Latania Champion – 2nd Grade Teacher
As a pilot teacher of blended learning station rotations for math, I can honestly say that my students have started understanding more the concept of student agency. Last year my class made great gains overall in math and enjoyed having more input with how they wanted to work towards their math goals. It is important for students to feel like they are involved in some of the decisions made towards how they learn best. Teachers must learn to shift our mindset and give up some of the "power" to our students. Each year that I pilot I continue to learn with my students, and I'm always having to tweak, improve, and change every time. It is a lot of work upfront for teachers, but in the end it really makes a difference for our students!
DeMaria Whitley – 5th Grade Student
I love flexible seating because I am able to sit based on my personal needs. If I need to sit alone to work better, I can go to the cubbies. If I need to focus and listen to my teacher, I can go to the carpet. Mostly, I am able to move at my own pace and my seat can always change. This is why I enjoy flexible seating.
Gabrielle Keith – 5th Grade Student
What I like about personalized learning are itineraries, goal setting, and PBL projects. I like these things because it is challenging and fun and it helps me a lot in all of my subjects. I like that I can plan what I want to do. Right now, I am working on two projects: an Earth Science itinerary and a project on famous mathematicians. I am doing a Sway on it using technology. What I like about goal setting is that it helps me focus on the important things I need to work on. What I like about PBL projects is that it helps me with my collaboration and communication skills. Currently I am working on a PBL project to make a constitution for my class and it has to have 10 amendments. I think my group is making a lot of progress and collaborating well. We agree on topics and rules and are communicating well. We are all friendly with each other and we don’t argue. These are all the reasons I like personalized learning, and I’m glad I get to do it!
Chesiley Stroud - Parent
I'll never forget walking into Mrs. Stewart's room. It was the first time I saw a classroom setup like hers and I absolutely LOVED it! As an adult it made me feel comfortable and the energy in the room was very positive. It definitely makes learning interesting and you can focus when you're in a place you actually want to be in. I even noticed previous students of hers in the classroom saying "I like this room better than my new room." My daughter is constantly talking about how good the room makes her feel and how she loves when it's her time to choose her seat for the day. Mrs. Stewart has done an amazing job creating an environment for her students that they will remember for a lifetime.
Cassandra Bell – Kindergarten Teacher
Personalized Learning helps my Kindergarten students to take ownership of their learning. It allows them to become more independent, verbalize their successes, determine personal goals, and build self-confidence. They suddenly realize that it is okay to keep trying to reach their goals when not achieved the first time.
Lauren Edwards - 4th Grade Student
I really like project-based learning projects. My favorite project was in third grade on recycling trash. We collected and weighed trash to see how much each class threw away. Then we turned our trash into art and set it up at PTO for our parents to see! I made my trash into a vase. I used a mouthwash bottle and some used construction paper, and it was really fun!
Candice Edwards - 4th Grader Parent
Personalized learning is tailored to meet the individual needs of each student. All students have a unique way of learning. I love that my daughter gets to participate in a personalized learning environment. Personalized learning gives her the opportunity to discover her strengths and weakness and align goals around those areas. This will help her focus on realistic goals, but push her beyond the normal standards that are expected. She gains hands on experiences through project-based assignments that she can relate to real life situations. These experiences will help prepare her for future endeavors.
Carol Landgrebe – 2nd Grade Teacher
This begins my 22nd year of teaching and shifting my method from assigning a task to giving my students a choice has been an eye opener to my teaching. My students love having a choice as to where they can work (flexible seating) and choosing what they are working on. I am beginning to form groups and make playlists for my students this year. Last year the students enjoyed working from the playlist.
Teaching before used to be assign a task and the student would complete the task and turn it in. Some student's work was adjusted to differentiate according to their ability. Students usually were working at the same pace, completing the same tasks.
Students look forward to progressing and completing one task and then beginning another. Using an itinerary (playlist) allows them to finish one thing at a time and then choose the next task. They enjoy working at their own pace or getting extra practice or doing a lesson again if they didn’t quite get it the first time. Students who are ready to move on are allowed to go on instead of waiting on everyone to finish.
Abigale Marchant - 5th Grade Student
I like flexible seating! When I’m at home doing my homework, I like to be on my bed where I’m comfortable. It’s the same at school. I like to sit in a comfortable area because it helps me focus and it’s a comfortable way to learn. Sometimes I sit with my friends. Flexible seating helps me be a better listener.
Jamie Roy – 3rd Grade Teacher
The personalized learning platform for math, Dreambox, is going to be fantastic. We also have a multitude of other platforms we can utilize in our itineraries (playlist) as well. I'm very excited about the possibility of using Pebble Go for our research projects. Finally, the ability to speak with our PL coach when planning our units will be an amazing asset.
This year is going to look very different for my PL experience because I teach the collab ESE class (mixture of resource and co-teach students) and I am co-teaching with the gifted teacher. We are both piloting PL and are going to flexibly group our students so they can have the most success possible. We even added a door that goes between our classrooms so that our two classes can move freely between spaces.
I am looking forward to evolving my PL itineraries to include more personalized aspects based on pre/post test data, as well as the students' personal goals for math, reading, writing, and behavior. I am also looking forward to the co-teaching experience.
Kimberly Miles – 4th Grade Teacher
Personalized learning allows me to be more of an academic coach for my students. I can use my professional toolbox to create activities that address individual needs. For me, the primary benefit of personalized learning is the use of digital tools to immediately identify areas of remediation and acceleration. The thing I look forward to the most is turning homework into a meaningful experience that will enable me to use technology to monitor student engagement and give immediate & constructive feedback.