Personalized learning, an amorphous term that means different things to different people, generally refers to a more customized learning experience for students, based on their strengths, weaknesses and interests. Students are given the space to move through content more flexibly, at their own pace, often aided by technology.
Nontraditional grade groupings are another way to address students’ individual learning needs. The West Belden campus of the Chicago International Charter School network experimented with a first-through-third grade multiage classroom (which it no longer has), and its middle school is split this year into one departmental team for fifth and sixth graders and another for seventh and eighth graders. Throughout the day, these students see four different teachers on their respective teams.
The school structure changes almost every year, prompted by the desires of teachers and the recognized needs of students. In discussing plans for this year, Colleen Collins, the school director, said she had asked teachers to brainstorm how they could offer the best experience to the incoming fifth and sixth graders. The plan emerged from there.
Read the full article about grade levels and school design for personalized learning by Tara Garcia Mathewson at The Hechinger Report.
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