I have the fortune to have a principal that has been interested in personalized learning and who toured a school in the Milwaukee area that has been doing it very well. She has inspired me to learn more about personalizing educational experiences and setting academic goals with my students. I jumped right in this spring and relied upon my understanding of “the CAFE” by Boushey and Moser to help manage the process. I also had the opportunity to attend an “Introduction to Personalized Learning” workshop last spring at our local educational agency (CESA 6 in Turtle Lake, WI). I am excited to share what I have learned with my colleagues over the next few days. I am including my SlideShare presentation and accompanying notes as a resource for those interested in learning more about personalized learning as well. I am by no means an expert but I am definitely journeying down the personalized learning path with my students close at hand.
Click on the following link to download personalized learning notes that you can use to interact with the slide presentation.
Click here to visit CESA 1’s website to explore various videos about personalized learning (both from a student perspective and from that of a teacher).
Are you interested in learning how to identify the core elements of personalized learning? Click here to visit CESA 1’s website to download the personalized learning honeycomb. (Scroll to the bottom of the page where it says “downloadable graphic and matrix.)
Another title for today’s blog post could be “Blending Learning Effectively.” I have been deeply interested in blended learning for the past two years and I must say that I have come a long way in my understanding of how to craft engaging lessons that will help my students think deeply and learn successfully.
At first, I was reactive in my efforts to flip lessons. I had a student that was going to be absent for a significant amount of time due to a major surgery. My principal suggested flipping lessons to help her keep up with the work of her peers. The only thing I could think of was to tape the lessons that I was teaching the rest of the class and later post them on my classroom website. It quickly became apparent to me that I was missing something because as I reviewed my videos, I could see that my lessons tended to “wander.” Could I, let along a student, sum up the learning target in 1 or 2 sentences afterwards?
I began to experiment with different platforms to deliver content. I learned that opportunities to interact to the lesson and draw upon prior knowledge resulted in increased student success. I learned that students performed better when they had the chance to work in cooperative learning groups. I used to think that the sky was the limit in my potential to provide individualized instruction for my students with the use of technology. Perhaps one of the biggest “aha” moments was when I read in John Hattie’s “Visible Learning” book for the first time that individualized instruction has a low effect size (translation-didn’t give much bang for its buck).
I have included some resources here today that I will be sharing with my colleagues that are interested in learning more about blended learning. One of the most powerful and influential books that I have been reading this year is “Visible Learning for Teachers Maximizing Impact on Learning.” If you are familiar with Hattie’s work, you will recognize some of the suggested instructional elements in both the SlideShare and the notes to accompany the presentation.
Click on the following link to access notes that support learning activities that go along with this session: Blended learning notes
Click here to access examples of K-12 flipped lessons to evaluate.
You’re almost done! I first delivered this presentation at the 2014 MN TIES Educational Technology Conference with my co-presenter, Mike Henderson. Click here to access our resources page. You will find a brochure to accompany the presentation in addition to examples of student lessons. (Note: the Layar science and social studies activities are time sensitive and are no longer “active.” If interested in experiencing the lesson through the eyes of a student, just email be at email@example.com and I will send you current campaigns.)
Enjoy and, as always, if there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me or comment below.
I love Debbie Miller. I love the “Two Sisters.” I love Regie Routman. I love Ellin Oliver Keene. Now I am really sounding like I spend a lot of time in first grade surrounded by 6 and 7 year olds! The reality is, I do love what these reading gurus stand for. I love teaching my students to take a book from their book box and move beyond “word reading.” Regardless of reading level, I love to teach young children to dig deeper into their reading. The connections, the questions, the predictions, the inferences that result are exciting. At times, they bring tears of joy to my eyes!
What do you do, however, when you spend time introducing comprehension strategies in a systematic manner and students still “don’t get it?” I have never subscribed to the thought process of “Well, I taught it. It’s not my fault they didn’t get it.” I feel like if they didn’t get it, then I didn’t really teach it. (Not well anyways.) That’s when I go back to the drawing board. I try to come at it in a different way.
I have been excited this year about QR codes. I love using the app “Show Me” on the iPad to create a video that captures my thinking about something. I have been using “Show Me” to model different comprehension strategies. My students scan the QR code during their independent work on writing time and then practice the strategy on their own.
The QR code doesn’t take the place of my direct teaching, however. They are meant to reinforce the correct way to do something. Students can watch the QR codes as many times as they need to get it right.
It has been fun. It has also saved me some time. I don’t feel so much like a broken record this year.
Students have more choices than ever. My cabinet is overflowing with teacher made games, games I bought from catalogues, and games that have been given to me. We have computer and web-based games. Add iPads and a plethora of apps into the equation and the result could be confusion for students.
We do reader’s workshop in my classroom. As a result, I try to “guide” students as they make choices. My goal is for them to reflect upon themselves as a reader and choose the literacy activities that will help them achieve their goals. We track progress together and we also celebrate when goals are mastered.
I found, however, after integrating iPads into my literacy block for word work, students began to lose sight of their goals. The range of abilities is vast in my room and so I purposefully chose apps that will meet the needs of all students. There are apps for sight word practice, apps for vocabulary, and apps for grammar. Some apps are meant to reinforce the foundational skills beginning readers need while others are meant to broaden a fluent reader’s vocabulary. I do not want each student using the same apps. They are meant to promote growth. (Not to keep students busy.)
As a result, I took time to develop a word work planning sheet. The sheet has the various research based word work/spelling activities that students need to grow as readers. Students use the sheet over the course of a week and cross out an activity as it is completed. Most students will make appropriate choices. Others, however, need a little more guidance and so we discuss the plan together and highlight an appropriate choice for that day.
You might be wondering what impact the plan sheet had on my class. I am very pleased. Students make deliberate choices during our literacy block and enjoy purposeful learning as a result.
O.k. So the title of this blog may be misleading. Teaching students to deliberately and conscientiously use strategies to understand and remember their reading better takes time. My goal as a curriculum coach, however, is to help simplify information and give teachers a place to start. I created brochures on each thinking strategy to share with colleagues at my school a couple of years ago. Today I would like to share them with you. If you are interested in adding a shared reading component to your day where you teach students to make connections, ask questions, or synthesize information, this is a place to start. The content is inspired by Debbie Miller and her work “Reading with Meaning.”
*Click on a link below to find the strategy you are looking for. FYI-I created these brochures on my home computer using Microsoft Works. Since we do not have that program at school, I scanned each page in order to share them with you.
Have you heard about Augmented Reality recently? Are you wondering how it can positively shape the learning climate in your classroom? Are you wondering how it can propel your teaching to a whole new level? I am a huge fan of AR and I have spent much of this school year discovering the ins and outs. I created this slideshare presentation to introduce educators to the facinating world of AR. Enjoy!