Personalized learning recognizes that children learn in different ways and at different paces. Teachers develop a ‘learning plan’ with students based on how they learn, what they know, and what their skills and interests are. This approach allows students to learn skills that challenge them appropriately which means setting goals that are challenging yet attainable. Students work with their teachers to set both short-term and long-term goals. This process helps students take ownership of their learning.
Teachers make sure learning matches up with academic standards, and regular informal and formal checks are done by teachers to ensure students are demonstrating the skills they’re expected to learn. This approach allows students to be successful learners as they make continuous progress and not be constrained in areas they excel.
How are personalized learning plans set?
It is a ‘given’ that teachers come to the classroom with a range of strategies that can be employed independently or blended with others to best suit a child. The success of that ‘personalized learning plan’ is heavily dependent on the teacher’s ability to empathize with children, be a strategic thinker and to adapt to a range of personalities. Teachers use a variety of sources in order to help them to make the most informed teaching and learning strategies such as:
- day-to-day observations and interaction with students
- collaboration and note-sharing with other teachers at a grade level
- internal ‘baseline assessments’ that happen for literacy and math
- formative assessments that happen weekly with students
- summative assessments that indicate what students have learned
- discussions during parent-teacher conferences
- Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment results
Through this multi-faceted approach, personalized learning has the best chance of being successful.