Self Directed Learning in Action

Books with Title Self Directed Learning

At PPHS, we believe that learning is a lifelong endeavor with no due-date.

Mercedes, a ninth-grader at PPHS, has always been a book-worm. She often finishes a book in a weekend and has been reading as long as she can remember. When it comes to English courses, she has always breezed through her work earning A’s easily. 

When she started at PPHS, she assumed that she would continue to fight boredom in her English classes. She was excited to learn that PPHS embraces student-focused learning, where students learn at their own pace. Mercedes is able to push herself during Personal Learning Time without needing to wait for her peers to catch up. She is able to finish her English 9 credit by February and begins her next course right away without having to wait for a semester-end date. She will begin her next English course before the school year ends and be able to pick up where she left off when she returns in the Fall.

While English is clearly her strong suit, Mercedes has always struggled with math. In the past, classes have progressed too quickly for her, and she felt too embarrassed to ask questions when the rest of the class seemed ready to move on. Although Mercedes has maintained a “C” average in math, she never felt like the skill “clicked” for her and often spent a lot of frustrating hours working on homework. When she began Algebra this year, she was struggling with pre and post-tests in Edmentum which alerted her coaches that she may need some additional personalized instruction time. 

Mercedes receives a calendar invite to a “Math Dojo” the next day at 1:00 pm. There she meets with a Math Coach and four classmates who are also struggling in the same unit. The Coach provides guidance, backed by data from Edmentum, on common mistakes, and provides skill remediation. Because they meet in a small group, students are able to get one-on-one attention from their Coach and aren’t embarrassed to ask questions when they need to. Skills gaps are quickly and efficiently addressed with just-in-time teaching techniques. 

Mercedes finishes her Dojo focusing on factoring equations and is able to ace her post-test. She waits until she is confident in her skills to take unit tests, which puts her a little behind the traditional pace of a pre-algebra class, but by taking her time, she is able to consistently improve her foundational knowledge. At the end of the year, she still has a few chapters left in the pre-algebra course, but it’s not a big deal! She knows that she can pick up where she left off and finish those chapters in the Fall semester, or in summer finishing school if she wants to make sure to start the year off ahead!  Mercedes is confident that she’ll be ready to start more difficult math concepts next year, knowing that if she stumbles or needs support, it’s only a Dojo away! 


Published on 4/27/2020