Lesson Plan Step #6 - Independent Practice

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Independent Practice is the sixth step in writing an effective 8-step lesson plan for the elementary classroom, after defining the Objective, Anticipatory Set, Direct Instruction, Guided Practice, and Closure.

Through Independent Practice, students have a chance to reinforce skills and synthesize their new knowledge by completing a task on their own and away from the teacher's guidance. It is the part of the lesson where students are given the opportunity to practice what they have just learned.

Independent Practice

In writing the Independence Practice section of the Lesson Plan, consider the following questions:

  • Based on observations during Guided Practice, what activities will my students be able to complete on their own?
  • How can I provide a new and different context in which the students can practice their new skills?
  • How can I offer Independent Practice on a repeating schedule so that the learning is not forgotten?
  • How can I integrate the learning objectives from this particular lesson into future projects?

Independent Practice can take the form of a homework assignment or worksheet, but it is also important to think of other ways for students to reinforce and practice the given skills. Get creative and try to capture the students' interest and capitalize on specific enthusiasms for the topic at hand.

Once you receive the work from Independent Practice, you should assess the results, see where learning may have failed, and use the information you gather to inform future teaching.

Without this step, the whole lesson may be for naught.

Examples of Independent practice

This section of your lesson plan can also be considered the "homework" section or the section where students independently work on their own. This is the section that reinforces the lesson that was taught. For example, it may say "Students will complete the Venn Diagram worksheet, categorizing the six listed characteristics of plants and animals".

3 Tips to Remember

When assigning this section of the lesson plan remember students need to be able to preform this skill on their own with a limited number of errors. When assigning this piece of the lesson plan keep these three things in mind.

  1. Make a clear connection between the lesson and the homework
  2. Make sure to assign the homework directly after the lesson
  3. Clearly explain the assignment and make sure to check for students understating before sending them off on their own.

Difference Between Guided and Independent Practice

What is the difference between guided and independent practice? Guided practice is where the instructor helps to guide the students and does the work together, while independent practice is where students must complete the work by themselves without any help. This is the section where students must be able to understand the concept that was taught and complete it on their own.

Edited By: Janelle Cox