Stop! You, yes you. The one perusing Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers for the perfect already-made-resource you can print off and use with your students.
And you! The one flipping through your binders, hanging-files, or digital folders for lesson plans and resources to use again.
You too! Surfing PBS, The History Channel, and other providers of ready-made curricula and lessons.
Stop. And think...
Will using this resource or material support the goals of learner-centered proficiency based practice?
The answer may not be entirely clear at first. The reality is that most of the pre-made materials are not. There are, however, ways to use these resources and refurbish them for personalized learning.
I recently facilitated a session with some teachers around using non-Calkins resources within the context of writing workshop. To start the hour off, we played a “yes-no game” based on a concept attainment activity. The gist is that we sorted examples into positive and negative groups, then determined the categories and gave them titles. This chart shows the results of our game:
The point is that when we embark on transforming our classes and schools into personalized learning environments, very few resources will ever be plug and play! We will always have to do some amount of refurbishing. No matter if the materials and resources are newly found or favorite oldies, we usually need to tweak them to support learner-centered proficiency-based practices. Here are some questions to help you do just that (I’m also working on a flow chart).
Courtney is the Instructional Coach for KIDS RSU #2 in Maine. She also hosts a podcast about personalized learning, and is available for independent consulting work.
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