Will Richardson calls it traditional learning. I call it a nightmare.
We have been on our journey of personalizing student learning for a little over a month now. My goal was to blog throughout this process about the learning that was taking place, both teacher and student. It doesn’t take long to realize that I have failed at my attempt to keep everyone updated (still don’t know how certain people just pump out post after post – it’s a talent I don’t have). I’m happy to share that what hasn’t failed is how we have personalized learning for our students!
It is amazing to think how far we have come as a team in just a month. Not only thinking in regards to the tweaks we’ve made, but how we actually think. We all entered this journey with a collective above average innovative mindset. In just a short month, it has propelled us to think about all things we do for kids in a completely different way. We started with Math, and then quickly realized that we were shortchanging our students in other areas. We’ve taken the same approach and have applied it to our most current PBL. We have quickly realized that because they have taken ownership over their own learning, more learning is taking place.
I keep reading that last sentence over and over. It seems like such a simple sentence to type, and some may even pass over it while reading…but look at how powerful those words are! Why would any teacher not want to give more ownership to their students if it will help them be more successful as a learner?
I am so proud of my team and all that we have done this past month. It has been easy in regards to the realization that this is what kids need. It hasn’t been easy in regards to the amount of work. We’ve had to front-load a lot and prepare in advance for anything we think a student might need to be successful. We have had countless texting conversations that go into the wee hours of the night (and thanks to Bitmoji, they’ve taken on a whole new level of conversation). All of this isn’t to say look at us. I’m saying this to let others know that it’s worth it! Seeing the success our students are having makes every minute spent on this completely worth it.
Would I ever go back to a more traditional learning environment? I’ll answer that with a different question. How much learning was really taking place?