How might we support learners in...

Co-designing their learning experiences

Example Strategies

Collaborate with learners to develop standards-aligned activities to meet their learning goals
Example: At the start of the week, learners complete a shared online document that outlines their proposed activities for the week. The teacher reviews the plans and provides guidance as necessary.

Allow learners to choose their best learning place and medium to work on their goal
Example: During an ELA block, two teachers open up their doors and create one quiet and one “active conversation” room that students can choose between for their work.

Enable learners to choose with whom to work based on goals and needed expertise
Example: A class creates a peer working group and identifies adult mentors for their upcoming projects.

Support learners to use their reflections in the development of their next learning goal
Example: A teacher holds one-on-one conferences with learners every two weeks to review their reflections on their progress and co-design their next learning goals.

Empower learners to choose their own approach to learning a new concept
Example: A teacher empowers her learners to choose between 10-blocks, tallies or other mediums for learners to practice their math.

How might we support learners in...

Articulating their interests, strengths and needs

Example Strategies

Encourage and model articulation of interests/needs/strengths to inform future learning
Example: A teacher provides his learners with a “Reflection Binder.”  At the end of each day, they reflect on their work, identifying what worked well for them, what they struggled with and what support they need.

Offer tools to help learners identify their own interests, strengths, needs and preferences (e. g., interest inventories, checklists, reflection exercises)
Example: Over the course of six weeks (beginning at the start of the school year or when a new learner arrives), teachers and learners complete several inventories to identify learning drivers and gaps.

Establish a culture that encourages learners to actively share their feelings and experiences while learning
Example: A teacher creates a system of small book clubs and public share-outs during independent reading time that helps the community of learners share their excitement for books.

Provide learners with a systematic method (e.g., learner profiles) for documenting learning needs and preferences
Example: A teacher uses a platform for learners to regularly update their interests, needs and strengths in focus areas to inform conferences, interventions and/or upcoming lesson plan design.

Guide learners to generate questions that lead to further curiosity and/or self-directed learning
Example: A teacher does a KWI (Know, Wonder, Interest) chart to have learners share what they know, wonder and are interested in regarding a theme.

How might we support learners in...

Assessing, monitoring and reflecting on their own progress

Example Strategies

Guide learners in on-going reflection on learning outcomes, products and processes
Example: A teacher provides time at the end of every rotation for learners to complete a template for reflection on what they learned and what they find challenging.

Provide learners with ongoing access to their data to help identify academic and non-academic needs
Example: A teacher has learners track their growth in skills (via assessment scores) in a binder, so they can see which of their skills are strong and which skills they need to work on.

Partner with learners to reflect upon and document their own learning needs and progress
Example: A teacher helps learners create a system to track their progress in an edtech product and reflect on
their progress.

Model examining data, discussing progress and identifying challenges and needed supports
Example: A teacher meets with a learner and models how to look at the learner’s data to identify areas of progress and areas where the learner needs support.

Help learners reflect upon their learning strategies and efforts, as well as the result of those strategies and efforts in regard to meeting desired learning goals
Example: A teacher helps a learner reflect on her use of a reading strategy, and then the learner chooses to try a new strategy from a given list.

How might we support learners in...

Partnering in setting their learning goals and plans

Example Strategies

Collaborate with learners to set specific and challenging short-term goals and develop learning plans
Example: An advisory teacher has learners craft a daily goal at the start of each day that is reviewed among their peers at the end of the day.

Support learners to imagine a desired future and then think through what challenges they will need to overcome to attain it
Example: A teaching team has learners complete a WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacles, Plan) template at the start of each month.

Offer learners an organized approach to outline and document their learning plan (e.g., template, rubric)
Example: A teacher provides learners with a template to plan and track their learning activities for the week.

Partner with learners to establish a timeline and a plan for monitoring progress in meeting goals
Example: A teacher meets with a learner to set dates on which the learner will finish key steps towards a long-term project. They also include days that she will get feedback from a peer or teacher.

Utilize mentor conferences to review progress and determine next steps
Example: A classroom has a system of “learning buddies,” or peers that regularly check in with each other on goals and learning plans for reading.

How might we support learners in...

Advocating for support from teachers, peers, technology and other sources

Example Strategies

Coach and model for learners how to identify and advocate for their needs according to degrees of urgency
Example: A teacher works with his class to create anchor charts that give suggestions for how learners can know if they need support and provides prompts for how to ask for help.

Actively encourage learners to independently problem-solve by seeking help from peers, technology and other sources
Example: A teacher establishes a classroom culture of “Three Before Me,” in which learners must seek help from three other sources before consulting the teacher.

Establish routines for regular learner-led conferences
Example: A teacher sets up a rotation of short, five-minute check-ins with learners throughout the week for them to vocalize their progress and needed supports. Experienced learners teach others how to be more effective in learner-led conferences.

Actively nurture a class culture of self and team advocacy
Example: A teacher guides learners to reflect on their rights and identify barriers to their learning. Learners then work individually or as a collective group to advocate to the proper authorities for changes or expanded privileges.

Provide a system for learners to provide their status and request support
Example: A teacher gives each learner a popsicle stick and flag to decorate. When the learner needs assistance, he/she places it in the “up” position to notify the teacher and peers that help is needed.