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From "I need help!" to "I can figure it out": How to Promote Independent-Thinking

The 3rd grader that asks for help with every math problem - even though he knows how to do it. The 2nd grader that can't decide which vegetable to choose at lunch without your input. Developing independence in students is both a goal and a challenge for every teacher. While you want to scaffold and support, you also strive to promote independent-thinking in your students. This collection of resources explains what independent thinking is, and strategies for bolstering it.
A Collection By Tracy Pinkard
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
From "I need help!" to "I can figure it out": How to Promote Independent-Thinking
  • Hint Cards

    2:08 Minute Video
    teachingchannel.org
    teachingchannel.org
    Tracy Pinkard says:
    This strategy (and the video describing it) introduced by Audra McPhillips is awesome! Hint cards, a non-intrusive way to encourage students to solve instructional problems independently, is a creative instructional tool that can be used anywhere. Not only does it promote independent-thinking, but this strategy frees the teacher to address other issues.
  • Tracy Pinkard says:
    This infographic by Edutopia does a terrific job of summarizing some key components of independent-thinking, I love this poster because it is a quick reminder of what independent thinking is and why it is important for success in the 21st century. This is a great reference to keep on hand during lesson planning.
  • Tracy Pinkard says:
    Although geared toward parents that are homeschooling their children, the suggestions presented on this infographic are great for traditional school teachers, as well. The 10 tips are easy to implement and applicable in various instructional settings. This is one of those resources that I recommend printing out and keeping on-hand.
  • Tracy Pinkard says:
    Madeline Noonan's video presents an excellent example of one easy way to encourage students to think independently. Specifically, she demonstrates how giving her students enough direction to generally complete a task, but at the same time just enough to pique their interest and force them to think independently, creatively and critically. I like this video because it provides an example to easy to replicate in whole group, small group or individual instruction.
  • Tracy Pinkard says:
    This blog by Judy Willis on Edutopia offers valuable insight into independent thinking as a construct. Framing her discussion of independent-thinking as a component of effective functioning (EF; i.e., analyzing, evaluating, etc.), Willis presents several general strategies that can be used to encourage the use of EF in students. I like the strategies because they can be applied in a variety of instructional settings.
  • scholastic.com
    scholastic.com

    Teaching Techniques: Encouraging Independent Thinking | Scholastic.com

    5 minute read
    Tracy Pinkard says:
    Ellen Booth Church provides 7 easy tips to help encourage independence in students. For each tip, Church includes a brief explanation and description. This is an excellent quick reference for any teacher.
  • Foundations for Independent Thinking

    Website
    creativeeducator.tech4learning.com
    creativeeducator.tech4learning.com
    Tracy Pinkard says:
    This brief article on the Creative Educator website is a great introduction to independent-thinking. I like this article because the examples are relatable and relevant and because of the explicit connections made between independent thinking and Bloom's Taxonomy and Marzano's Instructional Strategies. Additionally, several activities are included that not only align to instructional theory and clearly promote independent-thinking, but that also are just plain fun!
  • Tracy Pinkard says:
    I love this resource from the NDT Resource Center! It is, what I consider, a foundational reference in that, it answers: what is independent thinking? Why is independent thinking important? What are some ways to encourage independent thinking? This easy to read, easy to understand article makes promoting independent thinking easy to do!
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BloomBoard Asks:How have you applied ideas from this collection to your classroom?