Milton Elementary adopted Child Inspired’s Educational Learning maps in the fall of 2017. In our upper elementary classroom, the learning maps provide students with a clear visual representation of progress towards class goals. My students collaborate with each other to develop meaningful class goals grounded in school-wide behavior expectations as well as their own expectations for personal growth. My role as the teacher is to help guide students in the process through feedback about potential learning targets as well as possible celebration opportunities. This year, students have set goals across multiple areas of need, from following the school rules to great recess behavior, and on-task behavior during small group time in the classroom. We have celebrated with extra recess time, lunch in the classroom, and completing our daily reading picnic-style outdoors on a sunny day. Because students feel a sense of ownership in the goal and celebration selection process, they are motivated to work towards these goals.
The educational learning maps support our school-wide positive behavior support (PBS) system. Cape Henlopen School District trained its staff members in Restorative Practices, which promotes participatory learning and decision-making between staff and students. When students do not make progress towards their set goal for a few days at a time, we pause and relocate to the “growth zone” on the educational map. In this phase, we regroup as a class and have a restorative circle to discuss what is hindering our progress and potential solutions. This practice encourages self-reflection and problem-solving skills and typically resets students back onto the path to success.
I would recommend the educational learning maps to any teacher looking for an opportunity to foster collaboration, communication, and a sense of pride in the classroom goal-setting process. The educational learning maps are an effective classroom management tool and can be adapted for a variety of needs and grade levels. The kid-friendly artwork and design of the maps are both aesthetically pleasing and correspond with our school’s theme, “teamwork makes the dream work.” The maps provide students with a much more interactive and dynamic goal-setting experience, making it easier and fun for them to accomplish our class dreams.
5th Grade Educator
Positive Behavior Support Team
Milton Elementary School