Consider all things accomplished! You and your students have arrived at the resolution of our story. You are now seeing more than one small group for differentiated instruction, and your students are working hard in their independent practice. All things are working together for the greater good; including authentic, effective learning, maintenance and application of skills and concepts, and refinement of individual and collaborative learning practices. Here is what that session may look like.
Final Act – Stage 4:
- Review the rules and routines. Review the expectations for both activities and how to manage materials.
- Remind students of the focus. Begin the session by explaining what students will focus on regarding the previous day’s debrief.
- Start the session. Give the signal for students to begin the session. Remember to try to keep independent practice at the same time each day.
- Implement small group instruction; focusing your attention on your instruction and not on the room. You remain the quiet observer. Though you remain aware of what is happening in the room, make a mental note of what needs addressing during the debrief and move on with your instruction. Remember to allow your students to problem solve and work things out on their own. It is great practice for students to learn how to be independent learners and how to monitor their productivity and work habits.
- Close the session. Give the signal for the end of the session. Allow students to manage their materials and to come back together as a whole without your input. Your job is to observe their practice.
- Debrief the session. Say it with me: “The debrief is the most important part of the session.” Ask; “What worked today and what do you feel good about?” and “What didn’t work today and how can we fix it?” Allow students to respond while you facilitate the discussion. Agree, ask clarifying questions, mark important insights, and bring to light any important observations not discussed. Record their responses.
- Set goals for the next session. The final question is; “What should we focus on for tomorrow’s session?” Allow students to choose what the focus for improving their practice will be. Relate goals either to the rules or the procedures of the practice. Keep it simple! Have them come up with solutions to the problem notating each and post your agreements.
Keep your expectations high, and remember to pat yourself and your students on the back. Acknowledge your rooms hard work, tenacity, and growth. I’m proud of you!