Math Minutes Vol. 4

Week of Sept. 28

Fly on the Wall

How can room arrangement support student autonomy and independence?

In this section I will spotlight the work of CWE Third Grade Teachers and explore how they create a learning environment that fosters learner autonomy.

What is learner autonomy?

"Some people mistake learner autonomy for self-instruction. Nothing could be further from the truth. Learner autonomy refers to a student’s ability to set appropriate learning goals and take charge of his or her own learning. However, autonomous learners are dependent upon teachers to create and maintain learning environments that support the development of learner autonomy.

Learners accept responsibility for their learning, review their learning, and evaluate its effectiveness. The more learners begin to think about learning, the more transparent learning will become to them." -Faye Rollings Carter

Third Grade Commonwealth Elementary

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Place value blocks divided into smaller containers for easy use. All materials and books at kid level for easy access. Students know where things are and use them to help solve problems with and without the teacher.

Student Self Check

Seat work answer keys are located on the back of the classroom door. As students complete their independent work, they can self check and get immediate feedback before moving the stations- all while the teacher is working with a small group!
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Math Station Organization

Math stations are listed and organized in numbered tubs with all necessary materials ready. As students complete their assigned station, they can move on to the next one, without interrupting the learning at the small group table!


As you head into the weekend, ask yourself these questions:

  • How does my room support learner autonomy?
  • What is one thing I could steal and adapt to use in my room to increase learner autonomy?
  • What do I need (materials, support) to make it happen?

Next, commit to a personal deadline:

  • When do you think you could have this one new thing up and running? Write the date on the calendar and hold yourself to it!
  • Need an accountability partner? Email me and tell me your plans and your personal deadline. I'll help your reach your goal!!

So looking forward to seeing how you take these ideas and make them your own!

Thank You CWE Third Grade Teachers!!

Kimberly Nguyen, Fatima Prasla, Kristine Rauschuber, and Suemyra Rasvi

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