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Posted on May 13th 2020
Independent Learning in Maths
Celebrating Independent Learners in Maths
“Being able to think and act independently remains one of the most important skills that a student can learn. We live in a culture that is rooted in individualism − where independence is central to our ethical and social world view. Failure to prepare learners for the demands of a world where teachers will not be available to provide all the answers is to do them a great disservice.”
The Mathematics department at Chobham has been actively focussed on teaching learners to learn because we believe that it is a tremendously valuable skill. Our aim is to help learners to take more responsibility for their learning which inevitably transforms the teacher’s role into a leader rather than the controller of how they learn. During the current coronavirus lockdown, a unique opportunity has been provided for us, together with the invaluable help of parents and carers, to further encourage and guide our learners into becoming Independent Learners.
After careful planning and much consideration, we decided to set our learners achievable and differentiated tasks on familiar, award-winning Mathematics platforms such as hegartymaths, mathskitchen, MyMaths and corbettmaths. The platforms provided learners the opportunity to decide when and what to study within the guidance of our provided timetable; find and collect information from watching video lessons: review their prior learning as well as organise their thoughts through making notes as shown in the images below of notes made by Beatrice – Year 7, Aliza - Year 7 and Haroon - Year 10.
The learners gained instant feedback after completing each task and as a result of that, some emerging Independent Learners have taken it upon themselves to investigate online, pursue further explanations from their class teacher and redo the tasks several times until they achieve 100%.
“I refuse to accept anything other than 100% in all my tasks” - Qasim, Year 10.
We have also noticed an increase in the number of learners proactively asking for and even independently finding extension tasks which have been completed to a very high standard.
“Hello Miss Hagglund, what other topics should we cover if we need to do more work? I have been using the rota/plan for maths learning that you uploaded here to continue studying maths as normal alongside the hegarty maths, however some of the topics we have not gone through. Should I still learn them and continue, or is it better to revise other topics that have been covered?” Simona - Year 10
We celebrate the emerging Independent Learners especially because Creative Education highlights that they gain key skills both during and beyond their education such as the ability to:
- Gain and deploy information
- Use different media to communicate effectively
- Organise themselves
- Solve problems and
- Relate to others
Therefore, the Mathematics department is hopeful that after the temporary coronavirus lockdown storm, the key skills gained during this time will be the rainbow waiting on the other side.