Wait…I’m Not Personalizing?

A little less than a month ago, I sat in a PD session with my teammates and Jamie (@mrsackart), our Innovation & Learning Coach. The screen said “Personalized Learning.” I immediately thought about all of the things I was already doing in my class to personalize learning for my students. Jamie clicked to the next slide and I stared at the following chart by Barbara Bray (@bbray27) and Kathleen McClaskey (@khmmc) – for more information, visit www.personalizelearning.com.


Personalization v Differentiation v Individualization (v3) from Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey


I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I realized I didn’t personalize anything for my students. I created an environment where I individualized everything, then turned around and said that I personalized learning for my students. My team and I looked at each other at the same time, and we shared a look that signaled the beginning of a journey that led us to where we are today. I did what every educator does when they need direction…I sent George Couros (@gcouros) a tweet! Within minutes I had a notification feed full of contacts and educators willing to help.

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 12.17.22 AM

From that tweet, I came into contact with Travis Lape (@travislape). He was willing to take time out of his day to do a GHO with us and fill us in on what he and his district in South Dakota are doing to personalize learning for their students. It was after this conversation that our team said this is exactly what our students need…and we were officially in! We’ve been developing our plan to personalize math for the rest of the year ever since. Today was the day we presented everything to our students. Angela (@benner4) created a great slideshow explaining what PL is and what it is going to look like in 5th grade at Lewis & Clark Elementary. We are excited to get the ball rolling. Even more than that, our kids are excited to be able to take ownership over their learning. It is their learning after all. They realize that. What took us so long?

Later this afternoon we will begin day 1 of our students taking more ownership of their learning. Many outsiders think that means the job is easier for the teachers now. Ha! No, our job is not easier; our job is different.


I’ve held off blogging for many years, just like I held off joining Twitter when it first came out. That was a mistake, and I think I finally realized that this was a mistake too. I’m excited to share my thoughts and document our journey. It would be an honor if you joined in with us!



  1. Tracey Kracht · March 2, 2016

    I can’t wait to follow your journey! I am immediately visualizing “what personalized learning is” and “what personalized learning isn’t” as a T-chart in one of your collaborative spaces. Something that will give learners (and teachers) the chance to document as they learn through this process. Capturing your story might also highlight areas for celebration as well as growth! One last thing on my wishlist… any chance some of your students will guest post on your blog? Hearing their personal experiences would be so helpful to help other educators really see how personalized learning can look in reality!

    Looking forward to your second post!


    • brandonwlewis · March 2, 2016

      I actually had all of my students blog yesterday after their first day learning in our new format! Still reading them, but I plan on including some of their thoughts in my next post! Love the idea of a working chart in our Commons!


    • Kourtney · May 15, 2017

      it’s not liberal women who have the most sex every week. Nor do they experience orgasm as readily as coairevntsve women during sex.”Gee — I wonder why ?”


  2. Starr · May 15, 2017

    You’re a real deep thienkr. Thanks for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s