Planning a Personalized Learning Unit- What you MUST KNOW to get you started!

Before you introduce personalized learning to your students, you must first establish the model and procedures you wish to follow in your personalized learning classroom. I use the model below to plan out my instruction, the students learning journey (practice), and Summative Assessment options.


Seminars and Coaching Workshops in a personalized learning classroom:

As I plan instruction I consider how I can break down the instruction for my students into short seminar sessions (direct/whole class instruction) that lasts no longer than 20-25 minutes. I will try to focus on one skill or concept within a given seminar. I then create coaching workshops that will support students as they learn this skill or concept and/or extend learning on this skill or concept. Each seminar (to cover all skills in a given standard) will be listed in this section for students to see. Each will be a link to the Google Slides Presentation for students who wish to learn the material on their own, ahead of pace, or to review as needed.

Learning Journey Options in a personalized learning unit:

Within the Learning Journey section, I will place the practice documents I used to require as a part of the lesson. These could be practice documents, graphic organizers, Webquests, Prezis, articles, links to helpful websites, etc. Some of these options can be required if you feel your students need them to be successful in meeting the standard. I try to leave most of these as optional resources. As students attempt the summative assessment, they will realize on their own if the practice is necessary! This realization is authentic, and truly helps students to understand HOW they learn best. If students attempt the summative assessment and are not successful in meeting the standard, I do direct students back to this middle section for further practice and support. I will also recommend a conference or a small group coaching workshop for extra support. Then, after students have practiced and gotten sufficient support, students can re-attempt the summative assessment.

Evidence of Meeting the Standard for a personalized learning unit:

Within this last column I will ask students to demonstrate mastery of the standard. From past years of instruction, I have created at least one option. This was usually the option that I required of my students with the traditional teaching and learning method. Now I do make this an optional assessment. I do really try to provide a few options for students within this section. These options grow each year. The best part is that students will often bring me wonderful ideas that are more challenging than those I created! Then I can apply their ideas to the list for next year’s class! This is true for building the learning journey section as well. Students will find helpful websites, online games, articles, etc. and I can add them for students. This list just continues to grow with quality support material!

Below is an example of the three standards I covered in my To Kill a Mockingbird unit. Each standard is listed separately, with the seminars, learning journey, and summative assessment options for each. Students will work through all three standards within the same unit time-frame. They will have voice and choice in planning how they will complete these three standards by the given deadline.


I have created a student planning and reflection calendar to help students through this process as they begin. It is a part of the Introduction to Personalized Learning Lesson shown below. Click the link to see more!

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