One of the really great things about the North Star curriculum, is the opportunity to individualize your learning.
Individualized Learning means that students have the opportunity to tailor their education to suit their own needs as a learner.
Your curriculum includes many opportunities to individualize your learning through practice activities, worksheets, formatted note-takers, practice questions, etc. Note that any reference to a “science notebook” refers to your personal notebook. These activities will not be submitted for credit, however they provide an extremely important opportunity to make connections to your learning, which will increase retention of new material and facilitate understanding.
Q: Do you really need to complete every worksheet and practice activity?
A: No. This is where you get to individualize your learning. But make sure you’re honest with yourself or you will be doing yourself an extreme disservice.
For example, your curriculum includes practice activities like these:
As your teacher, I ask that you open every single worksheet, look at every single practice activity, review the steps of every single practice problem, etc. When you open the activities, attempt to complete them in your head. Read through the questions and attempt to answer the questions in your mind.
- If you find that you can answer ALL of the questions quickly, without looking back at the textbook or other resources, then you can consider yourself ready to move on.
- If you find that you can answer MOST of the questions, but have to research some of the concepts, then these are the things you should review and add to your notes, before moving on. (It seems intuitive, but I’ll say it anyhow: Don’t waste time reviewing concepts that you aren’t confused on. Focus on the things that you don’t know.)
- If you find that you are unsure of MANY of the questions, then it’s time to do some serious review. Print this activity (if possible), or recreate it in your word processing program and/or notes. Give this material a thorough review. Reach out to your teacher with specific questions on concepts you continue to find challenging. This is the information you really need to spend time on.
One last thing: Individualization will only work if you are honest with yourself.
There is no reason to waste time on practice activities that affirm the learning you’ve already done, but if you don’t take the time to complete the ones that introduce challenging new content, then you are doing yourself an extreme disservice as a learner!! Some days you might be able to breeze through a lesson very quickly because the practice work is not needed. Remember the time you save on those days when you have a particularly challenging new concept and need to spend extra time working to understand it on another day!