Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Top 5 End-of-the-School-Year Realizations of a Personalized Learning Classroom

It's been awhile since our last post, and we wanted everyone to know how truly wonderful this year has been!  I've been awake many nights thinking how I could convey the amazingness of this past year, and it hit me...I'll share the top 5 things we've noticed this past few weeks:
We took learning outside the last week of school.  Learners chose reading and math activities all on their own and worked toward their goals independently.  

  1. Learners are blowing their goals out of the water!
    • I can't express it enough...when kids have choice in their learning, when they are invested in their goals, you CANNOT hold them back.  They are cheering each other on, learning from each other, and pushing themselves to "challenge their brains" as we call it in Team RISE.
  2. You are never done creating, tweaking, and changing to make instruction better.
    • Wow!  Did my co-teacher and I ever become reflective practitioners this year!  It felt as if every minute of every day was spent discussing how well, or how poorly something went and what we could do in that moment to change it.  A lot of work?  Yup!  Worth it?  You betcha!
  3. Teaching is that same at the end of the year as it was 3 months ago.
    • What we mean is this:  We are still pushing our learners to do more than they thought possible.  Do we have assessments to give?  Of course we do!  Do the teachers feel overwhelmed by all the deadlines?  You know it!  But the awesome thing that we have noticed, is that the students don't feel that stress.  They are excited to show us what they have learned.  If anything, they beg us to test them next!  Cross my heart, that happens All. The. Time.
  4. Learning still happens on the last day of school!
    • Right now, you're probably thinking that we are crazy.  Kids don't learn on the last day of school!!  Well, in a PL class, they sure do!  Our routine has been the same all year.  We do math in the morning and reading after recess.  Even on the last day of school.  No students even questioned it.  In fact, we had an assembly in the morning, and we had so many kiddos asking us if they could please do an extra reading time after lunch!  OK!  If that's what you want to do on our last day, I'm down with that! :)
  5. We can't wait to come back in the fall and do it all again!  Of course there will be improvements, and of course we will share those ideas with you as they come up.  So, stay tuned!

Have a wonderful, restful summer, everyone!