Personalized Learning in KPBSD

Where do you want your learning to take you and how can KPBSD help you get there? #PLinKPBSD

PL on the Ground and Running

Often, phrases like “What does Personalized Learning look like in the classroom?” are heard bantered back and forth as we move farther down this runway.  Well, there are a 1,000 answers to this as each teacher, each group of kids, and each scenario is unique. In this post, we will take a brief look into just one possible scenario for a glimpse of what is possible by sharing the practices of Amy Angleton, an English/Language Arts teacher at Skyview Middle School.

Amy has taken the weekly schedule for her classes and created a consistent rotation schedule for the students. Each day of the week offers something unique for the students. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, they move through stations in the classroom that include independent work that includes technology integration for delivering some content, collaboration with other students, and application of the writing process with one-to-one conferencing with the teacher.

Let’s dive further into the  conferencing, because this is the heart of the beauty in this. Amy has the opportunity to meet with each student individually to guide, support, teach, and reflect with the student about themtheir needs… their successes.  This type of student reflection and goal setting is directly connected to the Core Four of Personalized Learning discussed in previous posts. She meets with them anywhere from 1-3 times individually along with all the general class time interaction.

Amy Angleton Profile Pic

Amy Angleton, ELA @Skyview Middle

 

The benefits for Amy and her students are crystal clear.  She knows her students on a personal level that has never been achieved before this point in her career. This is all about them and their individual needs! This makes grading into teaching and offers so much more opportunity for investment from the students. It is important to note that the logistics of shifts like this take dedication to really figure out a system, but no one says it better than Amy herself, “I can honestly say that I have never felt more effective as a teacher than I do with one-on-one conferencing.” 

So there you have it… an on the ground example of one way PL might look in action. For more on Amy’s story with one-to-one conferencing, check out this teacher feature!

Data Strong – Speaking of the Core Four

Data Driven Decisions - Frequent Data collection informs instructional decisions and groupings.

Of the Personalized Learning Core Four discussed in the last post, KPBSD has many strengths! One area that practices are particularly strong in is Data Driven Decisions. From the highest levels of the KPBSD machine to the small group specialized work with students, we are monitoring and utilizing data to drive our work.

Data Driven Decisions, as explained in Considering the Core Four, simply means that we frequently collect data to inform instructional decisions and student groupings. It also means that we use data purposefully, both at the student and teacher level, that we use formative (as you go) assessments to inform our decisions, and that we are developing a culture of openness toward use of data and feedback.

From a district level, one example of this is using progress monitoring assessment data to keep track of student growth. This data is usually more meta in scope – districtwide and occurring throughout the school year.  We use this information to guide the choices that are made regarding both district and school improvement. Such data is crucial in helping the district to identify trends and needs, then helping guide decisions in allocating support, materials and resources.

For the school level, this means meeting the needs of students through data use. The data here is usually specific to the school or a specific group within a school. School staff monitor how their school is demonstrating learning and use data to make intervention or support plans. Teachers and specialists use the afore mentioned progress monitoring to group students based on their needs, and even further alter their instruction for the student by frequently reviewing the data and letting it inform them of student needs. This allows for closing gaps in student learning efficiently.

For the student level, this means that students themselves are learning how to review the results of the assessments that they take to see how they are progressing in their own learning goals. The data here is specific to the student as an individual and students are beginning to diagnose for themselves what they need to move forward. This is the most pure form of driving learning… Student Driven.

Considering the Core Four

As we begin the final stretch of the semester, it is a great opportunity to consider The Core Four. The Core Four are the areas that we focus on when building personalized learning in our educational practice. Using them as a focus is both a methodical way of reflecting on our teaching and administrative practices, as well as, planning new strategies to implement. As the waves of schools go through the personalized learning transition, the PL teams from each school are working with their staffs to determine, for their school, which of the Core Four they are particularly strong in and which ones are going to be an area to focus efforts. So, what are they exactly?

Flexible Content and ToolsFlexible Content and Tools means that we have a wide variety of content and learning tool options that are both adaptable and responsive to student needs. It also means that the options provide opportunities to create, remediate, introduce material and practice, that the content is curated (selected) by teachers, and that students have the opportunity to contribute content.

