Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"If anyone is picking something...stop!": The Realities of Blended Learning

You never know what you will hear when you walk into a High School class.  As a coach you have expectations, but the reality doesn't necessarily match.

Thus, this interesting statement.

I was sitting in a group of teachers reflecting on student behaviors and blended learning.  They were discussing how the time of year affects the quality of the work and the conversations between students.

And then a teacher dropped this statement...

"If anyone is picking something...stop."

This was overheard by the HS principal when she walked into a classroom in her building.  Turns out that one student was picking a scab, another was picking their nose and the last one was picking on their neighbor. And the teacher had enough!

The conversation in our group broke into laughter, and then there was a pause.

What do you do with that? Because that is what really happens in our classrooms.  Students walk into our daily classroom needing more than only an understanding of themes in To Kill A Mockingbird. We all know that.  But how do we address those needs in the midst of the standards and testing and, and, and...

Blended learning can meet this need. Station rotation is a pillar in the blended classroom.  In this model, students rotate through a series of stations to build their knowledge or practice a standard.

Back to our group of teachers and the moment of the pause.
Into the silence one of the teachers in the group suggested that they bring the counselor into the classroom as one of the stations.

BRILLIANT!  Using station rotation to address a student need in the context of the classroom is such a huge thing! Consider adding social skills standards to the rotation - bring in other supports - meet your students where they are!

That's Blended Learning!!

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