Goal-setting, reflection


Barseghian, Tina. (2011, June 1). Putting 21st century skills to action. Mind/Shift. Retrieved November 17, 2013, from

Strauss, Valerie. (2013, February 13). If students designed their own school, it would look like this. The Washington Post. Retrieved July 1, 2014, from

This page currently contains resources from Cherice Montgomery's SCFLTA 2013 presentation on The Power of Personalization: Super Strategies for Supporting Student Learning.


Workshop Description:

Want to make more of a difference in the lives of each of your students? Come learn from the world’s foremost superheroes how to create flexible learning environments that activate your students’ individual superpowers and encourage them to take more responsibility for their own learning. Explore how flow theory and the ACTFL 21st Century Skills Map can be used as tools for designing transformative language learning experiences that are cognitively challenging, emotionally engaging, personally pertinent, and socially satisfying. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop. Wireless internet access will be provided.

Guiding Questions:

1) Why do we find superheroes so intriguing?

2) How might we learn from our interactions with superheroes to craft more flexible learning environments and experiences that engage students in personal, transformative learning?

3) What "superpowers" does research offer to teachers and what are their limitations?

Can Dos:

I can use 21st Century skills to . . .

  • Expand my PLN
  • Craft compelling, transformative learning experiences for students
  • Develop students' proficiency in the TL


See, Search, Save, Sort, Speak, Synthesize, Share

A: Getting to Know Your Students

  • Who am I?

1: Popcorn Introductions


2: Cell Phone Photo Introductions

(For more icebreaker ideas, see these pages:

3: I See, I Think, I Wonder

I see, I think, I wonder -

4: True Colors

B: Principles of Personalization

5: Thinking Template: Signature Search (p. 3)

6: Thinking Template: Personalization (p. 4)

7: Grab a Word (Concepts)


8: Say Something

1) EditingKodachrome.jpg FROM TwelchconsultingBlog.jpg

2) EducationNeedsToBeTurnedOnItsHead.jpg FROM ZenhabitsBreathe.jpg

3) MorePedagogicChangeIn10Years.jpg FROM DonaldClarkPlanB.jpg

4) PersonalizingFlippedEngagement.jpg FROM SmartBlogOnEducationLogo.png

5) TheSchoolCliffStudentEngagementDrops.jpg FROM TheGallupBlogLogo.png

6) ShiftingtheParadigmTransformativeLearningTheory.png FROM PedablogueLogo.jpg

7) TeachingWithoutAScript.jpg FROMTheNYTOpinionPages.jpg

8) WhatIfSchoolsCreatedACultureOfDo.jpg FROM TheTemperedRadicalLogo.jpg

9) GreatTeachersDontTeach.JPG FROM EdutopiaLogo.JPG

10) SteveHargadornEscapingTheEducationalMatrix.JPG

11) 9CharacteristicsOf21stCenturyLearning.png FROM TeachThought-Progressive-Learning-Resources.png

9: Jigsaw

10: Story Switches

11: Personalized Learning Chart (p. 7)

12: Welcome to my PLE!

C: Research-based Practices

Activate & Build Topic Knowledge

13: Superhero Think, Pair, Share

  • How many superheroes can you list in one minute?
  • What kind of a superhero are you?

Choice & Voice: Structured Opportunities to Move & Talk

14: Superhero Social Butterflies

  • If you were a superhero, which superpower would you like to have and why?
  • What can superheroes do?

15: 21st Century Superheroes

  • What perspectives shape the actions of superheroes?

Critical Thinking Tasks

  • A teacher is like a superhero because . . .

16: 21st Century Skills

  • How do superheroes get their superpowers?

17: Creativity: A Critical Part of Transformative Learning

Transformative Learning.jpg

18: Evaluation: Superhero Mashups

19: Self-Evaluation: Are You Creative? (p. 8)

Possible Results

20: Research-based Principles

  • The Power of Creativity
    • Learning --> Transformation --> Creativity
    • Conditions That Support Creativity
    • Flow
  • The Power of Expertise - What does an expert learner look like?
  • The Power of Association
  • The Power of Multiple Representations
  • The Power of Recontextualization
  • The Power of Cognitive Flexibility
  • The Power of Transliteracy
  • The Power of Bite-sized Chunks of Complexity
  • Limitations

D: Designing Compelling Learning Environments & Experiences

21: Spin the Bottle Game

  • Describe a powerful learning experience you had in middle school or high school.
  • How does designing "learning experiences" differ from "planning lessons?"
  • What conditions support transformative learning experiences? (p. 9) - Think Pair Share (explain to a partner)
  • In what kinds of transformative learning are K-12 students already engaging?

