The Blender

Blended Learning at Hickory Hills

A Book Study in Newsletter Form

"Blended" by Michael B. Horn & Heather Staker
Chapter 6 - Elevate Teaching

In Chapter 6, the author speaks to the fact that teachers are critical to the success of blended learning. Although the teacher role shifts, they are still heavily engaged and more actively working with students in a variety of ways. This chapter considers how to best integrate the teacher into the blended learning model.

This chapter focuses on the teacher's role as someone who no longer lectures, but answers questions and facilitates discussions, one who leads small group instruction and/or tutoring, teacher's role as a mentor; helping to build relationships and providing opportunities for students to engage and have fun with friends.

The teacher role as a mentor is discussed in great detail. With the many challenges students bring to school from home, the need for mentors and role models continues to grow and grow. The book speaks to "advisory" - a small learning community of around fifteen students that work closely with their assigned mentor/teacher to identify interests and develop personalized learning. There becomes a shift in training for teachers. The focus is no longer on lecturing and lesson planning, but developing deep, personal relationships with students - helping them to be the students' academic coaches, counselors, family liaisons, and advocates.

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Who is doing this? Great way to make classroom dreams come true without money coming out of your own pocket. I encourage all to participate.

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Tech Tools

Check out the app Notability. Notability is a powerful note-taker used to annotate documents, record, sketch and more. This app is perfect for keeping notes up-to-date both on iPhones or iPads. This app would be great for teacher use during Guided Reading and Math Workshop, helping to organize running records, anecdotal notes and student portfolios. This $0.99 app would allow you to create a folder for each student and syncs to Google Drive for easy access.