How to confidently support independent practice in the online classroom

Guided and independent practice look different in the online classroom than in the physical one. This doesn’t mean that practicing what students have learned is any less effective or important. 

However, some teachers have found it difficult to find a balance between the two. Guided practice seems like the best approach in synchronous online instruction, whereas independent practice is often overused in asynchronous settings. 

Most of the time, though, educators complain that there’s just not enough time to do it all, meaning that guided practice will usually take over the entire lesson. 

Independent practice is one of the principles of effective instruction that teachers shouldn’t overlook. Although students need guidance, they also need to be challenged and confident to do things independently. It’s OK to struggle a bit as long as the task falls within the zone of proximal development and they know they can count on your feedback for their independent work. 

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