It's that time of year again, when Twitter Chats help to connect educators from across the country as we all learn how to implement new teaching stratagies, concepts, and technology tools. Join us on Tuesday, September 18th at 9:00 EST for our first Twitter Chat of the 2018/19 school year as we explore new technology tools for the classroom, future-ready skills activities, and how to get started with blended learning. We will be giving away giftcards for flexible seating throughout the Twitter Chat.
Who to Follow on Twitter
Are you looking for educators that are on Twitter that are implementing Blended Learning? Take a look a the list below and start to follow some of these amazing blended learning educators.
How to transform the traditional classroom environment into a Phase Two blended learning classroom in 60 days.
By: Marcia Kish
What is a Sprint?
What is a Sprint? A sprint is an interval of time that focuses on three to four critical areas of change. A sprint can last for one week, two weeks, or three weeks. In the videos and photos, I will showcase a three-week sprint. Note: This is a suggested timeframe. A teacher must move through the sprints at his or her own pace and take into account how the students are reacting to the transformation process. Classroom management and organization is vital for the transformation to be successful.
The First Sprint
How to get started
Coming Soon... Sprints 2, 3, and 4
Recently, I was asked by a school district to showcase how to engage students from bell to bell in a blended learning environment. I generated a quick presentation of what a 50 minute class period would look like from the viewpoint of the students and the viewpoint of the teacher. The five-minute video will quickly explain entrance tickets, learning studios, and exit tickets that can be used in any classroom setting.
Entrance Ticket Ideas:
Independent Learning Studio
Digital Content Learning Studio
Future Ready Learning Studio
Learn more about Blended Learning, Personalized Learning, & Future Ready Skills
Often times, we forget that when the classroom teacher makes changes to the classroom pedagogy or environment that it is essential to share the "Why" with the students.
Over the last couple of months, I have been asked by a couple of school districts to generate a video about blended learning that can be shared with the students. The video below will walk the students through seven commonly asked questions that relate to blended learning.
What is blended learning?
Why does my classroom look different?
What are the learning studios?
How can I get all of the learning studios completed in a class period?
Why only ten minutes?
When can I work at my own pace?
When can we get started? Feel free to share the video with your students and parents. If you would like to learn more about blended learning, check out our other blog post, follow us on Twitter, or contact us at email@example.com
In addition to providing a quiz or an exit ticket, could the teachers allow for time to input one of the key ingredients to a future-ready classroom? Is there a way for the future ready skills of creativity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and connectedness to become a part of the everyday lesson? Below I have generated few ideas of how to add in future ready skills to the lessons. Feel free at that end of this blog to add in your future-ready skills or ask for help on generating ideas for an upcoming unit, lesson, or theme.
Future Ready Ideas
Dice as Variables: Use dice to have the student graph different outcomes
Interactive Panel Activities
Group graphing activity
Technology tools are a dime a dozen, and there are a lot of websites that showcase technology tools that fit the SAMR model. However, "it's not about the technology tool that defines the SAMR model, but rather it's how the teacher uses the technology tool in a lesson to promote student ownership" For example watch the iPad commercial where the teacher assigns gravity for homework. The students are at the modification level of the SAMR model. By allowing them to take ownership of how they would like to present the content, the students were able to use technology to redesign the homework task.
Another point that I like to share out with the teachers is the fact the SAMR model does not have to be a ladder that you climb but instead think of the SAMR model as a swimming pool. Depending on the task, the amount of time, and the technology tool that the learner picks might move the technology integration from the shallow end to the deep end of the SAMR model.
Examples of the SAMR Model
Let's start by talking about Substitution. Using technology at the substitution stage is better than the devices staying in the cart or never leaving the student's backpack. Yes, it is true, I have been in schools that have gone 1 to 1 Mac Books or iPads and within a 45 minute class period, the students never touched their devices. For the following examples, I am going to talk about how to use the devices for taking notes.
