The Blender

Blended Learning at Hickory Hills

A Book Study in Newsletter Form

"Blended" by Michael B. Horn & Heather Staker
Chapter 9 - Create the Culture

When it comes to Blended Learning, execution is what matters most and execution can easily fall apart when the school culture isn't quite right. The book defines culture as "a way of working together toward common goals that have been followed so frequently and so successfully that people don't even think about trying to do things another way. If a culture has been formed, people will autonomously do what they need to do to be successful." When the building culture is just right, students and teachers within the building reach a shared understanding of working together do be successful; continuing to do things they way they have been done without having to ask because they work and hold true to the organization's priorities and values.

Creating culture begins one problem at a time. 1) Define a problem or task that recurs again and again. 2) Appoint a group to solve the problem. 3) If they fail, ask them to try again with a different process. 4) If they succeed, ask the same group to repeat the process every time the problem recurs. 5) Write down and promote your culture. 6) Live in a way that is consistent with the culture.

With blended learning it is about teachers shaping their class culture to one that includes high expectations and student ownership in their own learning.

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Super-Awesome Sylvia


14 year old who makes Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show with her dad @techninja42, and the WaterColorBot with @EMSL, and now a book series: Sylvia's Super-Awesome Project Book series.

Also, check her out on her website for great Maker Space ideas.

MAESP Leadership Conference Guest Speaker - Manny Scott

Manny Scott has given more than 1,000 talks to over 1.2 million people, and has worked with students, educators, administrators and business leaders worldwide. Last week at the MAESP Leadership Conference I was privileged enough to get to hear this amazing, inspirational speaker speak firsthand. I wanted to share a few of my favorite words of wisdom from his time with us:

"Sometimes you have to believe in someone else's belief in you before your own belief in yourself starts to set in."

"I'm not here because of where you're from. I'm here because of where you want to go."

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. But your sure can put some salt in its mouth and make it thirsty. Leave your students a little salty."

"Everyone in your life is either a wing or weight. Cling to the wings and cut the weight."