Guided Practice: Everything You Need to Know

This is a practice that allows students’ application of newly taught information. The teacher is usually available to render assistance at this stage. Historically, this model generates the proof of student learning when, following the instructor’s presentation, then collaboration with the learner, students develop their independently prepared work product exhibiting their content knowledge. Then, the instructor provides learners with actionable feedback related to their content mastery. While some learners prepare their work product, the instructor can privately attend to learners who require further help.

The guided practice involves the following phases.

Phase 1: The teacher demonstrates to students how the task is performed. The instructor explains the thought process utilized in finishing the task. During this phase, students play the role of an observer. The instructor presents examples that should draw learners’ attention to the skill/task being demonstrated.

Phase 2: The teacher and student perform the task together. The learner practices the skill/task with the instructor supporting or interjecting throughout the process.

Phase 3: The learners demonstrate the task on their own. They take on the responsibility of improving the learning environment, applying various learning styles (graphic, artistic, narrative, etc.), and finishing the task without instructor input. The instructor is now the observer providing particular feedback if the learner requests clarification. Learners’ presentations can be completed as homework assignments or in class.

Two major benefits of guided practice are the lesson remains focused, and the instructor gives clear instructions to learners describing “how” and “when” to use a specific strategy. The instructor gives the learners guided practice utilizing the strategy and gives feedback on their utilization of the strategy.

For instance, an instructor will write a sentence on the board and read it aloud multiple times in a guided practice lesson, counting the words rhythmically to strengthen the completed sentence’s sound. Next, the instructor has the learners take turns pronouncing the sentence’s words and discussing them. Next, the learners will take turns writing them on the board. As the learner writes a word, the whole class reads it aloud. Successive learners can write their own sentences while the seated learners read them aloud in unison.

Guided practice is an effective method for teaching learners who require explicit directions in each step in a task and collaboration with the teacher. Another group of learners that benefit from this technique is pupils with disabilities. Because IEPs usually mention that pupils get additional time for interaction with the instructor, guided practice delivers that essential service in a manner that instructs learners with special needs in a format and at a pace that fulfills the need for special accommodations.

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