Friday, July 3, 2015

Blended Learning

While at the ISTE 2015 conference, I attended several sessions on Blended Learning. Blended learning combines several teaching methods for students to be successful. As I sat in the sessions, one thing continued to resonate with me...blended learning give students the opportunity to have a diversified learning experience.

Before attending the sessions, I really thought blended learning was just using technology to teach students. I now know that technology is only one component of blended learning. Blended learning has several models:
1. The Flipped Classroom
2. The Station Rotation
3. Virtual Learning
These models you can stick to one or mix and match. 

What is Blended Learning? Blended learning is an opportunity to create a student-centered learning experience where students experience personalize education that makes them successful. Blended-learning helps teacher focus on students individual needs...meeting each student where they are with any activity and when they need it.

As I begin my blended learning journey, I will be mixing and matching. They key is creating a personalized learning experience that will allow my students to be successful. 

Blended Learning Agenda for 90 minutes
10 minutes: Warm-up
60 minutes: Station Rotations (20 minutes each)
10 minutes: Closure

Blended Learning Agenda for 45 minutes
10 minutes: Warm-up
30 minutes: Station Rotations (15 minutes each)
5 minutes: Closure

Pre-Teaching Phase

Students will be assigned a video/PowerPoint (Discovery Education, Khan Academy, SchoolTube, etc.) to pre-teach the topic/concept the night before the topic/concept is being taught. Students will be required to take notes to ensure they have watched the video/PowerPoint. A survey or some type of recording document will be create for students to share what they learned from the video/PowerPoint. I will use Google Drive to create my Digital playlists (using Schoology as a hub) for students. This will give me data to use to assess prior knowledge and the starting point for the lesson. Guided notes, sample questions, concept maps, and graphic organizers  will also be tools I use during the pre-teaching phase of blended learning. All of these tools will provide me with the data that will allow me personalize student learning.

Google Drive Digital Playlist

The Blended Learning Phase

This is the phase I will build on what students learned in the pre-teaching phase. During this phase formative assessments is vital. I know the importance of continuously checking for student understanding in order to drive instruction. Having students use red, yellow, and green cards to indicate their level of understanding or using digital tools like microblogging or Socrative, will help me manage students progress. Formative assessments during this phase will allow me to determine if I need to reteach the topic/concept or maybe pair students for 1-on-1 peer tutoring. I will also use body language and facial expressions as an indicator of student's understanding.

The Blended Learning Phase is where I creatively design stations for my topic/concept and place students at stations that will enhance their learning. In this phase stations will be organized to help students build on the pre-teaching phase. Stations will can be, technology integration, literacy, practice, direct instruction, PBL, virtual learning, and more. 

Time will be set for students to spend at each station, then rotate to the next station. Based on the length of class and depth of the topic/concept I will determine the amount of stations.

Here are a few stations in my Google Drive I have already prepared...

PBL Station

MAPS Station

Post-Teaching Phase

The post-teaching phase is where I will again assess students understanding of the topic/concept. It is a great opportunity to expand student's learning on the topic/concept. Ticket out the door, blogging, digital assessment tools, and Google Doc are a few examples for post-teaching. Post-teaching tools will provide me with data to see if the pre-teaching and blended learning phase was effective. It will allow me to determine where I should go on the following day.

Homework for Extra Practice...
Homework Practice

I will use Schoology for my LMS importing my Google Drive and having students turn in their assignments via Schoology. 

I am so excited and really can't wait to implement Blended Learning into my classroom. I really believe this teaching model will actively engage students in their learning and provide success for all students. 

For more information on Blended Learning check out:

Juliana Finegan's website:

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @FITinEDU,  like my Facebook page:,  and subscribe to follow my journey to Blended Learning!

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