Daily Sharing to Inform Learning
Wendell Smith Elementary School

Wendell Smith Elementary has been implementing Learner Focused instruction to personalize learning for students. Learner Focused instruction emphasizes a child’s strengths, needs, and interests to effectively tailor learning experiences for each student.
Created for educators. By educators.
“When we started designing our plan for personalized learning, we started with the why. We really found that it was a motivation problem...students sometimes just don’t have the will to learn… But with personalized learning, students...have a lot of input, a lot of buy-in, and you just see a tremendous difference in their affect regarding school because they are part of the school and the learning process, versus it just happening to them.”
Ms. Cynthia Treadwell
Assistant Principal
“I wanted my students to become self motivated and be responsible for their own learning. The impact of personalized learning for me is knowing who my students are...diving in deep, having that one-on-one personal conversation with them. It’s not really about the teacher, it’s about those learners in the classroom. I see the success of my children and I realize that personalized learning works.”
Ms. Anglense Jones
4th & 5th Grade Teacher
About Wendell Smith Elementary School
A Chicago Public Schools Neighborhood School
  • 99%African American
  • 0%Asian
  • 0.3%Hispanic
  • 0%White
  • 0.3%Other
  • 97%Low Income
  • 13%Diverse Learners
  • 0.3%English Learners
  • 34%Mobility*

How Daily Sharing Works in Ms. Jones' Class

Step 1.
Learner focused / Regularly solicit and compile information regarding learners’ interests, strengths and needs

Ask students how they feel and what they want to achieve: Each morning, Ms. Jones asks students to write on an index card how they are feeling and their goal for that day. Her purpose is to understand how her students’ lives outside school may affect their motivation or approach to learning that day.

Step 2.
Learner focused / Review available information

Offer students the opportunity to share how they’re feeling with the classroom community : Ms. Jones knows that her students’ feelings impact their learning. Every day she provides the opportunity for them to share and support each other. Ms. Jones takes notes and uses those notes to support student learning and build her classroom community.

Step 3.
Learner focused / Offer flexible modalities, groupings and times/places for learning

Include flexibility to conference with students in response to their feelings or need for extra attention from the teacher: Ms. Jones maintains flexibility in her own schedule, recognizing that the number of students she needs to conference with may fluctuate each day. By listening closely to what her students share from their index cards, she identifies the students she feels will benefit from additional time with her.

Step 4.
Learner focused / Partner with learners to explore

Use student feelings to inform learning plans and meet learning expectations for the day: ways to modify or vary content, the where/when of learning, and other aspects of their learning experiences to align with their interests, strengths and needs: Ms. Jones uses the students’ feelings and interests to inform how she helps them accomplish their learning that day. She may adjust the amount of support she provides students, how she facilitates student collaboration, or how much time students work independently or collaboratively. She helps students adjust learning plans to respond to their needs while still meeting the learning goals for the day.

Step 5.
Learner connected / Partner with learners to continuously align learning opportunities with learners’ interests, strengths and needs

Provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their day: At the end of every day, Ms. Jones provides the opportunity for students to reflect on their day. Students consider how they felt at the beginning of the day, how those feelings changed, and which of their own learning goals they met that day. Ms. Jones uses those reflections to coach students during their conferences.