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4 Aspects of Personalized Learning

I have finally been able to start a book I’ve been wanting to start since it was released earlier this year, Students at the Center by Bena Kallick and Allison Zmuda. It is a great read so far.  Lots of information that addresses the “what” and “how” of personalizing learning in the classroom. Just as importantly, it has lots of examples of what it looks like across a wide variety of classrooms. So, you’re bound to find an applicable example for your classroom or school.  There is a lot in the book, so imagine I’ll have a few reflection posts as I continue reading.

But, what better place to start then with chapter 1. It outlines the 4 attributes of Personalized Learning. What I appreciate is that they are presented in a easy to grasp framework for teachers and learners.

When evaluating or framing an activity or unit, ask yourself where you are providing opportunities for these four elements.

Voice: You may have standards, but where do students have options to voice their ideas for specifics of within those broadly framed outcomes and routines? Students need to have a voice in what the classroom experience looks like for themselves.
C0-creation: Where is there room for teachers to conference with individual learners about their learning and goals? Strong relationships are the foundation for learners being willing to take risks in the classroom.

Social Construction: Where is there room for students to collaborate and share in order to construct understandings together and refine their own ideas? Personalized learning doesn’t mean learning happens in a silo. We can’t allow learners to lose the social aspects of learning.

Self-Discovery: Where are opportunities for learners to leverage their strengths, address challenges, and explore interests? We can’t teach students everything.  We want to create lifelong learners. Every learner is an individual so they need to learn how they learn best.

Trust me, the book is much more eloquent on these points.
Honestly, this is just the first half of chapter 1. I haven't even addressed on habits of mind, yet! As I begin reflecting and planning for next school year, these are 4 areas I’ll be auditing and finding ways to strengthen in my classroom model at the course, unit, and lesson level.

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