Friday, July 17, 2015

Blending Learning Focusing on Student Success

After writing my first post on Blending Learning, I was blessed with the opportunity to become the new Assistant Principal of Hanford-Dole Elementary School! My previous post was from a teacher's I was going to implement it into my classroom.

Now as a school leader, my focus is on how I can support our staff in implementing blended-learning into their classroom to ensure student success. My new school family has been amazing at welcoming me to their family and helping me learn about blended-learning.

On Thursday, I picked up the book Blended by Michael B Horn and Heather Staker from school and dived right into it. It is a great guide to helping schools transform into blended-learning. While reading the book, I was also participating in an online Blended Learning course through Coursera. The two resources went hand in hand.

I decided to focus on Student Experiences in my blog first and then I will write on the other components...(so be sure to subscribe to the blog)

In this post, my focus in entirely on Student Experiences...

The 4 Big Ideas for the Student Experience 

1. Personalized Instruction
  1. Every student gets what they need, when they need it. This is driven by data. Data is the root of the decisions that are being made.
  2. Technology helps in the process to ensure students are getting basic skills practice, conceptual understanding, etc. 
  3. Not your one size fit all experience. 
2. Mastery-Based Learning
  1. Embed intentional formative assessments throughout the student learning experience. This is the key to ensuring students are getting what they need with feedback in order to know where they need to go.
  2. Scaffold learning.
  3. Must show competency in order to move on. 
  4. Personalize Learning Plan should be created with students, reviewed throughout, and used as a tool to move forward.
3. Relationships
  1. Building genuine relationships is the core and essential part for student success!
  2. Student interaction with teachers will help motivate and inspire students to learn.
  3. 1:1 Mentor relationship is important. Mentors can help create and review personalize learning plan.
  4. Relationships improve learning outcome!

4. Student Agency/Ownership
  1. Give students the paddle, let me explore and create their path to their destiny.
  2. Students are put in the drivers seat.
  3. The teacher is guide on the side and not the sage on the stage. As teachers we rethink our roles and become a mentor, coach, facilitator, etc.
  4. Key to engagement is having students own their learning.
  5. As students are empowered to own their learning, they become leaders in the process.

High expectations and character development are also essential in academic growth. 
Be transparent with students. Let me see their build self-confidence.

Things to teach students at the beginning of the school year..
a. Routines and Procedures
b. What to do when you get stuck
c. Identifying learning styles/note-taking strategies
d. GRIT-Persistence-Intrinsic Motivation-Interpersonal Skills

Classroom management is going to be very important when implementing blended-learning.

A few important tips from the book Blended...
1. Design with student motivation in mind.
2. Create an experience that is intrinsically motivating for students.
3. Remember students wants to feels successful and that they are making progress and accomplishing something.
4. Students want time to have fun with friends

Remember to Follow me on Twitter @FITinEDU
and be sure to subscribe to the blog!

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