Learning without Boundaries


Learning Without Boundaries

A Personalized Approach to Learning



At Rye Junior High, we have committed ourselves to uphold the vision that all students can “Learn Without Boundaries”. This is our very short mission statement that succinctly describes our vision of providing a personalized learning experience for all students. We use our “Rye Look Fors”  document to drive our educational programming in specific domains:


Domain

Criteria

Where we are at

Rye Junior High

Disposition

This domain focuses on building capacity in students to develop skills and habits in all areas of life, such as: reflection, ownership of learning, creating goals, and seeking out knowledge and partnerships to benefit their own learning.

Through our assessments of HOWLs (Habits of Work and Learning), we are providing specific feedback on our three focus areas of responsibility, respect, and perseverance. 


In classrooms, students routinely reflect on the learning from a specific unit, which provides them with an opportunity to think critically about how the knowledge will benefit them on a larger scale, rather than just passing a test.


The Modern Classroom approach and the use of mastery maps have already been invaluable in giving students a structured, organized set up to access class-based information.

Path


Focus area

2021-2022

Students will follow a learning path that best meets their goals, motivation, and progress through learning standards.

Our personalized approach to social studies allows students more freedom to learn the standards in a way that is interesting and meaningful to them as individuals. While all students are learning the same standards, they are all accessing the learning through interest-based material.


Pace


Focus area

2020-2021

Students are able to set the pace on their learning, instead of the pace being driven by content or the teacher. Think: “learning is the constant, time is the variable”.

Our Modern Classroom approach guides us in providing a personalized pace for students, as they can choose to complete Should-Do or Aspire-To-Do work when they are moving quickly through the work in a specific unit.


Many teachers provide opportunities to relearn and reassess on material with guidelines.

Place


Focus area 2019-2020

Areas where students access learning have been designed and customized to match the learning or activity.

Teachers have spent time researching and redesigning their classrooms to reflect how middle schoolers best learn-- using collaboration to achieve goals. Our classroom set up, including furniture, is reflective of this commitment to providing a place where students can learn in a variety of ways.


Our RJH cafeteria has been redesigned! Traditionally, cafeterias are one of the largest areas in the school, yet the least used area. Students are able to now use the space for projects, group work, or as a meeting area.

Choice


Focus area 2019-2020


Students are given ownership in what materials and methods they learn standards, as well as how they demonstrate that learning to others.

At times, teachers use ‘stations’ in class, in which students can seek out information using a variety of methods or materials. 


The Modern Classroom approach provides options for students, both in terms of receiving extra support or needing a challenge.  In this way, teachers are able to honor a student’s ability to drive their learning by completing projects in a manner that reflects their personal interests and abilities.


Students are accessing social studies standards in six week ‘sessions’, which are selected by students based on their personal interests.

Voice

Students set the classroom culture, access curriculum using self interest topics, and identify what they will know and be able to do to demonstrate learning.

This year, advisory groups are completing a social-emotional learning program, Character Strong, for students to collaborate on forming a positive classroom culture.


Within classrooms, students are regularly able to select topics or materials that reflect their personal interest, such as novel studies, research topics, or project topics.


Currently, teachers are still setting the ‘success criteria’ for students. This domain works in conjunction with Disposition, as students need to have the skills necessary and habits needed to set criteria that demonstrates they have met a standard.

Approaching learning in this way takes the control off the teacher and empowers our students to seek out more opportunities and knowledge. As a society, we know the skills adults need to be successful in a more collaborative, ideas-focused model of work. Personalizing learning for our students at RJH allows us to provide students with opportunities to create a learning atmosphere that works for them.


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