First Grade Teacher
September 17, 2017
Principal of Nash Elementary
Nash Elementary is a special place full of wonderful teachers. Each teacher has been working especially hard to use the new devices that were rolled out last year. Due to each class having more than six devices, I feel like we have an incredible opportunity to implement a blended learning model in our classrooms. Blended learning is described as a model in which students learn partially through an online learning curriculum in which they have some control over time, place, and pace balanced with some brick-and-mortar learning. I would love to lead this innovation and pilot this model in my own classroom. I feel confident in this model due to all of the research and knowledge I have gained while working on my master’s degree in the Digital Learning and Leading program through Lamar University.
This could be a huge benefit for our students. In implementing a blended learning model, we would be able to better differentiate in our classrooms. Students would be able to fill learning gaps from previous grades, or even work ahead if they are above grade level and in need of a challenge. Blended learning can be seen in many different models. I am proposing a station rotation model for our elementary. In this type of model students rotate through three stations. One station includes online learning such as the Kahn academy, the next is a collaborative station where students will work through problems with a partner, and the last station is a small group station led by the teacher. While students work through their online learning, the teacher receives data showing what the students need. The teacher then uses the data to guide their instruction during small group. In an article titled The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning the authors state, “Online learning has the potential to be a disruptive force that will transform the factory-like, monolithic structure that has dominated America’s schools into a new model that is student-centric, highly personalized for each learner, and more productive, as it delivers dramatically better results at the same or lower cost.” Majority of the case studies have addressed a few challenges along the way as well as successes. One major challenge that we will need to address is finding a program or programs that will help us seamlessly implement the data we gain into our daily curriculum. We will also need to be very strategic in creating a team that will continue to push the initiative and always look for ways to solve problems that arise. Many schools mentioned that working on their school culture helped improve the initiative as well. At Nash, so many of our teachers work so diligently to meet the needs of our students, and our teachers are open to new ideas, I can see this really being a positive for our students and our teachers.
To implement this type of learning model at Nash Elementary, we will need to adjust scheduling to allow for this type of model. I am proposing a ninety minute math block, and a ninety minute reading block. During this time students will be able to rotate through stations as stated above. I believe that teachers will need some time to collaborate with other teachers to discuss and explore options of ways they can use technology in their stations, and programs they would like their students learning from.
In the attached literature reviews, you can see implementing a blended learning model will fill the achievement gap, personalize learning, and increase engagement. I am extremely passionate about building our students’ confidence and preparing them for the future. I look forward to discussing this further with you.