Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Back to the Classroom

I am going back to the classroom this year. When the district cut my job as an instructional technology coach because of budget shortfalls, I made the decision to go back to the classroom. That decision was fueled by the fact that I have been out of the classroom for five years. I have always believed that instructional coaches or anyone telling a teacher what to do in their classroom is no longer credible after the five year mark. Think about it, anything that I tell a teacher now would be based on my theory of what I think might what. Those theories have not been vetted on the clients which are the students. 

I am excited to return to a fourth grade classroom this year. My blog will chronicle my return to teaching and my journey for recertification as a national board certified teacher.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Form Swift lesson plan template

Jamie Smith ,over at, brought the following resource, that they provide for teachers, to my attention. It is a lesson plan template centered around Common  Core. They currently have math, ELA, and science templates available for free.  The templates are available at

You may also want to check out the rest of the resources that are available on this site ar 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Blended Learning

What is Blended Learning?
The term blended learning is generally applied to the practice of using both online and in-person learning experiences when teaching students. In a blended-learning course, for example, students might attend a class taught by a teacher in a traditional classroom setting, while also independently completing online components of the course outside of the classroom. In this case, in-class time may be either replaced or supplemented by online learning experiences, and students would learn about the same topics online as they do in class—i.e., the online and in-person learning experiences would parallel and complement one another

What Is Blended Learning

There is a general consensus among education innovators that blended learning has three primary components:
  • In-person classroom activities facilitated by a trained educator.
  • Online learning materials, often including pre-recorded lectures given by that same instructor.
  • Structured independent study time guided by the material in the lectures and skills developed during the classroom experience.
Blended Learning Models

blended-learning taxonomy

1. Rotation model — a course or subject in which students rotate on a fixed schedule or at the teacher’s discretion between learning modalities, at least one of which is online learning. Other modalities might include activities such as small-group or full-class instruction, group projects, individual tutoring, and pencil-and-paper assignments. The students learn mostly on the brick-and-mortar campus, except for any homework assignments. This includes:
  •  Station Rotation — a course or subject in which students experience the Rotation model within a contained classroom or group of classrooms. The Station Rotation model differs from the Individual Rotation model because students rotate through all of the stations, not only those on their custom schedules.
  • Lab Rotation – a course or subject in which students rotate to a computer lab for the online-learning station
  • Flipped Classroom – a course or subject in which students participate in online learning off-site in place of traditional homework and then attend the brick-and-mortar school for face-to-face, teacher-guided practice or projects. The primary delivery of content and instruction is online, which differentiates a Flipped Classroom from students who are merely doing homework practice online at night.
  • Individual Rotation – a course or subject in which each student has an individualized playlist and does not necessarily rotate to each available station or modality. An algorithm or teacher(s) sets individual student schedules.
2. Flex model — a course or subject in which online learning is the backbone of student learning, even if it directs students to offline activities at times. Students move on an individually customized, fluid schedule among learning modalities. The teacher of record is on-site, and students learn mostly on the brick-and-mortar campus, except for any homework assignments. The teacher of record or other adults provide face-to-face support on a flexible and adaptive as-needed basis through activities such as small-group instruction, group projects, and individual tutoring. Some implementations have substantial face-to-face support, whereas others have minimal support.

3. A La Carte model — a course that a student takes entirely online to accompany other experiences that the student is having at a brick-and-mortar school or learning center. The teacher of record for the A La Carte course is the online teacher. Students may take the A La Carte course either on the brick-and-mortar campus or off-site. This differs from full-time online learning because it is not a whole-school experience. Students take some courses A La Carte and others face-to-face at a brick-and-mortar campus.

4. Enriched Virtual model — a course or subject in which students have required face-to-face learning sessions with their teacher of record and then are free to complete their remaining coursework remote from the face-to-face teacher.

Blended Learning

patricia whitfield madison