Picture of a single bin of charms. The label indicates which targets must be achieved to obtain the  reward.

“I’m already proficient at this. I’m supposed to be working on middle sounds.”

This was a statement recently made by a Kindergarten student at the Center for Family Learning. The Kindergartener who made the statement showed the power of competency-based personalized learning. She knows where her progress is and what she is to be learning. She was an agent of her learning in a classroom where the expectations for learning are clear. She advocated for herself by stating she has already shown proficiency in the assigned skill and needs a new activity. 

Even our youngest students at CFL are becoming owners of their learning and they are acquiring beads and charms as they prove it. That’s right, beads and charms. The beads and charms are touchable indicators to students of their progress and growth. 

“The kids really grasp on to it and are excited about it.” beamed Robin McMillan. Ms. McMillan’s role as Facilitator to Reduce Learning Loss puts her front and center in the beads and charms action. Her office is full of containers loaded with treasure for goals achieved. Students receive a bead for each time they advance in an evidence outcome or accomplish a goal.  They receive a charm for each time they master an evidence outcome or target. 

Here are a few comments from some of our CFL students:

“My next goal is (to) understand word families.  I’m going to pick a light pink bead.” 

“I’m going to get another bead for leveling up in Lexia.” 

“I will get a whistle charm when I master my locomotion movements.”

“I got this one for knowing my letters.” 

Principal Kim Frees exclaims, “Amazing! It is amazing the way students practice student agency and ownership of their learning through this process. The sense of community among the students is strong too as all the kids are excited for each other,” 

Ms. McMillan agrees, “Kids celebrate the success of others as much as their own and it brings a new level of celebration to our school.” 

Business guru Tom Peters says, “Celebrate what you want to see more of.”  CFL is doing just that. Way to go little Cardinals, way to go!

                                                        A shelf of beads and charms  ready to be earned.