Swift House PLP History: Part 2

This week we will be featuring the second in a series of blog posts from Kevin Hunt, a contributor to PLP Pathways and teacher in the Swift House, Williston Central School. PLP Pathways encourages contributions from teachers and educators across the state who are implementing personalized learning or, like Kevin, have integrated it into their programs. This week, Kevin discusses the process for selecting and reflecting on evidence as part of the PLP process.

Portfolio and Reflection

We use Google Sites as a platform for our online portfolio/PLP. The portfolio acts as the ‘medium’ that houses the PLP, which includes the ‘process.’ Each core teacher (there are four core teachers with roughly one-hundred students divided into the four core classrooms) creates an online roster for his or her core class and uses the add-on Site Maestro to blast out the e-Portfolio template that we use. Using Site Maestro allows us to keep a record and have quick accessibility to all of our core students’ PLPs as well as add bulk collaborators if needed (ie. other teachers, guidance counselors, etc.).

Once the students receive the template, they have the option to personalize their background and font. As a personal learning plan, we want the students to have as much say and control over the process as possible. They add their goals to the various tabs and under the “Goal Reflections” tab, they create a table, indicating what their five goals are. The Goal Reflection page is created as an ‘announcement page’ (mini blog), so students can have an ongoing record of their goal reflections, which occur on a weekly basis.

We have built in a thirty minute block of time each week within our core (homeroom/advisory) class for students to work on their PLPs. During this time, students write a blurb in their goal reflections page, in which they provide input on progress they’ve made on their various goals that week, or if they haven’t made progress, they write what their next steps should be. This process keeps the students reflecting on a regular basis and creates a sense of accountability to commit to working on or at very least thinking about their goals.