Creating a Personalized Learning Classroom can seem TOUGH.
When you have a classroom full of 30 wacky students – all with specific needs, likes and dislikes, and interests, just about anything can be difficult. So, is personalizing learning a lost cause? No! There is a way to create a student-focused classroom that won’t break the bank, break your back, or lead you down a wormhole of an endless workload.
But, where do you start?
Key Focuses of a Personalized Learning Classroom:
A Personalized Classroom must allow for each student to master a specific standard, topic, or target at their own pace. Therefore, the implementation of a self-paced learning system allows for each student to have the flexibility to master content and then move forward.
A Personalized Classroom must be organized and thought through. Consistency is key! Therefore, having a system in place – that both you and your students understand – can be a HUGE support as students navigate content each day. Consider a few things:
(a) multiple activities to reach the multiple learning needs of your students
(b) scaffolded system to ensure students have mastered prerequisite skills before tackling challenging tasks
(c) multiple checkpoints to confirm student understanding prior to moving forward
(Where can you find all of these elements in one structured, mastery focused, system? Check out The Grid Method.)
The opportunity for students to Retake an assignment allows them to receive more feedback on their understanding. While Retakes continue to be a hot topic in the educational field – the truth is, most events in life allow you to gain a second chance.
Not convinced you yet? Consider what not offering a retake may communicate to your student…
“You have one opportunity to learn this. If you don’t, it’s not worth you learning it. I need to move on to more important content.”
What?!? Not okay! Allow your classroom to echo the message you aim to communicate to your students. If it is valuable enough to learn this week, your content should still be valuable the following week!
One of the most powerful transformations teachers can make in a mastery focused classroom is how to deal with failure! It is more then simply changing instruction, it is a shift in how you talk, interact, and react to students who are struggling. Where do you start? Explore the power of “YET.”
Student Feedback within a mastery learning classroom fills a number of different buckets;
(a) it ensures students continue their development within their understanding of the content
(b) it is a perfect opportunity to continue building teacher and student relationships
(c) consistent feedback is a pivotal time for both teacher and student reflection
The more Feedback opportunities a classroom can have, the more success a students understanding will develop!
Keep enhancing your lesson plans with the other 8 fixes within our “9 Ways to Fix Your Lesson Plans” series!
Fix 1 : Align Standards, Targets, and Mastery Questions (Click to Read!)
Fix 2: Personalize Learning (CHECK!)
Fix 3: Scaffold Student Learning Opportunities (Click to Read!)
Fix 4: Ask Your Students (Click to Read!)
Fix 5: Connect Your Content (Click to Read!)
Fix 6: Acquire Classroom Funding (Click to Read!)
Fix 7: Create Differentiated Tools (Click to Read!)
Fix 8: Assess Understanding, not Task Completion (Click to Read!)
Fix 9: Ask your PLN (coming soon!)