Greenwood's Student Success Centre supports students as they further develop critical learning strategies. As Success Centre teacher Bill Farbstein explains, personalization plays a large role in ensuring that students get the most out of this excellent resource.
Personalization is at the core of the Student Success Centre (SSC) at Greenwood. Interacting with students in the Learning Strategies classroom, which typically is about half the size of a regular classroom, allows the teacher to learn the specific strengths and needs of each individual student.
Last year, I taught the Grade 9 Learning Strategies course. Throughout the year, the class moved through a number of units concerning literacy and executive functioning. This allowed me to clearly identify the strengths and needs of each student beyond those formally identified in their Individual Education Plan.
I used this information to create the final unit for the course. This last unit was completely personalized for each student. Students focused on their area of greatest need (reading, writing or presenting) and addressed this skill through an interest of their own.
The unit flowed in the following way:
- The students were assigned a scaffolded active reading, writing or presentation unit. ("Scaffolding" is support given during the learning process which is tailored to student needs, and which helps the student achieve his/her learning goals.) Each student was assigned the skill most in need of improvement.
- Each of the six lessons in the unit worked through the creation process and had students integrate skills that they had worked on during the year.
- By the end of the unit, the students were left with a final product which represented an exceptional active reading, writing or presentation piece.