The Write Blend at KIPP Adelante
One of KIPP’s many mantras is “Be the constant, not the variable”, and throughout our nine years there has been one constant – KIPP Adelante is truly a team and family. We are a team because we set goals that sometimes seem out of reach. We are a team because we celebrate victories and endure defeats, and realize that both of them make us stronger. And we are a team because we realize we’ll always have an opportunity to do something better— to plan better, to teach a more robust lesson, and to serve the needs of our students more effectively each and every day.
Along those lines, we believe digital learning presents a powerful opportunity for us to adopt an instructional program that meets the varied learning needs of our students and ensures they will be equipped with 21st century skills necessary to compete and succeed in the world in which they will live. We have embraced digital learning in order to create a more personalized, student-centered, and self-paced learning environment. We don’t profess to be experts on blended learning, however, we believe in its potential to impact teaching and student achievement.
To us digital learning is worth exploring for three main reasons:
1. blended learning transforms the manner in which teachers deliver content in their classrooms
2. it transforms the student from passive learner to active learner,
3. it enhances the effectiveness of instruction through improved opportunities for assessment that leads to more thoughtful lessons.
As such, we are committed to providing our students with a world-class education through technology practices. Our blended learning instructional model centers on leveraging technology to facilitate small group instruction on a rotational model. Specifically, we are integrating cutting-edge educational software programs and technology in our 7th-grade English Language Arts class. As a result our teacher is not limited to print resources for her content, nor is she limited to direct instruction for a finite period of time. Instead, our teacher moves beyond direct instruction and creates a tapestry of varied lesson delivery through student-paced on-line and offsite instruction. For example, utilizing Edmodo, a secure social learning network (www.edmodo.com), our teacher is able to explore new methods of academic dialogue, while delivering content anywhere/anytime in an interactive digital manner. This layered content structure also increases students’ motivation and encourages their active involvement in their learning experience. Our students are becoming more effective communicators and producers of projects rather than simply being passive observers and consumers of information. For example, utilizing Edmodo, students access their assignments, create their work digitally, post their finished project and have on-line discussions about their projects with their peers.
While some students are engaged in Edmodo or receiving direct instruction from our teacher, yet another group of 10 -1 5 students are working separately in our English Language Development (ELD) Learning Lab. During this lab time, students access literacy-based on line programs, such as Read Naturally to address their individual comprehension and fluency needs while also reinforcing concepts they have learned in class. Such adaptive software directly assesses students’ learning needs and allows students to progress through the material at their own pace. As a result, integrating cutting-edge educational software and technology in the classroom allows our teachers to use data to drive instruction and to propel student learning to higher levels.
For these reasons, we are thrilled to pilot blended learning at our school, please check back with us soon, as we continue to discover the benefits of this innovative approach to learning.
The KIPP Adelante Team & Family