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Monday, August 25, 2014

Students Use Backward Design to Create Personalized Learning Paths

Early in the school year, each child will design a personalized learning path using an enlarged copy of this template.

Students will start the process by listing topics and questions they're interested in.

Then I will provide a list of possible topics, topics I have lots of classroom information about, including the following:

  • Writing a Fiction Book
  • Writing a Poetry Book About a Topic That's Meaningful To You
  • Dinosaur Study
  • Garden Plan
  • Creating an App
  • Making Up a New Playground Game
  • Writing a Fraction Book for Young Children
  • Learning About a Famous Person Today or in History
  • Creating a Magazine to Share With the School
  • A Book About Animals on Our School Playground
  • A Town History Book for Children
Students will have a chance to add other topics.

Students will keep their plan and work in a folder online or offline, and they will have the chance to keep materials in a personalized container if needed.

When students' assigned work is complete, they'll be expected to work on their individual study. I will meet with these young researchers often to help them with their plans and work. 

Each child will be expected to make a presentation of their research sometime during the year to the class, at school meeting, or possibly another venue of their choice.

The objective of these self-designed learning paths is to show children that we're all learners who lead our learning life, and by using a logical, thoughtful process we can answer our own questions, make discoveries, invent, create, and present to others.  

Starting the year with this focus is one way to exemplify what it means to be a successful learner. Other ways to teach children about learning are included in this start-of-the-year Learning to Learn curriculum.