ISD Grade 3 Recap + Reflect

Dabbling and fumbling in personalized learning...

Things we dabbled in...

  • Collaborated to generate ideas, questions and needs for Personalized Learning, documented our thoughts in an still-in-progress Google Slide and Doc

  • Engaged in BIG IDEA discussions, including teacher teams to turn-key ideas to staff on digital tools and technology, and use this as means to increases understanding, use, community


  • Became increasingly more aware of giving choice to students and being intentional about it, observing that choice helps students who are comfortable with math, pacing helps those who are gaining comfort-level


  • Used Khan Academy to support, help practice, and extend mathematical thinking, and the analytics to gather student data and form instruction



  • Created Math Projects to extend learning while giving with choice in presentation and student pacing in completion


  • Intentionally used Math IXL to provide additional support on skills on route to mastery



  • Blended Math Exemplars in making mathematical thinking visible: gave students a choice of tools for recording thinking, creating online media gallery on Schoology to share thinking with everyone, and used discussion threads to reflect on each other’s posting. Noticed various routines help all learners see multiple ways to solve problems, improve ways to sharing thinking and knowledge



  • Provided students with purposeful, meaning and actionable feedback in regards to their mathematical thinking and mastery of concepts



  • Increased our own and our students' awareness of growth mindset vs fixed mindset and used intentional language to foster lifelong learning


  • Gave students more opportunities to make, create, tinker, prototype,...


  • Engaged in mindfulness routines to help students increase self-awareness in the way they communicate with, including giving feedback to, each other as learners

Engaging learning moments we created...

Reflections on our explorations...

  • Letting kids pace themselves, using voice….


  • Kids who have a positive relationship with math excel in an environment where they have choice


  • Kids who are developing a relationship with mathematics, and/or have a negative attitude towards math, excel in an environment when flexibility in pacing is the norm


  • The usage of flexibility in seating provided kids a warm, barrier free environment that maximized their learning potential.


  • Letting go of teacher control was liberating and freed up students to take charge of their own learning in an accountable way


  • We need to start at the beginning of the year to build a classroom culture of agency, productivity, self-management and accountability


  • We want to create an environment where we can let kids be creative


  • If we could start at day one with management, building classroom framework about how this class will run, if we could start the year like that and develop the space that’s conducive to learning


  • Uncertainty is uncomfortable and it’s hard to find the balance where you are OK with it


  • Being OK with that your ideas are going to be challenged and not knowing the answers


  • Needing to teach and share examples of “grit


  • Failure is not an “option” it’s part of the learning process


  • Failure is comes in many forms - we need to be flexible to overcome

Fumbles along the way...

  • Having assumptions that kids are more savvy in technology than they actually are in academic environment


  • Assuming that kids internalized the role of a student and how it looked like in a learning environment and how to interact in a learner community


  • Buried underneath piles of paperwork to personalize learning when technology is not utilized to its best outcome


  • Developing the confidence that this is not only doable but successful

Our action plan- past + present...

We have read and reflected on strategies from:


We have leveraged online and offline PD opportunities:


We have implemented and will continue to do so:

  • Using and exploring a variety of small group modeling
  • Leveraging the use of math manipulative to move students from concrete to pictorial to abstract in thinking about mathematics


We have successfully applied, interviewed, and got accepted as a Phase II team to our district's 2017-18 Math Pilot initiative around exploring pacing and personalized instruction in mathematics.


We are looking forward to:
  • Presenting at ISTE2017 STEM Playground as a grade-level team, making meaningful connections with educators, and also, discovering new math teaching and learning opportunities

  • Attending Summer Curriculum Institute

  • Participating in Math Pilot PD opportunities, especially with Karin Hess

  • Exploring ECRISS to tap in the potential of student learner profiles

  • Visiting schools that implement personalized learning

  • Planning the initial weeks of 2017-18 school year, creating a personalized learning environment boot-camp

  • Exploring accountability tools for our community of learners