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Imagine Learning National Spotlight School

Personalized Learning with Imagine Learning

Pays Off for Copperwood Elementary

Background

In December of 2016, Copperwood Elementary was given the opportunity to implement the Imagine Learning digital programs into our everyday instruction. The idea of incorporating personalized learning, via the use of technology combined with classroom instruction, was new to our school. Some teachers were hesitant to try this new approach, but we decided to commit to a permanent change in our philosophy.

To ensure a successful implementation of Imagine Learning’s programs, we focused on incorporating the four elements of personalized learning into each Copperwood classroom. These core elements are:

* Integrated digital content

* Targeted instruction

* Data-driven decisions

* Student reflection and ownership

At the end of the 2016–2017 school year, our students showed slight but measurable growth across the board in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. The teachers saw the evidence with their students and were motivated to implement a full year of blended learning and personalized instruction using the Imagine Learning programs.

 

Full Implementation of Imagine Learning

The 2017–2018 school year was our first full year of implementation. Our Leadership team on campus made sure the required technology to run the programs was in place at the right time for the students to have fidelity of the implementation. Each grade level from third through eighth grade was provided with two laptop carts of thirty computers each to be split between two teachers. Kindergarten through second grade classrooms were not provided laptops but were designated time in the computer lab. Administration worked tirelessly to ensure that each classroom was given ample time to achieve measurable success for our students.

Setting Expectations

The key to success in any new initiative is to “Inspect what you Expect.” Copperwood’s initiative for the implementation of personalized learning was no exception. Administration made visibility and communication our utmost priority in the Copperwood classrooms. Drop-in visits, followed by coaching meetings, were frequent. Data was reviewed and analyzed within our Professional Learning Communities. From these discussions, teachers began to focus on the growth within their students rather than on the grades. Our teachers were most excited about the fact that they were now able to individually meet the needs of each student in the classroom. Our teachers expressed that they appreciated the remediation opportunities that are built into the pathways and assigned automatically when necessary. As students worked independently on the program at their own levels of learning, teachers were able to target students for small group instruction based on the needs shown in the provided reports. These digital tools helped our teachers work smarter, rather than harder.

 

Student Buy-In

Once the teachers realized the positive academic changes that could occur through the implementation of the programs, we needed to make sure the most crucial stakeholders were convinced—the students. In addition to the built in reward systems of the Imagine Learning programs, Copperwood administration implemented a positive reward system to encourage student use both at school and at home. Dr. Crudder established his “Give Me 30” program which required students to work on the programs at home for thirty minutes per night in lieu of traditional homework. A hallway in a high-traffic area of the school visible to students, staff, and community proudly displayed the efforts of our students as they successfully complete tasks. Classroom teachers provided other earned incentives for successful completion of tasks and for moving through the math and reading pathways. These teacher-created incentives included items such as pizza parties, electronics parties, and “Bring a Stuffed Animal to School Day.” Teachers and students worked together to come up with these incentives which created higher levels of motivation for the success of our students. Lastly, one of our most exciting motivators for the students was an end of the year Achievement Award Assembly where we raffled off a brand-new Xbox 1. Every classroom teacher submitted the names of two students that had committed to using the programs and demonstrated the most success. Our students worked diligently for months solely for the chance of winning that prize and it paid off when the standardized test scores were reported.

 

Proven Results

When the AzMerit scores were reported by the state, all our teachers were anxious to see our results. Did the implementation of digital, adaptive tools for personalized learning and our hard work pay off? Would the students show the kind of growth that we all knew they were capable of?

The answer to those questions was a resounding Yes! Copperwood Elementary students showed great growth in both English Language Arts and math, including our at-risk students and our gifted students. Copperwood Elementary ranked sixty-fifth out of 1,744 Arizona Schools, was ranked in the top four percent in the state, and first within the Peoria Unified School District in K-8 total points earned!!!

Our 2018 AzMerit scores are provided below.

Total Points Earned 92.43 moving us from a “B” to an “A” School

K-8 Proficiency Points – 24.65 out of 30.00 points. Copperwood had an impressive 61% of students who were proficient or above for ELA and 65% who were proficient or above in Math.

K-8 Growth Points – 46.28 out of 50.00 points. This high growth score means that Copperwood had a high number of students growing faster than their peers across the state.

K-8 EL Growth and Proficiency Points – 10.0 out of 10.00. Five points were earned because our English learner (EL) proficiency level exceeded the state EL proficiency level. Another five points were earned because our average growth for our EL students was greater than the state EL growth.

K-8 Acceleration / Readiness Points – 10.0 out of 10.0. Personalized learning helped us earn the maximum of ten points that the state allowed in this category.

K-8 Bonus Points – 1.5 points earned because we had a great science proficiency rate.

Copperwood’s growth in both ELA and math was among the highest in the Peoria Unified School District. Our academic achievements were further rewarded with an “A” rating from the state. We attribute much of our success to the implementation of personalized learning through the Imagine Learning digital tools and to the hard work and dedication of our students, staff, and community to ensuring high achievement. We anticipate continued success this year.

Copperwood exists to uncover, enhance, and celebrate the gifts and talents of all who enter. This is our mission, and we, as a staff and community, embrace the challenges as well as the accomplishments that stem from it. The idea of personalized learning is not a new concept. However, we have not always had the resources to provide an effective model for instruction at Copperwood. Our general education classrooms have always followed a traditional teaching model. Instruction is aligned to the state standards and delivered in either whole-group settings or through small group instruction. Through the years, we noticed that our achievement scores in math and ELA had become stagnant. It became obvious that we needed to change to meet the growing needs of our students. Personalized learning with Imagine Learning was our answer!

Go Chargers!