I hope that you noticed how good I was this year! I even learned how to make more friends at school this year! We had these special days at the beginning of the school year where our teacher talked about bullying. My teacher talked to me about why I was mean to the other kids sometimes and I told her I just get mad at them because they are smarter than me. It makes me angry that I can’t get good grades too. Then she told me that we were going to do some things different in her class and that she knew I could get good grades too. Guess what? I DID!!! Oh wait, you already know that because you’re Santa. Guess what else? My teacher also told me she was proud of me because I take such good care of the computer she gave me. At first I didn’t know what to do with it and thought it would be fun to have to play games on and stuff, but she doesn’t let me play video games on it. But that’s ok because I learned how to use it to get better scores. I even get to use it during class!!!
Every day I get time to work on stuff that I actually know how to do! I can move around to different stations to learn in different ways. If we're doing alone work, I can even sit on the floor or on bean bags that my teachers sets out. When I don’t know how to do something, I get to do other things on it that teach me how to do what I don’t know. If I get stuck too long, my teacher works with me until I figure it out. Sometimes my new friends even help me if my teacher is busy teaching someone else. One kid that I was mean to before, he always gets A’s, and he is really nice to me and trades Pokemon cards with me every time I get a good score on a test!
My mom was really excited too, until she heard the teacher wanted to see her after school one day, she asked me what I did now and I told her I’m sorry, but I didn’t know why I was in trouble. Guess what Santa? I wasn’t in trouble at all, and my teacher told my mom that I was being really well-behaved in class and responsible with my computer and now I get to bring it home! With the computer at home, I can even go ahead on the programs I like most. I can also chat and work extra with my friends on the class projects we find fun. My mom helps me choose what I get to do on it each night and when I get good scores she lets me have a snack before bed! My mom said that my teacher told her we were doing Personalized Learning, we call it PL, in class this year. Because I was doing better at school my mom said I could have a party for my birthday. I invited the kids in my class but was afraid some might say no because I was mean to them before but they ALL came! We had fun. It was the best birthday ever! When my mom told me I should write my letter to you, I asked her if I could do it on my computer to show you how good I am at using it!
I am so excited for Christmas this year, my new friend is going to have a sleepover during our break. Santa, do you think you can make sure my teachers next year know about Personalized Learning like my teacher this year? It almost sounds like all I want for Christmas is more PL! Ummm, and a remote control drone with a camera. And a Hatchimal. And a soccer ball! LOL
Although this letter to Santa was put together by me, it is a summary and reflection of my eyewitness accounts of how positive changes in instructional practices, especially around personalized learning, can spill over into other areas of our students’ lives. I hope that this gives you some perspective on the importance of meeting the needs of our learners and structuring our learning environments to foster personalized opportunities. If more kids could experience personalized learning and the positive impact it has, they would all want it for Christmas too.
VP of Education, Education Elements