An update on Personalized Learning.

With every great new era comes innovation and change. Such is the case with the Bronze Era, the Industrial Revolution, and the Age of Computers. Following suit is a new era of education, and it, too, will introduce innovation and change.

During the last week of school, students in grades two through four celebrated their successes in completing their first year in the Personalized Learning program. Sleepy Eye Elementary School is one of only a few districts within the area to lead the way in this educational revolution.

Inherent to this style of instruction is the premise that each child is best able to learn new information at their own pace and in their own way. At Sleepy Eye Elementary, for the subjects of math and reading, learners were placed in studios where they acquired information at individualized levels. This means one third grader may be revisiting second grade concepts within a given subject area, while another is engaged with fifth grade concepts in that same area. The individual learner progresses at an optimized pace for them to garner and maintain a solid understanding of a particular concept. Groups, or studios, are flexible and ever changing with respect to the needs of the learners. Within these studios, the “teacher” is no longer found standing at the front of the classroom; instead, students work independently or receive coaching sessions from a facilitator.

In addition to academics, students reflected on themselves as a whole learner, by immersing themselves in the Habits of Mind, which teaches the whole learner how to be a productive member of society and a successful learner in school.

The Habits of Mind include persisting, managing impulsivity, listening with understanding and empathy, thinking flexibly, thinking about thinking, striving for accuracy, questioning and posing problems, applying past knowledge to new situations, thinking and communicating with clarity and precision, gathering data through all senses, creating, imagining, innovating, responding with wonderment and awe, taking responsible risks, finding humor, thinking interdependently, and remaining open to continuous learning. This framework has become a fixture in the PL program and is important to developing the learner as a whole.

For the 2019-2020 school year, grades one through six will be using the Personalized Learning model for math and reading to enhance the educational experience. We look forward to another successful year, and would like to thank parents and students for their support in our first year of implementation. Sleepy Eye Public School staff would like to wish everyone a safe and fun summer!