Here at 6th grade center we have many resources and new initiatives at our disposal. We have been tracking student data, planning in PLC and increasing rigor and relevance in our lessons. Even with these efforts, we still face incoming students with learning gaps, particularly in reading, and we are always looking for additional ways to engage and motivate our students. The 6th grade Social Studies department at would like to implement a blended learning model of station rotation in our classrooms. We believe this will help us increase student learning, engagement and achievement in 6th grade Social Studies while utilizing the technology available to our students.
In our blended learning plan, students would:
- control the pace of their learning, through online content with “in class” flipped instruction.
- own their learning and create new products.
- have one on one small group time with the teacher as facilitator.
- create individual and group work led by their own inquiry.
The best part about this learning plan is the formation of a truly student-centered and student focused learning environment, where learning and ownership are the norms. Technology is a tool, not the focus. A blended learning model allows teachers to work one on one with more students. (Horn and Staker 2015 p. 179)
Using this blended model will require our classrooms to be arranged in a non-traditional manner. The focus will not be on the teacher directing the class, but the students driving their learning in their stations. Since students will have some control over their pacing it will require extensive planning and preparation but we can use existing software, technology tools and resources.
I will be sharing a literature review of the ideas behind blended learning and examples of successful blended learning initiatives. In addition, I will also present an implementation plan with timelines and goals. These will help lay a foundation for success of our initiative.
In the end, our goal is to increase student ownership and engagement in their own learning, improve reading skills and increase the rigor in our classrooms. This is our passion at Powell. I believe the blended learning model will help us achieve that goal.