This post brought to you by the #flipclass #flashblog all about innovation and how I use it in the classroom. Enjoy!
To innovate is to make changes to something that is already established. It’s introducing new methods or ideas to something that is currently in place. This concept of innovation is something that really resonates with me, because I feel like it’s something I try to do every day. Innovating is when I’m adapting lessons and projects for my students because I know what they need.
A teaching model that has already been established and widely-promoted in my district is Reader’s Workshop. I’ve taken this model, pieced together aspects of it that I enjoy and that work well with my students, and have turned it into a blended learning model so that I can reach every student on a daily basis. I analyze the data, put students together based on their needs, and groups are born. They rotate to me or my ESL co-teacher, an online reading program (KidBiz3000) on the Chromebook, or engage in book clubs (either reading independently to meet their self-selected goals, writing about their reading, or discussing the text).
This has been a highly effective model for my classroom, and I’ve seen higher student results from switching my class to a blended model. I spent a quarter doing blended learning with one of my classes and kept the traditional Reader’s Workshop model the district promotes in my other class. I looked at the data last week with my co-teacher and the literacy coach, and we saw greater gains in the blended learning block, which was amazing! Student engagement is higher and the teaching points are more targeted than a broad-strokes mini-lesson. I allot time for my students to go to the library one day a week while I progress monitor them, and one day is spent as a whole group doing a rigorous text discussion (RTD). We use the RTD in our weekly group lessons, which has been great since all students have a deep understanding of the text.
If you’re looking for an innovative way to spin your reading block (or any block for that matter!), definitely check out blended learning! What innovative practices have you started using in your classroom this year?