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4 Strategies for Blended Learning

by Andi Atchison on August 3, 2017

Over the past few weeks we've discussed what blended learning means and why it is important. In today's blog, we'll show four ways to implement blended learning in your classroom or school. 

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When Ms. Dillon realized the students at Horace O’Bryant Middle School weren’t enthusiastic about another tech tool in the classroom, she took matters into her own hands. Since then the students have not only been more engaged and motivated to use Istation, they’ve also started begging to see their progress! What’s the secret to her success? Ms. Dillon attributes it to four strategic steps that she says “brought us from the bottom to the top.”

Step 1: Connect with the Students

Ms. Dillon personally visited every classroom and showed the students what the outcomes were from their first assessments. Several important things happened as a result:

  • Students realized that not only were teachers looking at the data but also
  • Students who hadn’t taken the first assessment seriously saw that their data didn’t accurately represent their knowledge.These students then felt motivated to redeem themselves and improve their scores.

Step 2: Find Peer Motivators

Ms. Dillon showed the students of each class their tier trend lines and their progression as a class. She asked the students to look at the report and spot trends, saying to them, “I want you to look at that and show me what’s happening with the trend lines. Next, I want you to tell me what it’s going to take to move all those lines upward.” Because the students were involved in this critical thinking and planning, they became engaged in the process and motivated to move the class forward as a group.

Step 3: Set Goals

Once the students brainstormed strategies for improving their scores and tier trends, they set goals. So far the school has come up with several goals for the students. These goals have been as simple as increasing trend lines for each tier in the class and as complex as setting individual Lexile® goal points for each student. Ms. Dillon notes that the goals and the data should work together. The data Istation generates is the visual motivator that helps students track their own progress toward their goals. She said, “The kids really want to see the chart. I have students who stop me in the hall and ask to see their data reports.”

Step 4: Reward and Reinforce Efforts

The entire school has worked together to reward and reinforce the students’ efforts as they reach for their goals. Ms. Dillon notes, "None of this would have been possible if it were not embraced by our dedicated teachers and principal." Overall, the school has supported several reward efforts to reinforce the students' Istation usage. Mr. Henriquez, the school's principal, has rewarded every class that has increased all three tier trend lines with a pizza party. Ms. Dillon, dressed as “The Literacy Lady,” also recognized students on the school’s TV show. In another reward effort, students who increased their Lexile levels by 90 or more points were rewarded with a movie and popcorn party. As part of an incentive planned for January, students will earn tickets that can be used at the school’s annual Winter Carnival.

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Want to know more about how you can create your blended learning tool belt? Click below to access your FREE copy of “How to Implement Teaching with Technology.”

mix teaching and technology

Topics: Blended Learning