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Weekly Learning Cycles

Introducing topics through whole group instruction, then guided release toward independent learning

Context

Instruction at Lovett becomes increasingly more personalized throughout the week. At the end of each week, teachers assess student and class progress during planning time and identify the skill(s) to be taught the following week (Lovett has created their own scope and sequence based on a combination of skills students need and Common Core State Standards). At the beginning of each week, a skill or standard is taught to the entire class, either as a new topic or a refresh for an old one. As the day and week progress, student needs evolve and are better met through small group and more individualized instruction.

Teachers at Lovett think of this as a large “gradual release” model that follows the general pattern of “I do, We Do, You Do.” Skill introduction is first modeled by the teacher, then the teacher and class practice together. Once students show they have enough of a grasp of the skill, they work independently (or in groups) on their assignments. The first two days of the week are usually focused on the guided release, the next two days on independent work, and the final day on catching up if students are behind or participating in Flex Fridays if they are on pace. While the cycles generally occur weekly, they may take more or less time based on how quickly students grasp and progress through the content.

(This Approach is Illustrative of LEAP's Learner Led Strategies)

Student Does

  • Participates in large group instruction.

  • Provides informal feedback to teacher about level of content knowledge.

  • Engages in personalized learning time after demonstrating sufficient knowledge of a skill.

  • Chooses whether to work independently or with other students (content permitting).

Teacher Does

  • Meets with other teachers at the end of the week to determine student progress and plan for the following week’s content delivery.
  • Provides instruction to the entire class for the first 15-20 minutes of a content block (90 and 120 minutes for math and ELA, respectively) at the beginning of the week.

  • Introduces the topic and addresses common misconceptions.

  • Informally assesses students, determining whether the skill is one that is easily grasped, or one the class may need to spend more time on. Informal assessments are teacher-dependent, examples include individual worksheets or raising hands (2 hands = I know it, 1 = I sort of know it, 0 = I don’t know it).

  • Provides more personalized learning opportunities after the large group instruction.

  • Provides support and guidance for students to persevere through difficult independent work.

Technology Does

  • Enhances large group instruction through tools like Smartboards.
  • Provides students with independent work options via Google classroom and docs.