Giving Efficient Directions: Sometimes Less is More
Lesson Objective: Give students the freedom to solve problems independently
All Grades / All Subjects / Expectations

Thought starters

  1. In what kinds of situations would this strategy work best?
  2. How does having high expectations allow students to construct their own understanding?
  3. Notice how Ms. Noonan gives efficient but minimal directions. What effect does this have?
38 Comments
I love this idea of signaling when you have given just enough information and want them to figure it out on their own!
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I love this. I have to try it with my kids.
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I think when we allow kids to problem solve their own issues, they a learn a life skill that is sometimes even more critical then the skill they are learning while completing a task.
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Critical thinking built within the lesson simply by giving directions! Great idea!
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I love this strategy- especially the idea of asking the student a question to help clarify his/her focus. I notice in my classroom that the kids either get irritated because I don't just give them answers or they get overwhelmed by too much direction. This will encourage me to look for ways to limit and hold them responsible.
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Transcripts

  • Luna Productions
    Transcript of completed program
    Teacher: Maddie Noonan

    Students rise to expectations.

    [00:00:08]
    Teacher: How many cuts does it

    Luna Productions
    Transcript of completed program
    Teacher: Maddie Noonan

    Students rise to expectations.

    [00:00:08]
    Teacher: How many cuts does it take to make the box into one flat piece.

    [00:00:11]
    Often times what I’ve noticed in my classroom is that students will become so dependent on information from their teacher that they forget that they have enough information to solve things on their own.

    [00:00:24]
    Teacher: So today you need to figure out what’s the least number of cuts you can make along the edges to flatten the cube and then you actually have to write a letter with your group to your friends convincing them it will work every time.

    [00:00:38]
    So sometimes I’ll very abruptly and dramatically say that’s all I’m telling you. And one, it’s a hook because students want to know why?

    [00:00:51]
    Student: Can the letter be to someone in your group or does it have to be someone out of your group.

    Teacher: I have a question for you. Do you think that is the biggest place our focus should be?

    [00:01:02]
    Student: No.

    [00:01:04]
    Teacher: Do you think that you could even answer that question yourself?

    [00:01:07]
    And two, it’s a reminder that you don’t need all the information from me, you are so intelligent and capable you have what you need to figure the rest out.

    Teacher: Capiche?

    [00:01:20]
    Students can rise to extremely high expectations so I try not to spoon feed them but to give them the opportunity to do so.

    [00:01:31]
    Teacher: And that’s all I’m going to say.

    ? end of transcript

School Details

Think College Now School
2825 International Boulevard
Oakland CA 94601
Population: 301

Data Provided By:

greatschools

Teachers

Madeline Noonan
English Language Arts Math Social Studies / 5 / Teacher

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