Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Starting the BLENDED LEARNING Journey

Our school district is piloting Blended Learning starting second semester of the 2016-2017 school year.  I am going to teach my Algebra 1 students in a Blended Learning environment.  I'm really excited.  Let me tell you about a few things as I prepare.

1.  Blended Learning is combining the best of In Class learning with the best of Independent (out of class) learning to create the most effective teaching environment for all our students.
2.  We will have approximately three IN-CLASS DAYs per week and two INDEPENDENT DAYs per week .
3.  Independent Day means that students do their work outside of the classroom.  They can go to the cafeteria, library, or a nook in the hallway to work.  They do not have to work on my class at that particular time.    They could also get extra help in the classroom.  The teacher will always be at the classroom on Independent Days.
3.  In Class Day means students will all need to be present for the whole period in the assigned classroom.
5.  Students with a grade of an A, B or C are eligible to use the Independent Day in the way that they choose.  Students who have D's or F's must come to the class everyday.
6.  Google Calendar will help to communicate which days are blended and which days are engaged classroom days.  Our learning management system (LMS) is Canvas which will be where the digital course is hosted.  
7.  Many topics in Algebra are two day lessons.  This is ideal for Blended Learning.  The first day will be our exploration day in the classroom during our In Class Day.  The second day will be the Independent Day in which students will work outside of class to work on a task, video, assignment, discussion, or homework assignment.
8.  During Independent Days students will be have a special ID marker that will allow them to travel freely to and from the classroom during that class period.
9.  I know there is a lot of adjustments ahead.  I think of this process as FLUID and always changing.  ALWAYS LEARNING.

I'm excited about....
I'm excited about the chance to work with some of my students on a one-on-one level.
I'm excited to give more responsibility to my students.  They usually rise to the occasion.

I'm nervous about...
I'm nervous about the amount of preparation it will take to prepare for Blended Learning
I'm nervous about finding a good digital math platform to share ideas and solutions.

Please let me know if you have started Blended Learning.  I would love to hear from you.

Follow our district hashtag on Blended Learning on Twitter #blendedlearning203