22: Action Plan for Changing the World

  • How do you want to change the world?

23: Possible Activities for a Superheroes Unit


24: 5Ts: A Template for Transforming Your Curriculum







Guided Story Web

Conversation Journals


Picture Walk


  • Four Corners (0-3, Yes/No/Maybe, Pictures)
  • Puppets


  • Pre-reading
    • Predictions
    • Venn Diagrams
    • Checklists
  • During Reading
    • Comprehension Supports (Images)
    • Scaffolding & Sequencing
    • Patterns
    • Giving Instructions
    • GivingInstructions.jpg

E: Discovering Your Next Steps

(Learning Centers)

25: 5 Ts Planning Template (p. 10)


26: Create Your Own Superheroes

MarvelCreateYourOwnSuperhero.jpg SuperheroCostumeGenerator.png TheHeroFactory.png

27: Symbaloo: Personalized Learning

28: Projects

F: Accountability


G: Q&A, Closure, & Evaluations


  • Access (cognitive tools, expertise, information, materials, mentoring, personal learning networks, resources, social capital, technology)
  • Accountability
  • Autonomy (choice; control; decision-making; flipped classroom; gradual release of responsibility--show me, help me, let me; "personalized" learning; scaffolding; Zone of Proximal Development; voice)
  • Complexity (distributed cognition, "wicked" problems)
  • Creativity (knowledge creation, self expression, social transformation)
  • Flexibility (blended/hybrid/ubiquitous learning)
  • Identity (cognitively challenging, emotionally engaging, personally pertinent, socially/spiritually satisfying--flow, motivation)
  • Transformation (of content, self, school, community, world)
  • Transliteracy (increases access, removes boundaries--cultures, languages, tools)

Premises & Principles

The world needs flexible thinkers who can learn quickly, frame problems creatively, and work together collaboratively

Learning should be personally meaningful and move learners to social action in ways that transform society.

"'Personalized' learning is something that we do to kids; 'personal' learning is something they do for themselves." - Will Richardson


  • Establish the Environment
  • Craft the Community
  • Assess the Abilities
  • Identify the Needs
  • Generate the Goals
  • Connect with Content & Collaborators
  • Determine the Tasks
  • Evolve the Experience
  • Monitor the Process
  • Scaffold/Support the Student
  • Celebrate Successes
  • Evaluate the Experience



Affinity Diagram
Art (Arriesgate, Canto, Fridges, Mr. Potato Head, Poetry)
BuildYourWildSelfLogo.jpg (Si yo tuviera . . . )

Capture a Concept Project
Choice Boards
Circle of Inquiry
Command Posters
Comparisons Worksheet
Concept Map
Cuadros y Cuentos
Describe & Draw
Delicious/Diigo Tagging Activity then affinity diagram
Family Food Project
Famous Person Pix
Fashion Magazines
Found Poetry
Four Corners
Fruit Loops
Gimme 5
Grab a Word
Graphic Organizers
Human Graphing
I Have a Dream
I See, I Think, I Wonder -
Inside/Outside Circles
Learning Centers
Lesson Planning Menu, Objective Menu, Topic to Theme chart, Differentiation chart
Newspaper of the Future
Picture Walk (use post-cards or primary pix)

Pop-up Books
Say Something
Scavenger Hunt
Signature Search
Smoosh Books
Story Sequences
Table Tents
Thematic Planning role plays and brainstorming sheets
True Colors
Valentine's Day Activities
Venn Diagrams

What Would You Imagine?


1) How might a teacher assess student learning when they are all learning something different?
2) How does personalized learning interact with core standards and standardized testing?



Flipping the Classroom


Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!

Glogster: Differentiating with Google Docs



Barseghian, Tina. (2011, June 1). Putting 21st century skills to action. Mind/Shift. Retrieved November 17, 2013, from