How does substitution look in a blended learning classroom? Let's take a view of J. Moran's sixth-grade science classroom. The blended learning lesson has four main activities that the students have to travel through during the class period.
More and more teachers are moving or starting at the Augmentation stage of the SAMR model because that most schools are either using Google Suite or OneNote . Now instead of the students just typing a paper in Pages or Word, the students can type the document in Google Doc or OneNote and receive instant feedback on the paper from their peers and teachers.
What does augmentation look like in a blended learning classroom? The video below showcases two social studies classrooms working together on generating a paper that relates to a given topic along with working on projects that relate to the given theme. H. Grunenberg eighth grade social studies from Kirtland Middle School class joined up with the seventh-grade social studies classroom to complete a common themed unit.
Mini Lesson - with one of the teachers
Indepdent practice - the students are collaborating on writing a paper on a given topic
Digital Content - researching, watching, and learning more about the topic
Future Ready Skills - developing project that goes along with the given topic
Mini Lesson - with the other teacher on where they are and where they need to go next
Now we are moving above the line in the SAMR model or like what I like to talk about moving towards the deep end of the swimming pool. Modification, now allows the learner to redesign the task by using the technology in a new form. The tech tools listed below are sample note taking tools that move the outcome of a project to the modification stage.
The blended learning lesson below is an example from a ninth grade ELA classroom where I was a co-teacher. Together the teacher and I were having the students generate their own website that will turn into a portfolio of artifacts from class projects throughout the four years of high school. The students had a checklist of different learning activities that they need to complete at their own pace, place, and path that all relate to the building of the portfolio website. (The 10 minutes listed on the checklist is a suggested time frame)
According to the Eduction Technology and Mobile Learning blog post, the redefinition stage of the SAMR model the technology is transformed in a way to create new learning task otherwise not previously established. When explaining this level to educators, I often talk about breaking down the walls of the classroom through MysterySkype, Zoom, Blogs, YouTube, and even Podcast.
The blended learning example of technology being used in the redefinition level is being showcased below from the Mentor High School Fine Arts classroom by H. Ambrus. H. Ambrus is using Seesaw as a portoflio tool to show progress of artwork and then invites outside professional artist, other students, and teachers to comment on the progress of the artwork. The feedback provides students with a guide to improve upon the artwork before the final piece is posted.
I love searching and finding new technology tools that can be implemented into the future ready classroom. I am always looking for tools that promote creativity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and connected that students and teachers can use to showcase knowledge. The following list of technology tools are just a few of my new and old favorites tech tools for 2018.
Newsela has been one of my favorite tech tools for the last couple of years. I love the ability to change lexile level, the text sets, and the quick formative assessments.
Pear Deck is another one of my favorite tech tools that I have used for the last couple of years. I love the ability to share the slides and notes to the Google Drive, grade the assessments through Flubaroo, and allow the students to work through the slides at their own pace.
Classhub is a new tech tool that I have just started using as a classroom management tool. I like using the program while working with students in a mini-lesson. I can quickly see what the other students are doing while working on digital content, lock the screens when a student is taking a test, and send messages to the students to help them keep on task.
Sugarcane.com is a new tech tool for 2018 for me. Sugarcane is an educational game system that has preloaded games for all subject areas and the teacher can quickly create games that match a specific content subject. This is free, fun, and easy to for all grade levels.
Quickdraw is a fun vocabulary builder that is a lot like the game win, lose, or draw. The player will get a word to draw and the computer will start to guess the drawing. This is free online game that does not require any login.
Classroomscreen.com is one of my new favorite tools to share out with teachers that have a smartboard or projector in the classroom. Classroomscreen puts all of your favorite times, noise levels, directions, and whiteboard into one location. It is free, no log in, and even has an exit ticket feature that is very easy to use.
I love frontrowed.com for grades K-9. Frontrowed provides adaptive practices for ELA, Math, Social Studies, and Science. All math questions can be read outloud to the students, if a student misses a question, it will redirect them to find someone in the classroom that just got it right or will provide them with a video from learnzillion.com. The data reports provide quick differentiated groups for the future ready classroom environment.
