By giving middle school students an opportunity to pursue their own interests and passions, FLEX classes encourage personalized learning.

Each day at Cudahy Middle School, students  get the opportunity to be Tech Ninjas, or participate in a team building physical education class, like “Bridge Over a Raging River”.

Over the summer, teachers and school leaders planned how they could create time for students to engage in personalized learning by receiving help they might need for a class, or explore an interest.

“We wanted it to be something that allows for student movement in and out of interventions…and allows kids to move in an out of interventions as needed, but also allows student to explore different passions they might have,” said Anna Champeau, communications liaison for the school.

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Flex is still a work in progress, says Champeau.  The school has a variety of classes for flex time, ranging from math to jazz band.  More options are to be added in the future.

As part of a physical education flex class, students held a fruit and cheese tasting day.  Students who are interested in technology can dive into the projects they like in the Tech Ninjas class, creating a school newsletter and making a weekly school news video. Classes are driven by what students want. Students make choices based on their self directed choices.

At the end of the semester, physical education teachers Tim Griffith and Melissa Strzok let students pick the games they wanted to learn and then teach the class.  They are excited for what is to come.

“I can see this flex class evolving into something where kids have the choice to be able to pick from a list of different options of things they would like to do,” Strzok said. “Just to explore and be able to give kids more of a variety of things to learn. I just think that’s really neat.”

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