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Need Advice on Blended Learning Techniques

Need Advice on Blended Learning Techniques

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Hi-
I teach middle school math and my school is implementing a station rotation style blended learning model beginning this fall. For each 40 minute class period we are expected to have no more than 10 minutes of face time with the full class, then we need to split them into two groups, one with laptops, the other without for 15 minutes, and then have the two groups switch for the remaining 15 minutes.

Since my lecture time will be limited I plan on doing a flipped classroom model where I have them watch instructional videos and answer a few questions about it at home prior to most classes. Planning for the lap top station seems manageable because I can incorporate additional videos to advance a topic and include practice problems, but I am not sure what to do with the no-laptop station. Its not like I can have that group do homework because half the class will have that station in the first 15 minutes...and will not have had the full lesson yet. Does anyone have any advice as to how I can structure this?

Also...how does homework fit into this equation... if the students are taking in new material at home I don't want to pile homework on top of that.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks
Kara


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Comments (3)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Dan Callahan's picture
Dan Callahan
Professional Learning Specialist, Edcamper, Graduate Professor

Hi Kara,
Please keep in mind that you don't have to be working on the exact same things at the exact same time with them.

Also keep in mind that the non-laptop time is still face time with you.

So here's what I'd do:
10 minute checkin time. Clear up any misconceptions from the previous night's videos, explain the objectives for today's centers.

Non-laptop: Springboarding off the videos, have the students do the work they should be able to accomplish with an understanding of the videos.

Laptop stations: Use computers for what they're good for, which is nailing down some of those basics, doing a ton of grading, sorting, and data collection. I recommend using a service like TenMarks http://tenmarks.com which is excellent at that sort of thing. It's free at the most basic level, but if you can pay for the premium, it's worth it, especially if you structure your class around it.

dmawlawi's picture

I have a similar concern. If the group not on the computers is having face time with me, then I feel like I will end up giving them the lesson they would be getting on the computers. However that means that when they get to the computers they either get the lesson again or they are doing something completely different from their classmates.
I guess it's just more of a concern that I don't know how to plan stations that are related but not dependent on each other?

Nicol R. Howard, PhD's picture
Nicol R. Howard, PhD
Educator, Researcher, and Tech Enthusiast

Hi Kara,

Sounds like you are embarking on fun times! Station rotation happens to be one of my preferred blended learning models.

The non-laptop time is great for check-ins with students to see how they are doing/feeling about the current learning in the classroom. Ability grouping (although I have mixed feelings on this one), may allow for you to provide more personalized support for students at various levels.

Last year, I made more of an effort to merge a blended learning approach with project-based learning. So, another option may be to create "interest" groups. Students with similar interests can work on projects related to their unit of study, before rotating to the computer stations. As Dan mentioned, it is definitely important to remember that what is happening within each station may not always look the same for every student, every day.

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