When visualizing a computer lab, most people envision rows of children silently staring at screens. This may be how some programs are structured, but the best blended learning classrooms ask students to do more than that.
Collaboration — between students and with a teacher — is key to learning and reinforcing the mastery of difficult concepts. Here’s how:
- Pre-Teaching— Teachers know their students better than anyone. If the entire class is struggling on the same topic, the teacher can address this at the very beginning of the period. Instead of immediately logging on to the digital tool, students can sit in a circle while the teacher reviews the material in a whole-group setting.
- Small Group Interventions— Blended learning encourages collaboration through one-on-one and small-group interventions. Students feel safe to share their ideas and questions because they know everyone in the group is probably experiencing the same confusion. Instant data from a strong digital learning program helps teachers group students according to their individual strengths and struggles.
- Student Partners— As long as classroom management is in place, this can be a very useful approach to fostering collaboration in a blended learning setting. Instead of having a student immediately raise a hand to ask the teacher for help, she can ask the student sitting next to her. One way our teachers incorporate this is a 3-Before-Me Rule. Check three places for the answer before raising your hand for help.
So let’s envision a blended learning classroom. What do you see? At Reasoning Mind we see students working at their own pace through their assigned curriculum, asking partners for help and working with the teacher in small groups.
Post by Jessica Johnson, Implementation Coordinator