Practitioner Highlight Series: Customized Learning Paths

Educators: Lisa Welch and Wanda Richardson
District: Kettle Moraine School District
School: KM Explore

To learn more about the elements highlighted in this post, click the links below:
Focus Element: Customized Learning Paths
Additional Elements: Multiple Instructional Methods/Modes, Standards Guided Learning

How are you incorporating the selected element in your classroom?
In our  K/1 multi-age classroom we have empowered our learners to drive and meet their own goals with individual learning plans. Through this, learners can follow their own customized path in meeting goals and sharing their learning. Through these plans, our learners can also choose the method that works best for them to achieve their goals. We use many programs such as Wixie, Google Docs, and RAZ-Kids. We house our plans in Seesaw, a digital portfolio system. Each plan is based on standards and follows a continuum so that the kids can see how they are able to grow as learners during the school year.  

How has implementing this element improved your practice?
As educators, our practice is not to teach kids directly, but rather help them to become lifelong learners who can find a path to answers on their own.  By helping our kids to understand the standards, set and achieve goals, and at the same time remain intrinsically excited and passionate about this, we have given them the tools to drive their own learning. We could not be more excited to come to school so that we can see them navigate this learning path.

How has implementing this element helped your learners?
Implementing learning plans has helped our learners TREMENDOUSLY!  We now see kids who are engaged and know the WHY of what they are doing. We see kids deciding the HOW of what they will show and share. At the primary age, the notion of learning should be synonymous with play. It seems counter-intuitive, but when kids have rigorous goals to strive for and a clear understanding of the path to this goal, their learning becomes exciting and seems more like play. In fact, we often hear groans coming from our kids when it is time to stop for other activities in our day.

Want to know more about the Honeycomb Model of personalized learning? Explore our Interactive Honeycomb!

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Additional resources:
Sample Learning Plan
Sample Math Plan

For more information about KM Explore, please visit http://www.kmsd.edu or follow them on Twitter at @KMExplore.

Image:
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / PixelsAway

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