Blast off! Elementary Personalized Learning launches Feb. 27

Strap in! Barringer Road and Harry M. Fisher elementary schools will officially launch Personalized Learning on Monday, Feb. 27.

Like a rocket launch

A rocket on a launchpad is not the beginning. Instead, it represents the efforts of many people who invested their time and effort to make that rocket a reality. And neither is the rocket the end. It is simply the next step in an exciting journey.

The same can be said of Personalized Learning at Central Valley. Many teachers have already done the work and introduced Personalized Learning into their classrooms. They built the “rocket.” Feb. 27 marks the launch, the official start to a journey toward brighter futures for Central Valley students.

What is Personalized Learning?

It’s not new. It’s not mysterious. It’s not unproven.

Personalized Learning is simply using the best, proven teaching practices to reach every student in the classroom, enabling every child to reach his or her learning potential.

It changes the role of the teacher from simply delivering information at the front of the class to coming alongside each child. Teachers carefully monitor each student’s progress using bell-ringers (review questions at the beginning of a class), exit tickets (review questions at the end of a class), and any variety of verbal or written assessments. The teacher can then tailor instruction to meet each student’s needs.

Personalized Learning changes the role of the student from simply sitting in a chair, absorbing information, then giving it back on a quiz or test. Students still receive whole group instruction from their teacher, but then practice individually, learn more from digital content, collaborate in small groups, or receive individual instruction if needed.

Personalized Learning gives students more choice in how they learn. And it gives teachers more freedom to meet students where they are—instead of the one-size-fits-all model most adults experienced in school.

What is the goal?

The goal is for students to become lifelong learners, not information memorizers.

That’s not to say that memorizing information doesn’t happen. We all need to learn our math facts or how to correctly conjugate our verbs. But, do we need to remember every date in history, the protagonist in every great literary work, or every math and science formula?

The short answer is “no”—because we can’t.

For good or bad, the digital age introduced an endless stream of ever changing information. There is no way a student (or adult) can remember even a small portion. Instead, students must learn to find valid information, understand that information, then apply it in their studies or in their career.

Great teaching does more than give each student the tools to find, understand and apply information. Great teaching also teaches important study skills, builds confidence, encourages passion, and creates a love of learning that will carry on throughout a child’s lifetime.

Personalized Learning takes great teaching practices and makes certain they are used effectively every day.

It’s exciting; it’s fun for students; and it works!

Stay tuned for more as we share stories about teachers and students and Personalized Learning in the classroom.