Thursday, December 15, 2016

Personalized Learning at Pomeroy Elementary School (Milpitas, CA) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Personalized Learning at Pomeroy Elementary School (Milpitas, CA) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Personalized Learning at Pomeroy Elementary School (Milpitas, CA)



The recently built Learning Lab at Pomeroy Elementary School is a large room with multi-colored chairs, cubbies for students to sit in, and tables where students work together. Part of the previous Superintendent’s plan for staff to redesign their schools for blended learning (see here), Pomeroy’s Learning Lab the morning of October 21, 2016 was filled with 28 sixth graders working on different tasks. “We are,” their teacher Deanna Sainten said,”doing blended learning to the max.”

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After listening to the veteran teacher who has spent ten years at Pomeroy, I walked around and spoke to students sitting in pairs, trios, and alone. Three students told me that they were looking at a Scholastic News article called “Vote for Me,” about the Clinton/Trump campaign for president. They were reading the article and moving back-and-forth from the text to the worksheet with questions to answer. Another boy was writing in his notebook as he paged through his math text.
Two other 6th graders were working on their Personal Learning Plan checking which items they had “mastered,” (these show up in green on their screens) and ones that they have yet to complete (they show up in red). I asked them whether they had set goals for themselves–the PLP helps students acquire skills of self-assessment–and one showed me a screen shot of his goal labeled “Going to College.” The other boy still was at sea in figuring out how to use that part of the PLP.*
Elsewhere in the Learning Lab, I saw a line of about five students waiting to see Sainten sitting at a small desk. The students wanted the teacher to check their work  or were asking questions about the task they were working on.
I walked over to other students to see what they were doing. One boy was writing out answers on a worksheet about Ron Jones’ Acorn People and then transferring his answers to his Chromebook.  I asked him why he was doing that. He said: “It’s neater.” Two girls were working on the Scholastic News article on the presidential campaign and Googling on their tablets for information to answer questions. A boy and girl at a table were working on the Paleothic unit on their Chromebooks. Both were taking notes on their tablets from the readings Personalized Learning at Pomeroy Elementary School (Milpitas, CA) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

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