The teacher sees self-paced learning time as an opportunity for students to learn and practice skills that go far beyond 8th grade mathematics. Class is explicitly structured in ways to give students opportunities to make choices that encourage the development and practice of skills like time-management, self-monitoring, and productivity skills.
To support students in this work, the teacher provides direct instruction and opportunities throughout the class. In some cases, students struggle and make poor decisions, but the teacher believes that the learning they gain makes up for any short-term slow-down in skill acquisition.
- Decides whether they work best independently or with a partner.
- If working with a partner, chooses a partner they work best with.
- Determines how much of their time is spent working on academic content and how much time is spent on non-math activities.
- Allows students to have choice over partners.
- Intervenes with students when they aren’t making good choices.
- Provides instruction and resources to class on various life skills.
- Provides data so students can see who is working on their standard, or mastered their standard, to improve partner choices.
- Provides a progress monitoring system to allow teacher to easily check whether students are using their time appropriately.