Personalized Learning

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We wish to personalize learning for our students, with the goal of growing self-directed learners. While the use of technology is not the core of La Escuelita’s vision of personalization, a few key programs help us give our students time to put themselves in their own zones of proximal development. And, while excellent direct instruction continues to be a central piece of our program, our kids have ample opportunity to construct their own knowledge through play, dance, Making, and outdoor learning.

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The Rogers Foundation, through NGLC in Oakland, has funded the central pieces that support our personalized learning vision: 1. Software Integration 2. Student Goalsetting 3. Making and Innovating  4. Dance  5. Outdoor Education. They have funded:

The Chromebooks we use wisely.
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The software we choose carefully. (and limit to the best of the best)
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The binders that every 3rd-5th grader owns for setting goals and recording their progress towards them.
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The materials and equipment that enhance Making and Innovation.
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Dance instruction through Luna Dance.
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The buses that get our kids into nature.
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What is personalized learning? What do we want it to look like at La Escuelita? Where do we begin? How can we support each other? How do kids learn how to drive their own learning? What about our youngest learners? How do we give students greater choice and voice?

These are the questions the Personalized Learning Team is grappling with. We meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 3:45 in the computer lab at La Escuelita in Oakland. Those out there asking similar questions are welcome to join us! Our goal for each meeting is to wrap our heads around personalized learning… share ideas and ask questions and describe each of our own attempts at personalization… our successes and our “failures”. The format is informal. We start with sharing. If you have something to share (something you’re trying in your classroom, an article or book you’ve read, a video clip, a news story, etc.) please bring it, or the idea, with you. This sharing guides our conversation for each meeting.

What is personalized learning? Here’s a definition from New Learning Models by Natalie Abel.

“Tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests–including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when and where they learn–to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible.”

Click to download: LaEscuelita’s Personalized Learning Library. (These are all of the books that La Escuelita’s teacher have access to.)

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