Mysimpleshow.com is a great way to get the students to start writing out the content for a presentation before designing the backgrounds and photos. The way mysimpleshow.com works is that after the script is written, the program will find photos that match the concepts. It is that easy. I would use this program during my future ready learning activity once my students are ready to showcase what they have learned.
Classhook takes video clips from the student's favorite TV shows and creates teachable moments that are tied back to the content standards. This free program provides quick video segments that will hook the students into wanting to learn more about the content. I would use this program during part of the digital content area during my blended learning lesson plan then I would talk about the hook during the mini-lesson with the students.
Baamboozle is an educational game program that allows students to answer questions in teams to earn varied point values. This free and easy to use program would be placed in the future ready skills area as a preview to the content or as a group study session that relates to the classroom content.
listenwise.com is a great independent activity to use within the blended and future ready classroom. The students can listen and read the text, answer questions, learn key vocabulary words, and explore graphic organizers that go along with the content. This free program would work great for grades 4-12 in ELA, Science, and Social Studies. I love the current event section and tie into google classroom.
Padlet has made a come back in my book of tech tools to recommend to teachers. The voting feature, layouts, and the ability to embed the ballet into a website are just few of my favorite characteristics of the program. I would use this in my mini-lesson, independent practice reflection, during digital content as quick reflection and next step tool, and also during future ready activities as a group brain storming activity.
Autodraw.com is a free drawing tool that can be used while students are sketch noting, creating posters, need a little help with drawing figures that represent the content. I would use this during the mini lessons when the students need to take notes, during independent practice to showcase what they have learned, and even during the future ready skills as a away to build and create projects.
Build Your Wild Self
Build your wild self is a free creative avatar generator that allows students to create themselves with wings, horns, and other fun features that then can be used for a creative writing project. The students love all of the fun features of this easy to use program.
Ideas on how to use Avatar Maker
Geo Greeting brings google maps, shapes of buildings, and global connectedness together for a fun project that students can make to share out messages with each other. For example, click on this link to see mygeogreeting to you. I would use this tool during my future ready activity by allowing students to type a message, then pick a building to research. Where is the building located? What is the city demographics? How far away is that building to you? What is one new fact that you learned about that city?
Classroomq.com is a free classroom management tool that allows students to place them in the Q when they have a question or when they are ready for a checkpoint mini-lesson with the teacher. Think of this like taking a number a the deli counter.
Seesaw.me is one of the first tools that I recommend to any teacher from grades K-12+ that is planning on implementing blended learning into the classroom setting. This free tech tool will help to manage the paper work, help to keep students on task, and provides a learning portfolio that can be shared with the parents. This is on of my must haves for anyone who wants to cut down on the amount of paperwork and grading within any classroom setting.
Mentimeter.com is a free tech tool that can be used as a quick exit ticket, a vocabulary builder, a summary tool, and a brainstorming activity for group activities. I use the word cloud feature as an exit ticket out of mini-lesson and also a reflection tool once the students have finished reading a Newsela.com article.
Learn Around The World
Take your students on virtual field trips with learnaroundtheworld.com A free online program that will allow students to explore other parts of the world during the future ready activity or in mini lessons. Participate in planned events or watch virtual trips.
Rewordify, takes any article picks out the main ideas and summaries the content. I showcase this program to teachers with high ELL students or as a differentiation tools for the independent practice area. The program also provides key vocabulary words, a dictionary, and many other features for free.
For All Rubrics
ForAllRubrics provides easy to use rubrics for students and teachers along with badges that show mastery of content. I showcase forallrubrics as a classroom management tool for grading future ready skills. The program is very easy to use, and it has already broken down all common core standards from grade K-12 into rubric form.
Provide options for the students for when they build a poster to showcase their understanding of the content. I love using Smore.com as a poster generator because the student can publish the content and watch to see who visited the poster, what links they clicked on, and how long the visitor stayed on the poster. Fantastic tool for global connectedness in the future ready skills area.
