Blended Learning Classroom Reveal!

When you decide to shift to a blended learning model, it forces you to think differently about everything in education, including the classroom setup. I decided to take the leap this year into flexible seating because students are constantly moving in blended learning, which lends itself to a different kind of classroom environment (think Google or Starbucks).When you decide to shift to a blended learning model, it forces you to think differently about everything in education, including the classroom setup. I decided to take the leap this year into flexible seating because students are constantly moving in blended learning, which lends itself to a different kind of classroom environment (think Google or Starbucks).

So here’s a little tour:

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Example schedule for elementary math station rotation model

mathWhen I decided to try blended learning last year, I started with math because that’s where I saw the greatest frustration among my students. I had been teaching lessons mostly whole group to 34 students with very different needs. During guided practice, my two super advanced students were done with the problem within seconds and read novels while I hopped between the other 32 students to address their misconceptions. (I never told those students to “read when they were done.” It was obvious they had used this tactic for years to cope with a system that isn’t built to address their advanced abilities). By the end of the practice session, my most struggling student was in tears because my classroom tour never stopped at his desk to help him.

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5 reasons to choose the station rotation model

Here are five reasons why I believe the station rotation model is the best choice for elementary teachers looking to start blending their learning:

Several assignments in my blended learning courses asked us to imagine which of the models we could realistically implement in our classrooms with the time and tools at our disposal. Here are five reasons why I believe the station rotation model is the best choice for elementary teachers looking to start blending their learning:

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The 4 Models of Blended Learning

There are 4 main models of Blended Learning, according to the Clayton Christensen Institute. You’ll notice that these models are considered “blended” because the instruction is a mix of online and the physical school building. You can read more about each model by clicking the image below.  I have only used the Station Rotation Model in my elementary classroom so this blog will focus more on that model and its implementation. There are lots of videos online to show different examples of how each model is used and I would love to hear from teachers who have tried the other models. Please comment below if you would like to do a guest post about your experience!

What is blended learning? (And what it is not)

So you’ve started putting your students on the computers more this year. You might even have a few new iPads floating around. This is a great start. Frankly, I do not think schools use enough technology for instruction. However, your increased use of devices does not mean your students are experiencing blended learning — yet.

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How I stumbled upon blended learning

I walked by this nondescript poster a million times on the back of a door in the teacher’s lounge. Nothing about it said kids or teaching or school. So one day, I finally read it: “Online & Blended Teacher Certification Program.” I needed some courses to complete my master’s plus 32 credits so I decided to look into the program. Naturally, the courses were all online. And it was love at first click.

 

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