Getting Students What They Need: Blended Learning Supports a Science Classroom

Getting Students What They Need: Blended Learning Supports a Science Classroom

Can’t there be TWO teachers in this room, like ALL my other classes!” Sam yelled.

She reached her breaking point for not being able to get help in science on classifying chemical reactions for the second day in a row. Sam was not a complainer though. She is a hard working student who just couldn’t figure out a difficult assignment that was paired with a lab activity and could really use additional assistance. For now, she would have to wait. There were other students who needed more help and in that moment, they took priority. I hoped that she would figure it out on her own or bit more patient. However, I knew that Sam and others deserved more.

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Flash forward to a couple of months later. I implemented a hybrid blended learning model where are flexible groups based on exit ticket (short quizzes at the end of class) performance. Student groups were flexible and could and did shift as concepts shifted in difficulty for students.

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In this new classroom model, Sam experienced some success. She was able to place into groups with other classmates where she received 5:1 assistance with me. On other days, Sam placed into groups where she worked alone. I can’t remember hearing her yelling out again, except for with excitement when she got a difficult concept! She continued to be challenged, but in ways and places where she felt that was useful.

How does blended learning help you to reach the needs of all students? Can it help teachers like me to meet the needs of every student, as we are daily charged? Let’s keep the conversation going on Twitter @rabiahlouise or hashtag #Blendedmeetsdifferentiation !

Written by Rabiah Harris

Rabiah Harris

Education Innovation Fellow. 8th Grade Science Teacher, Kelly Miller Middle School; Teacher Turnaround team Member

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