Are you looking for specific tech tools by content area? Are you looking for a place to keep track of all of these tools for students? I would recommend edshelf.com. Edshelf is like a tech Pinterest board for technology tools. I like it because I can embed the tools right into Schoology, Weebly, and link them into Google Classroom. Follow my boards at www.edshelf.com/profile/blcb and see example boards below.
Quizizz.com is one of my favorite formative assessment tools because of the gamification aspect. The students can answer the questions at their pace but still compete with each other while reviewing the content. In a blended learning lesson, I would placeQuizizz.com in the independent practice section of the phase 2 checklist.
Blabberize.com is a quick and easy way for students to make something talk. That's right, turn any image into a talking avatar with the student's voice explaining the concept. In my blended learning lessons, I would place this activity in the future ready skills area. The students would create a talking blabberize that would summarize the main idea of the concept that they learned that day. The students would then place the blabberize character into Seesaw.me or a group padlet.
Toontastic can be used in grades K-12 for showcasing the understanding of any concept through the creation of a cartoon. The students can retell a story, create a story, reenact a part of history, demonstrate foundamental science concepts, and much more through this free online application. I would place Toontastic in the future ready skills area as a group project at the end or middle of a unit.
Videonot.es provides the students with the opportunity to watch a video and take notes on the concepts that are covered during the video. The notes will then be added directly to their own Google Drive as well as shared out the teacher. One of my favorite aspects of Videonot.es is the fact that all of the notes are timed stamped. The time stamp feature comes in handy when the students are studying for a test. I would use videonot.es during the digital content area of the blended learning lesson plan.
Dollar Street places families from across the country on one street. The poorest at one end and the richest at the other end. The global connected website then allows the students to explore the houses, types of toys, types of food, jobs, and much more within each household. I would use this website as a future ready activity where the students would pick one family, explore their current resources, and create something from the 3D printer to send to that family. I would then tie in economics, global locations, politics, health and wellness, and much more into my mini lessons that would relate back to the family that the students picked.
Learn more about how to implement blended learning into your classroom enviroment through the following links
It is hard to believe that schools are officially half way through the school year. With standardized test on the horizon and preparing for the last half of the school, one of the best ways to get rejuvenated is attending a great educational conference. State, national, and world conferences provide a variety of new technology tools that will promote future ready environments, blended learning tips and tricks for the classroom, personalized learning strategies that will showcase how to allow for student ownership, voice, and choice. They also provide a time to network. Developing a personal learning network is just another way to one to generate ideas and goals for the classroom.
This year, the DSD Professional Development team plans to attend an assortment of educational conferences. At each conference we will be presenting on blended learning, personalized learning, future ready skills, and/or how to develop a balanced classroom. Below is a list a of our sessions at each conference. Please feel free to join us. If you would like to meet up, feel free to send us a message. We would love to get together and share out more tips and tricks.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Nuts and Bolts of a Blended Learning High School
Elementary Center Activities with a Blended Twist
Blended and Personalized Learning Coaching Strategies
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Nuts and Bolts of the Blended Learning Classroom - Kish
Checkout the following Resources
Written by: Charity Dodd
Today’s global economy and the changing demands on the workforce require workers to be analytical, solve problems, creative and highly adaptable to change. Educators cannot prepare students effectively for their futures through the ‘traditional” teaching model. Schools and educators must change the way they instruct to prepare learners the changing landscape.
How can educators respond to the needs of learners to prepare them for their futures?
Blended learning strategies provides opportunities for educators to respond to the needs of our students and our society. For example, here are five reasons why we should implement blended learning in our schools.
1. It is the way our kids learn.
Kids are coding through minecraft, producing their own videos and interacting with others online. They are using #makerspaces to create and explore. When they want to learn how to do something, they go to YouTube to learn. Our kids are learning in ways that we couldn’t have imagined and blended learning allows teachers to meet them where they are.
