How to blend 1:1 check-ins

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As teachers, we know that personalized learning has its foundation in empathy and understanding. Some teachers personalize learning based on assessment data and even digital portfolios. These data points tell part of the learning story. Giving students the opportunity to advocate for themselves directly can provide deeper understanding of what they are experiencing as learners and can lead to robust individualized learning plans to better serve their needs. 

In traditional classrooms, teachers sometimes do 1:1 mini-conferences with students while the rest of the class is busy with other tasks or station rotations. The station rotation blended learning model lends itself well to conducting in-person 1:1 check-ins. Teachers can designate specific stations where students engage in exploratory online learning tasks while the teacher works with students individually. We have now experienced a time where we may not have been able to meet in person with our students. Schedules were disrupted, virtual classrooms were our normal. In such times, teachers can shift 1:1 check-ins to a digital platform. 

Many teachers set up a Teacher Office channel in their class team where they can host 1:1 virtual check-ins with students. Other teachers maintain student chats in Teams where they can check in consistently with students on work. Similarly, using OneNote Class Notebook enables teachers to see student progress and leave both written and audio feedback right in the notebook. Sometimes this feedback prompts a discussion of how to personalize the learning task to best meet student needs.

Alternatively, teachers may conduct asynchronous, digitally supported 1:1 check-ins. Forms can be used to gather student perspective on their learning progress, and to identify gaps in learning that may need to be retaught. Some teachers find Flipgrid to be a particularly valuable tool for 1:1 check-ins. For example, a music teacher may not always have class time to meet with each musician and review their parts, but using Flipgrid provides the teacher with uninterrupted access to the student's progress. Using Flipgrid for such check-ins also ensures the student can produce the best example of their progress for teacher review.