• How Our Journey Began

    There is no debate that students learn more when they are engaged. As we began to think about taking on the Personalized Learning Initiative, we were having a lot of talks about what is the best approach and what strategies would promote student engagement. In the midst of this time, we witnessed an incredible teachable moment that helped to solidify our thoughts and directions with Personalized Learning.




    Our cafeteria had approximately 240 students in it on what would be a typical day. The day quickly changed when a lone hummingbird swooped in the back cafeteria door while the custodian was exiting. Once in, the pretty little hummingbird flew to the high ceiling and moved from one are to the next. The children were immediately taken with this real-world problem. As we looked on and tried to problem-solve how to help our little friend to find his way back out of the cafeteria, the students were immediately engaged. The initial event occurred during our first lunch. With each change, more students took up the crusade to solve the problem and save the hummingbird. Students brainstormed a variety of possible solutions which were discussed and tried. We have student offering up their red jackets, their slushies (sugar water), singing, and many other ideas in efforts to attract the hummingbird.







    In the end, we were able to rescue the hummingbird. What is most spectacular about this event is not the hummingbird but what we witnessed in the students. The students were engaged at high levels and eagerly researching and applying innovative ideas in their efforts to save the hummingbird. Students when presented with an authentic, real-world problem, will seamlessly intertwine science, technology, mathematics, and other content areas to rigorous levels. Students will collaborate, embrace challenges, and view failures as a learning opportunity.