We are at the mid-year mark (Spring Break…woohoo!) and it’s time to really look at how students are progressing. With the challenges of school closures, it is important to know how much students have been able to retain and identify the learning goals that still need to be met. This knowledge can lead to personalized instruction that is tailored to each student, meeting their academic needs, strengths, and interests. Not sure where to begin? Here are some quick tips for increasing personalized learning:
There are clearly some potential barriers for teachers as they seek student input into their lesson design and curricular choices. It can feel overwhelming on the teacher’s end, and might be considered just one more thing for them to think about. It can be hard to trust that the students will actually be good co-pilots on the learning journey—even if all the desire in the world is present, it might be hard to know how to actually put it all into action.
Fortunately, we have a few models we can look to that will assist us in how this can look in the classroom. These concepts might seem divergent and like squeezing a round peg into a square hole, but even so, I think the philosophies are definitely worth considering for every teacher.
With all that's been said about how we can include students in the process for helping to design—and therefore improve—student learning, there must be a good reason to do it. I always discourage teachers from following educational fads. They might seem great at first, but with all the time required to change course, we only want to do so with a proven strategy.
So why should teachers begin to personalize learning for students? I use these four Ms when thinking about personalized learning: motivation, metacognition, modeling, and making connections.
It’s midyear and time to really evaluate your students’ progress. What kind of growth have they made? What goals still need to be met? What about those state assessments that will be here before you know it? Here are some easy tips for increasing personalized instruction and maximizing your students’ growth: