enough while learning anything new and gaining mastery over it. In the classroom, students are expected to practice skills they are being taught so they can internalize them. Educators must ensure that students get enough practice, and most importantly get the right kind of practice. This is referred to as ‘guided practice ‘and can be achieved by giving students targeted feedback so they know the areas of focus for improvement.
International Schools in Bangalore speak to the importance of guided practice by entrenching it in lesson plans. Practice helps build fluency for students not only in learning something new but also for reading and writing.
In a typical classroom, a teacher guides students through a discussion, potentially calling on students to share the next step, or having individual students come to the front to help work through the problem. The teacher then has the students independently practice by solving a series of problems that involve the skills and concepts being taught. These interactions lack a critical learning component: learning through collaboration with peers.
Teaching practices such as modeling, guided practice, collaborative practice and independent practice are advantageous as they last over a longer time period and help students master a more complex skill.
Collaborative peer practice
During interactive peer-collaboration guided-practice students work with each other in small groups to practice a new skill or concept. Here teachers can incorporate cooperative learning structures to maximize student participation and practice of concepts.
Students can be seated in pairs or small groups during this time, and structures such as a talking stick and explicit roles within a group can be used to keep them on task. This also provides an opportunity for all students to be equally participate.
The teacher plays the role of supervisor and monitors this activity by walking around to check in case students need any clarifications.
The true purpose of education is to empower students to apply the skills and information they have learned independently without the help and support of a teacher. Independent practice is a time to put this in action.
Teachers can implement independent practice in class by asking students to make projects, keep portfolios, and do homework.
This method is focused on the way students are called on to participate in class. Teachers could begin by selecting students intentionally. These could be students who have a clear understanding of the step you are practicing, or students who hold a common misconception that needs to be addressed with the class.
Students are then called on randomly using structures such as numbered heads. This holds all students accountable to work through the skill and demonstrate where they are in the process. Common successes or errors can be addressed at this time.
The best IGCSE Schools in Bangalore follow most if not all these methods of guided practice making their students independent confident learners.