As we enter into a new calendar year and a new semester I am embarking on a new adventure with another teacher in my room. Our school is starting to taking personalized learning by the horns and offer more personalized learning classes. Our ultimate goal is to take personalized learning and use my experience with standards-based grading to help our students learn and achieve more. There is still a lot of things in the making of what this course will look like. My hope is that I will update this blog and our experiences more than I have ever done (that is not a hard feat).
What is personalized learning?
Our hope is that our classes will allow students to move at their own pace and to get help from each other. Students will have the ability to “fast track” material that they already know and spend more time on information that they struggle with. One of the greatest challenges is testing students when they are ready to be tested because each student moves at a different pace. This leads to boredom for the students that need a faster pace, frustration for students that need a slower pace, and a few that are in the flow of the pace of the classroom. Our hope is that this new classroom will take care of those problems for our students.
The learning map
To help students take ownership of their learning and have the ability to move at their own pace we will be using Canvas to store all of the materials and resources for students. Essentially Canvas will serve as the roadmap for students so that they will always know where they are, where they have been (learned), and where they are going (learning next). As we continue to build, develop, and modify the course students will have multiple options to learn the material and to demonstrate their understanding of the material. Using computers students will be able to watch videos, lectures, read notes, or other activities to learn the material along with peer and teacher support. To show learning students will be able to take a traditional test as well as alternative assessments that include projects, videos, presentations, and more.
Hopefully, the teachers will take the role of a facilitator or resource and not the ultimate holder of knowledge.
2 teachers + 2 classes + 1 room = possibilities
The plan is to teach side by side with another teacher for the same course. We are both teach all Probability & Statistics classes for the semester. This will allow us more freedom to do things in our classes. We envision having multiple small groups while students are working individually or in groups. We also have the ability to have one teacher doing small group instruction while the other teacher is walking around and helping individual students. I am sure we will come up with more ways to take advantage of this set setup learn about some potential things that we do not like about this setup.
With more students in the room, the students will be able to learn from each other and help each other both. We plan to have student experts on different content areas so that all students know what resources are available to them.
I know I have said this many times, but I hope to keep a better record of our experiences and gather information and feedback from students. Maybe even one day I’ll have my act together enough to have a student guest post.