Personalized Learning??

My original action plan (found here) spoke about the differences between the ed tech options of organizing my student materials for our ‘personalized unit’. Since then I’ve had a lot of discoveries, a lot of thoughts, tried A LOT of things, and spoken to a lot of people.

I’ve tried both the google site and the iBook and have some thoughts about both. But there was something else that I tried that I would rather blog about right now. So we’re taking a bit of a detour. 68011_119_w1-15_c_lg

In the grade 10 course, my colleague and I wanted to do something for our upcoming unit on right triangle trigonometry. We came across this chart from twitter describing the differences between personalization, differentiation and individualization. (Click on the picture below to see the article it came from)


We had a realization. What we’ve been doing this entire time was much more differentiation and individualization than it was personalization.

We love the idea of personalization and what it can be for students, and wanted to push ourselves out of our comfort zone to give this to our students if possible. We realized that to push ourselves to the level of personalization, the piece that we could do was give the students personalized feedback that actually meant something.

We were particularly inspired by Ed Hitchcock’s post on standards based grading and went from there.

So here’s what we did:

  1. We created a ‘topic list’ with the learning goals of the unit.
  2. We loved our lessons from last year (and investigations) so we kept them.
  3. We wanted students to have opportunities to use the feedback we gave them, so we created a “math911” wScreen Shot 2016-04-07 at 1.58.48 PMebsite to help them refurbish their skills after a lesson. This was divided up per topic.
  4. We put the topics that were covered on each lesson, so if the students were having trouble, they could know where to go to receive some extra support
  5. On ALL of our formatives (one for each lesson), we created a table very similar to Ed Hitchcock’s for student feedback. This is the piece we were hoping would bring us to real ‘personalization’


All in all, I loved this unit. I think the feedback piece really helped our students know what they didn’t understand. Instead of a student getting a formative back and looking at the questions they got wrong and feeling like they didn’t know anything, we were really able to decipher exactly what they knew and what they didn’t know.

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When we gave quizzes back, the students looked AT THE FEEDBACK instead of just the right/wrong answers!

Here is an example of a quiz and the chart on the back:







This particular student had to revisit topics 4, 6 and 12 on the math911 website. We built in extra days into the unit to make sure the students had time to catch up on their extra support.
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Overall I’m really excited for what this did in this unit and I hope I can use it in my other classes to really elevate the feedback for my students. More to come on my Action plan later!

4 thoughts on “Personalized Learning??

  1. Wow! @rutheichholtz We have to share this with our math department. Congratulations @clovrics this is some impressive work and risk taking. Let me process this and return with a real comment. For now I like spreading this great work around.

  2. You’ve made it really clear here which skill/concept you are addressing – I think students can really benefit from that level of feedback. We are currently in the same grade 10 unit here, and I would like to try some of this in the 2nd part of the unit to help students know precisely where they stand in terms of the learning goals.
    This intentional use of formative assessment makes it so much more about the learning (personal) than the marks (which become a label). Fantastic!

  3. This is an amazing achievement, Christine! I’m in awe at how you’ve taken this action plan and created a thorough, engaging and meaningful process for your students to understand the how and the why of their learning process. What did the students say about the entire process of personalized learning and your specific, directed feedback? I am sure it will be interesting to see how your students respond in future units after engaging in this experience! I look forward to reading about more of your journey in future blog posts. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi Christine,
    This is inspiring! I remember when that visual came out a few years ago and yes it certainly answered a lot of questions and made it very clear what personalized learning was. Your unit sounds incredible – I mean anytime Ss can take control of their learning and self-direct, it’s a win for everyone! I’m definitely going to share this with some of our math teachers here at LCS – @trollwagen for example.

    @ehitchcock ‘s action plan was unreal! He’s a real guru – and it’s so great that you were able to use his old action plan to make your own better. That’s the goal of having all those presentations on hand, and kudos to you for being resourceful!

    Thanks for sharing this inspired post – moving forward, have you considered using Forms and Doc Appender for personalized feedback? You could get at the same goals and students could even keep track of their learning. @lesmcbeth is a Forms jedi and has done some excellent automation using a variety of Add-ons!

    Thanks again for an inspiring read! I love what you’ve been able to do with your students in math! The CIS math community is full of gems!

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