2. Prepares learners for real life.
Technology is changing the way we work. Routine tasks are now digitized. Workers in today’s economy must be able to communicate properly through technology, work effectively in teams, create solutions to problems and think critically. Blended learning allows time for collaboration among learners, opportunities to connect globally to other classrooms.
3. Increases learner engagement.
When learners are interested in what they are learning, they stay engaged. According to a Center for Digital Education study, over 70 percent of teachers employing blended learning for their classes saw improved enagement. With the availability of digital tools, teachers can deliver instruction in different ways. Students learn through a variety of activities that meet their learning styles at their pace.
“The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you do with what you know.” - Tony Wagner
4. Improves efficiency, feedback.
Blended learning allows teachers to maximize the time they have with learners. Teachers have access to an abundance of resources. Teachers need to use these resources to analyze data on student learning. This process allows teachers to quickly assess student needs and to provide timely, effective feedback. Once this feedback occurs, students know exactly where they are in their learning.
With the implementation of digital content, teachers can assign adaptive technology assignments to learners to get immediate feedback while working closely with small groups or individual learners. While a small group of learners are practicing skills through digital content, another small group of learners are applying what they learn by creating a product to show what they know. In another part of the room, other learners are practicing skills independently while the teacher focuses on a small group to teach new content, re-teach content or provide feedback.
One teacher we work with was reluctant to try mini lessons with her high school Geometry class. After encouragement and utilizing strategies we shared with her, she tried it. After that class she said how much she loved meeting with each one of her 30 students because she’s never been able to do that through her traditional model of teaching.
5. Makes learning fun and promotes student ownership.
Interactive learning activities, interest-based projects and game-based learning makes learning fun for learners. Choosing where to learn, who to learn with, and how they learn gives learners ownership. Students can begin to track their own learning to be accountable for their own learning.
Continue to learn about Blended Learning through our other blog post.
Written by: Charity Dodd
One of the top concerns for teachers when implementing blended learning strategies is how to manage the students. It is a legitimate concern since students aren’t used to learning in a flexible environment. Students have to be trained to be independent and work in groups successfully. Teachers don’t have to throw out everything they know about classroom management.
There are still rules to follow. Develop the classroom management guidelines as a class so students will take ownership.
Example: Blended Learning Guidelines
Once your class has developed the guidelines, teach them what the guidelines mean. Make sure everyone agrees on what is meant by each guideline. What do they look and sound like?
1. Develop technology guidelines. Teachers should have guidelines for technology use. Have students help develop these guidelines. Guidelines might include:
2. Classroom setup. Arrange your classroom so that you can easily monitor student devices, especially when you are working in a mini lesson.
Below is an example of a first grade classroom setup from Fairbanks Elementary School in Milford, Ohio
3. Develop a routine for transitions and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Let students know how much time they have at each station and allow them to be aware of remaining time so they can monitor themselves. Turn on and off lights when it is time to transition.
One method I’ve seen is a teacher uses a 1-2-3 method
4. Use everyday tools to support classroom management.
Incorporate push lights for students who have questions and who are not working with the teacher. This will eliminate interruptions and distractions. Once students have exhausted their resources for help and still need the teacher, they push the light to turn it on. The teacher is then aware that the student needs help. You can purchase these for $1.00/light at places like Dollar Tree. You can even write on them with dry erase markers!
5. Implement digital tools for classroom management.
7. Assign Roles to students in the classroom such as a Lab Manager who can help students with minor technology issues for example.
8. Plan B Option for those times when technology isn’t working.
9. Be flexible. If something isn’t working, change it up. Try something new or different. Ask the students what they think might work.
10. Student Contracts. Create contracts for students to take ownership of their behavior. For example, a contract can be created for flexible seating. If a student isn’t successful using flexible seating, the teacher and student can agree on next steps.
Practice classroom procedures in the blended learning classroom. Remember that a loud classroom doesn’t mean loss of control.
Checkout our other blog post on blended learning
Marcia Kish - Blended and Personalized Learning coach that designed the Three Phases of Blended Learning