Personalized Learning – Help Needed

This fall, I will be teaching two classes which are new to me: Health & Career Education for 2 Grade 5 classes and Physical Education for 2 Grade 6 classes.  Looking at the prescribed learning outcomes as laid out by the BC Ministry of Education has made me excited about the prospect of teaching these classes. And since I have never taught these classes before, I am not personally or professionally tied to any particular way of teaching these classes.

After reading the #bced chat archive tonight about Personalized Learning, I have a million thoughts and questions going through my mind about how I can implement a more Personalized Learning Approach with these two classes. One of my goals is to have others see me as a role-model in education. As an administrator, how can I expect others to implement a more “Personalized Learning” model for kids, if I am not willing to take risks in my own learning and try to implement such a model myself?   I must continue to be a learner in order to be successful in leading others through change.

As I continued to think about this model, more questions surfaced. What would the assessment piece look like?  Would it be portfolio-based?  Is this something that is likely to be done with a PE class?   Is this really possible to do with having each class for 100 minutes each week?

I wish I knew how to get started on this journey. I feel at a bit of a loss at the moment.

Can anyone provide me with some insight in how to get started on this process?

Does anyone have any examples of how this type of model has been used in the area of Physical Education and Health & Career Education (Personal Planning)?

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Published by Tia M. Dawson

There are many things that define who I am as a person. First of all, I am a mother of 3 wonderful children! I can not express how fortunate we are to have our children in our life! Secondly, I am an elementary educator who recently returned to the classroom after 12+ years as an elementary school administrator. Lastly, I am passionate about helping others, learning about abuse, helping others in abusive relationships, and helping others understand their worth.

6 thoughts on “Personalized Learning – Help Needed

  1. Start with a PLO and let them know what they need to learn. Discuss how could they go about learning it, provide resources – tools, skills, etc. ; allow them to show you that they know it in the means that they are most comfortable with – eg written report, oral report, video, etc…. Be there for them, set a clear time line etc. Model, model, model. Maybe start small, and build the personalized learning as the year continues. For personalized learning you have to set the guidelines (but be open to their suggestions), and support them along the way, but they have to chose how to personalize the learning for themselves.

    1. Yah, I think I will start slowly, with a lot of personal choice about representing their learning first, and then working up to an individualized project for the last term, perhaps.

  2. I’d look at the Learning in Depth project by Dr. Kieran Egan, which I’m confident can be implemented in any classroom, at any level, and which helps a lot to personalize the education for the children. There’s a webinar this evening at 5pm, if you can make it. I shared the link in the #BCed channel earlier today.

    1. Hi David,
      Yes, I’ve looked very quickly at the Learning in Depth project and it looks GREAT! The thing is though, I only have these kids for 100 minutes each week – for Personal Planning (Health and Career Ed) or PE.

      I saw the link to the webinar. I am going to try to check it out! Thanks!

  3. I think one of the difficulties in answering your questions is that “Personalized Learning” isn’t one identifiable model. I think Bruce Beairsto’s tweet, which you retweeted, said it best: “RT @bbeairsto: “Personalized Learnng” is just a slogan. We have to bring meaning to it if it is to have any.” There are a couple different flavours of Personalized Learning being floated in the educational community. One stresses using technology to deliver content to students when they need it and as many times as they need it, to provide a large quantity of exercises and activities to meet the student’s ability levels, and to assess, provide immediate feedback and monitor student progress. This flavour of Personalized Learning is one associated with increased use of online courses or blended models of instruction. The other flavour is one that takes a more project-based approach where students will work on projects that are of interest to them and therefore more engaged in learning.

    Surrounding these two varieties is a lot of discussion about what this means for among other things: the corporatization/privatisation of education, use of standardised tests, the role of the teacher, the political motives or ideologies of the prominent actors, the role of online learning and technology, the appropriate pedagogy for instruction in different subject areas, assessment of and for learning, and the goal of education. This is compounded by the ambiguity of the term Personalized Learning and the political climate surrounding education in BC. Many teachers in the chat tonight expressed there own thoughts on what Personalized learning is to them. There were obvious similarities, but what might be most clear is that it isn’t one thing.

    So in starting to answer your own questions you might ask “What is Personalized Learning? How does fit with my strengths as a teacher? What do I want assessment to look like that give students the most helpful feedback and honest reflection of their learning progress?” I wish I could offer more suggestions specific to your subject areas.

    1. I’m going to take a really good look at the IRP for the two areas I will be teaching and then see what I can figure out. I think that’s where I am going to start.

      Thanks for your thoughts! I appreciate it!

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