Return to: ETAP 623 Spring 2022 |
Hi everyone! My name is Sarah Garber. I graduated from Nazareth College in May of 2022 with a degree in Mathematics and Inclusive Adolescence Education. I'll be starting my first year of teaching in Rochester teaching Math 8, Algebra I, and Intermediate Algebra II. I'll also be co-advising the freshmen class. This is my first year in the CDIT program and I'm excited to develop my skills as a teacher both through experience and the courses I take at UAlbany!
My Topic and Purpose
My district is encouraging the implementation of technology in the classroom through blended learning lessons to supplement students' learning experiences. Blended learning is a stations lesson that typically has four stations. These stations can be represented by the acronym M.A.T.H. where M stands for "Meet with the teacher", A for "At your tables", T for "Technology", and H for "Hands-on activity". These stations not only provide students with engaging educational technology opportunities, but they also allow for small group or one-on-one instruction, independent or collaborative learning activities, and movement. I experienced a few blended learning lessons during my student teaching, I plan on using blended learning this year, and I would like to teach others from different districts and disciplines about blended learning.
Scope of Learning Outcomes and Content
- Participants will identify the structures/types of learning environments for each of the stations within a blended learning lesson.
- Participants will understand the principles to guide the selection and integration of different types of learning activities/designs.
- After exploring sample activities for each station, participants will use a template to construct their own blended learning lesson following the MATH model that they can use in their own professional practice.
1. Instructional Problem: Most educators would agree that learners do not benefit from a solely lecture-style learning environment. When every lesson is presented in this format, students' understanding, engagement, motivation, and interest in the material will very likely decrease. However, implementing a variety of learning environments, including direct instruction, collaborative work, engagement with technology, and hands-on activities can improve a student's learning experience. This is what a blended learning lesson aims to achieve: a variety of learning environments that help to increase student understanding, engagement, motivation, and interest. Planning a blended learning lesson is no easy task - it is essentially creating four mini lessons for one day.
2. The nature of what is to be learned: Participants will learn about blended learning lessons following the MATH model and create their own blended learning lesson that can be used in their practice. The course will guide participants to understand the different learning environments that blended learning involves, give examples of different activities that could be used at each station, and provide participants a template to help them plan their own blended learning lesson.
3. About the learners: Participants are K-12 educators from any content area and any grade level with any amount of teaching experience. Participants find interest in and would like to learn more about blended learning, making class time more interactive and engaging for students, opportunities for differentiation, integrating technology into the curriculum, and/or hands-on learning activities. Although not a requirement, the more familiarity and experience participants have with these topics, the better understanding they will have of how to create their own blended learning lesson following the MATH model.
4. Instructional content: The first four units will each be dedicated to one of the four stations in a blended learning lesson. Each of these four units will begin with a description of what type of learning environment that occurs in that station. Examples of different activities will then be provided - this will include pictures or documents, videos, links, and/or explanations of activities and their corresponding resources. Each of these four units will end with a self-assessment for participants to engage in a check for their own understanding. The self-assessments will be different activities for each of these units, possibly including a virtual flashcard activity, a journal prompt, and a conversation starter.
The fifth unit will provide a lesson plan template and a checklist. Participants can decide which of these activities they would like to complete first. The checklist can serve as a self-assessment if they feel ready to create their own lesson using the template. Or, if participants do not yet feel ready to start planning, they can look at the checklist first before creating their own lesson. Also within this fifth unit will be a list of recommendations and considerations for participants to reflect upon.
From this course, participants will be able to
- Select familiar activities and classify which station of a blended learning lesson those activities could fall under.
- Explore resources and activities that may be unfamiliar to them.
- Plan and create a blended learning lesson to use in their professional practice.
- Participants should be familiar with and have at the very least a general understanding of:
- Differentiated instruction and how to support struggling learners
- Direct instruction
- Collaborative learning tasks and how to promote students' effective communication in group work
- Technology activities and software
- Hands-on activities
- Lesson planning, creating or finding activities to use in a lesson