Saturday, March 29, 2014

What Does a Blended Classroom Look Like?

Having technology in the classroom gives our students access to an open ended source of knowledge and opportunity.  As educators our main goal is to educate our students.  We have dedicated our lives to teaching, helping, encouraging, and loving our students.

Technology is bringing a whole new "look" to our classrooms. The classroom textbooks and workbooks are slowly becoming obsolete in today's technology world.  As we approach this new era with new teaching strategies it takes time and thought to plan out the most effective ways to teach our students.

What does blended learning look like?

I've included a glance below of a blended classroom. This glance includes what reading lessons might look like.  Technology may or may not be used every single day. Some days lend themselves to technology easily but sometimes technology tools are not the right go-to resource. When incorporating technology into a lesson it is important to plan ahead and think about what strategies would be the best choice for teaching the objective.

Day 1 (No technology use)

  • Play "Vocab in a Bucket" This is a non-iPad vocab game that students love (I see a new blog post in the future.)
  • Pre-reading discussion
  • Literature reading
  • Somebody Wanted But So Then activity - I use an activity found at one of my favorite TPT stores (my sister's). 

    Day 2 (Blended Learning)
    • Choose one vocabulary word for the week and create an Educreations presentation using the Educreations app.  The presentation must include a student friendly definition, visual representation, and the word in a sentence.
    • The teacher uses technology such as the Nearpod app to present reading strategies and questions. This particular app has a polling and quiz feature that is great for classroom discussions and interaction.
    • Use for the literature reading or read the literature aloud
    • Use a Literature Response Graffiti Wall activity

      Day 3 (Limited Blended Learning)
      • Independent reading using strategies.
      • Use reading stops during the reading for discussion.  
      1st stop during reading -  students share their thinking with a shoulder partner or a group  
      2nd stop during reading -  students post their thoughts on a board in the classroom using sticky notes
      3rd stop during reading -  students post their thoughts on Today's Meet.

      Saving Today's Meet on the home screen of each iPad will make it quick and easy for students to access. I keep my link assessable for the entire school year. (

      We often have 3 stops during our reading.  Some days I use Today's Meet for all 3 stops but I like to switch it up sometimes also.

      I LOVE Today's Meet even in classrooms that have limited technology. Teachers can project  a single laptop, iPad, or phone.  Students can take turns posting their thoughts for the entire class to see.

      There are so many resources to use even in a classroom that has limited technology.  If you haven't tried blended learning, grab a co-teacher or student and try something. It only takes trying one small idea in your classroom today to make a difference in the lives of our students tomorrow.

      Recently I found this quote below on Twitter.
      If you have a great resource or idea...please share...your ideas are valued.

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