5 Personalized Learning Strategies That Teachers Need to Know
Personalized learning can seem like a daunting task for educators. Finding the best way for each individual student to learn can seem both too complicated and also unnecessary. However, when approached with the right mindset, personalized learning can be accomplished somewhat quickly. The goal is to help each student succeed in a manner best suited to their unique ways. Here are five personalized learning strategies for teachers to be aware of.
Project-based learning moves the focus from rote memorization to understanding complete concepts. It gives students a chance to choose a topic and dig deep to find answers. The project can be an extended question, a unique challenge, or an interesting problem. Once a topic has been chosen, students use a variety of resources that could include online research, reading articles, or even interviewing people to complete the project. The end goal is to learn more; students are evaluated less on their results and more on their processes. It is a great way for students to personalize their learning journey.
Writing can seem like an annoying task for some, but if all students are exposed to are essays, then this can indeed be the case. Instead, offer students different ways to express themselves in writing. Numerous websites offer free blogging platforms which can be a great way for students to express themselves. Poetry, in its different forms, is another excellent writing tool. Even mixing pictures with words, as in graphic novels, can be a creative outlet for students. When students are exposed to different writing styles, they can find ones that work the best for themselves.
Gone are the days where a class consisted of rows of desks facing a teacher. Instead, class design is thought out more to meet the needs of diverse groups of students. Not all students can sit still for extended periods of time; include standing platforms or exercise balls to allow for better concentration. Add movement to classroom design so that there are different spaces for different subjects. Comfortable chairs for reading time and natural light from windows provide optimal learning environments so that students can better focus on the task at hand.
Personalized learning plans are at the heart of learning strategies. This may be the most complicated strategy, but it is the most important. Begin at the start of the school year by getting to know each student. If possible, consult with their parents or guardians as well as previous teachers. Find out what has worked in the past and what hasn’t worked. Communicate with your student so that both of you are on the same page. Once a plan has been established, be sure to meet regularly to stay updated on the progress that is being made. Adjustments should be expected to be made.
Assessment can and should come in many different ways. There are different types of assessment, and these should be used throughout the school year. One important aspect that is often missed is how a student has progressed when compared to their previous academic performance. Tools like pre and post tests measure a student’ progress and do not compare them to other students. With different types of assessment, teachers can be better aware of individual results.
Can you think of any additional personalized learning strategies? We know we didn’t cover them all.