Blended Learning Initiative
Blended learning is a teaching method implemented in our classrooms from grades Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade in all subject areas. This type of teaching focuses on instructing every child in an individual way and challenging each student at his or her grade level.
Utilizing a specific software entitled iReady and other various digital programs, we use small group instruction to ensure every student is engaged in the lesson, asks questions, and fully understands concepts. Data from different assessments allows our teachers to identify the children's strengths and weaknesses, in each Common Core standard and create daily lesson plans on a weekly basis.
What Does Blended Learning Look Like in ASD Classrooms?
ASD utilizes Blended Learning in two or more lessons each week. This type of classroom is split into two or three groups or clusters of students to allow for station-based learning, where each station focuses on a specific goal, using various methods of learning. One station utilizes Google Chromebooks and students work individually. This work is usually on a program such as iReady. This type of program differentiates the subject matter provided, based on the individual student's performance and through diagnostic exams. Another group works with the teacher on targeted direct instruction for reinforcement. In a room that works with a third station, there is a collaborative assignment among students in that group. These groups rotate on a timely basis facilitated by the teacher.
This station rotation allows the teacher to divide the students into groups based on similar needs; for example, reviewing a concept with the third of the class who has not yet mastered it, while pushing another group who has mastered the concept ahead to a new challenge. The group working collaboratively is developing teamwork & social skills while enhancing their knowledge of the subject matter.
Future for Students of Blended Learning
Utilizing Blended Learning software and lesson plans allows out teachers to assess each student individually, ensuring that students are not left struggling, and all students are challenged with rigorous material. The iReady diagnostic reports are used to report student progress to the teachers to differentiate and to ensure continuity as students transition through Pre-K - 8 grades.