Curious and imaginative, Poppy loves language and puns. During reading workshop, students have the autonomy to choose their own books. This has helped Poppy, who is reading above her grade level, deepen her love for reading. During a class-wide biome project, Poppy partnered with a classmate on a design-thinking challenge: to create a device that would help clean ocean animals affected by an oil spill. With her passion for animals, Poppy co-constructed a design based on her empathy for the animals. Whether spelling, drawing, or designing, Poppy likes to get things right the first time. This term, she’s made significant progress in reframing non-perfection as an opportunity for learning.
Kaue is passionate about history and sports, so a class-wide study on Ancient Greece that combined mythology and the Olympics (in part, inspired by his love of Greece) was a perfect fit. To relate their studies to modern life, the class worked with a professional game designer to create their own games. The process required patience and compromise as students navigated multiple iterations before creating their final artifacts. Kaue’s model combined modern-day pinball and the ancient sport of archery. Next, students examined the bidding process that cities go through to host the Olympics. After researching population, government, transportation, and their cities’ geographical layouts, students consulted an expert in design and building, and created scale models of their own Olympic stadiums. Kaue leveraged his expertise in Greece to suggest a few myths that the class then studied in depth as the unit bridged History and Language Arts.
Playful, reflective, and high-energy, Viktoria has broad interests ranging from photography to rock climbing. For a whole-class election project that incorporated Language Arts, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Social Studies, Viktoria served as campaign manager. In this role, she helped her candidate prep for debates, write speeches, and create a tax plan that addressed local and national issues. In this project-based learning unit, Viktoria and her classmates selected partners to analyze math problems in small groups, practicing how to collaborate and taking on flexible roles within team environments. AltSchool’s classrooms are flexibly designed for students to use in ways that best suit their learning preferences. Viktoria enjoys using the whiteboard to see her work unfold in front of her while working on math problems.
Portrait is a set of tools that provides educators a rich picture of who each child is. It includes a comprehensive record of each student’s progress across both academic and non-academic standards for learning, such as how often a child has practiced a skill or worked on content. Portrait tracks student trajectory toward competency by incorporating scores from third-party assessments, teacher narratives, samples of each child's work, and internal educator notes.
This deep understanding of a child’s interests, learning approach, and traits helps educators more effectively plan a student's learning experience.
Playlist is a set of tools that enables educators to manage what each child does to meet his or her personalized learning goals, and functions as a customized workspace for students to cultivate agency by managing their own work. Educators create, sequence, and remix curriculum units to curate Playlists where students can view assignments, communicate with their teacher, and submit work generated on- and off-line. Education teams provide feedback and assessments that update students’ Portrait in real time. Playlist allows educators to help students accelerate in any areas where they are already advanced, and work on areas that require more attention and development.
During this phase, educators motivate students with provocations and essential questions. Seeking answers gives students a purpose, instills a desire for learning, and imbues them with an awareness of the skills and interests they will need to develop to accomplish their goals.
In this phase, students focus on the process of learning, investigating topics through inquiry-driven research, building knowledge of a subject area, developing thinking strategies toward challenges, and practicing key learning habits. As part of this process, students create artifacts such as a piece of writing, artwork, or performance that help them construct knowledge by practicing their skills and habits.
Each student’s individual path to excellence begins with personalization. When learning is personalized, students become active and engaged learners.