Student Choice During Literacy Rotations
Patrick Henry Elementary School

Patrick Henry Elementary has been focused on Learner Led instruction to personalize learning for students. Learner Led instruction encourages learners to have meaningful input and choice in their learning, and it goes beyond differentiated instruction to truly transform the learning experience.
Created for educators. By educators.
“I had the opportunity to visit [a personalized learning school], and the sheer desire and motivation that I saw within the students told me there was another way to create educational opportunities for our students, where they were driving their own learning. If we can create an environment where students are at the core of their learning, I think we’ll go a long way to meeting their learning needs and reaching their goals, not only in education but in life.”
Mr. Juan Gutierrez
“I think the biggest impact as a teacher is seeing students develop these amazing leadership skills, developing this passion for learning that was hidden in them. They weren’t aware of the power they had to guide their learning. Now that they do have that power, it’s amazing to see the ideas they come up with.”
Ms. Tania Figueroa
About Patrick Henry Elementary
A Chicago Public Schools Neighborhood School
  • 4%African American
  • 2%Asian
  • 83%Hispanic
  • 7%White
  • 4%Other
  • 88%Low Income
  • 13%Diverse Learners
  • 46%English Learners
  • 17% Mobility*

How Student Choice Works in Ms. Figueroa's Class

Step 1.
Learner / Prepare activity options to meet student needs

Determine the appropriate learning progression: Ms. Figueroa uses multiple data sources to plan and prepare activities and materials to meet a range of needs and personalize learning for students.

Step 2.
Learner / Offer learners an organized approach

Coach students in creating their schedule for the week: Students in Ms. Figueroa’s class use a template she created in Google Classroom to build their learning plan. It has space for students to enter their choices for each rotation every day.

Step 3.
Learner / Coach learners to identify needs

Support students to build their learning plans: Ms. Figueroa teaches students to select an appropriate number and type of choices based on their individual needs. Not all students have the same number of choices or the same types of activities.

Step 4.
Learner / Adjust learning goals and plans

Establish a structure to support students: Ms. Figueroa uses four learning rotations; each rotation is 15-20 minutes in length. The activity in each rotation is fluid. Ms. Figueroa’s students may shift what they are doing partway through the rotation, or continue the activity into the next rotation. Ms. Figueroa’s activities consist of: a) team meeting with the teacher; b) reader response; c) independent project; d) online ELA program.

Step 5.
Learner / Position teacher role based on learning needs / Cultivate an environment to enhance collaboration and peer support

Meet with student teams to monitor progress: Ms. Figueroa divides her students into teams based on their data and needs. During literacy rounds, she meets with every team of students every day.

During team meetings, Ms. Figueroa checks on student progress and plans. She helps students plan how they will support each other.

Step 6.
Learner / Collaborate with learners to identify and include preferences

Assist students to adjust pace and plans: As students become more autonomous, Ms. Figueroa allows them to choose what to work on, when to work on it, and where to work. Students may also change their pace or plans as their needs change.