Student Reflection and OwnershipStudent Reflection and Ownership means that we are continually asking students to reflect on their learning and take active ownership for their educational choices. Additionally, it means that students are learning to think more about their choices, that we are offer them opportunity for choice in their learning, and that student designed goals and direction are supported.

Targeted InstructionTargeted Instruction means that we align instruction to specific student needs and learning goals. Further, it means that we focus on small groups of students or 1-1 conferencing, that we use data to identify those groups, and that we vary instruction based on group needs.

Data Driven DecisionsData Driven Decisions means that we frequently collect data to inform instructional decisions and student groupings. It also means that we use data purposefully, both at the student and teacher level, that we use formative (as you go) assessments to inform our decisions, and that we are developing a culture of openness toward use of data and feedback.

Building each of these four areas more deeply into our practices is an ongoing process and looks more like a spectrum of growth than a set point of achievement. There is always room to grow! Check out what examples of what the spectrum looks like for each of the areas here. For more in-depth information about the Core Four, check out the Ed Elements White Paper.

The Long Runway

In following up from the previous post, What to Expect When You are Wave 2, it is time to take a look at the grand scheme. In the infographic here, you will find the timeline for the 3 waves of schools going through the PL implementation process with Ed Elements. This is the bigger picture of the time frame along with a more in-depth understanding of when things occur in the process. The previous post shared the overview of what a wave of schools can expect to occur, so now… here is the when!

This is a timeline of the PL implementation process in KPBSD

.pdf version linked here

What to Expect When You are a Wave 2 School

In continuing to expand our instructional capacity with Personalized Learning, our Wave 1 schools have forged a path that now Wave 2 schools are about to embark upon. There is much to be said for the contributions of Wave 1 guiding the iteration of our district’s process. As we build momentum and formally engage Wave 2, here is an infographic that lays out the process of what a Wave 2 school can expect over the course of this school year and the Fall of next year.

What to expect when you are Wave 2

.pdf version linked here

PL and Blended Learning

Forging ahead as a district in our Personalized Learning journey and beginning book talks expanding our knowledge, Blended Learning is one piece of the Personalized Learning pieit might be useful to consider why three of the four books being offered are on “Blended Learning”. The question to address is this: if Personalized Learning is the pie in the sky, the whole enchilada, the big kahuna, then why Blended Learning? Quite simply, the foundations of blended learning is in shifting mindsets, using groupings and rotation models, planning instruction based on quality data. As it turns out, these are also the foundational tenets of Personalized Learning!

Blended Learning, as it explains nicely in this article by the Christiansen Institute, is a “modality of instruction” that incorporates technology as a key piece of the structure. This incorporation provides more resources and often eases the teacher’s burden for things like collecting data and assessment. This format of instruction started KPBSD’s foundational shift toward PL in many ways.

Personalized Learning is a much broader term that is really a philosophy of pedagogy – a way of doing things. Unlike Blended Learning, Personalized Learning doesn’t require technology to be meaningfully incorporated into a school or district’s way of doing business, although certainly a factor to be taken into account. So, the reason that there are three Book Talks offered on blended learning is to provide the foundational shift support – the mindset, if you will. We are talking about station rotations, flexible content, data and assessment options, student accountability and engagement, and an all around mindset shift toward building school culture around these topics. We need all these things as we continue on our PL journey.

 

Book Talks Launch Today!

Professional Development 2017-2018 Series

An exciting opportunity for Teachers and Administrators for Professional Development in KPBSD is here! Book Talk Course registration is now open! Current book talks being offered are all directly related to personalized learning! They are 9-week, 1-credit courses offered through UAA that count toward both salary advancement and re-certification if they pertain directly to your teaching assignment. There is a different emphasis to each book, and something different to be gained from each one. There are currently 2 methods of participation available, so staff can select what works for their situation. The details needed to access and enroll in the courses can be found at the link below. Please contact Amanda Adams at aadams@kpbsd.org or 224-9074 with any questions regarding the courses.

KPBSD Book Talk Series

 

Following up on Districtwide Inservice!

Following Up on Districtwide Inservice

Need the PDF Version? Click here! 

Link referenced: 2016-2017 Education Elements Impact Report

What is PL… with Skyview Middle School teachers

What is #PL… with Kersten Gomez, Redoubt Elementary

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