When I was little, I was obsessed with letter writing. It began with pen pals at elementary schools in my district, expanded to international pen pals in Turkey and India, and became a weekly habit when my best friend moved across the country.  The letters to my best friend, Hannah, were filled with detailed narratives and reflections.  Even though I have yet to establish a pen pal program in my classes, my students regularly write letters…to their “invested adults.”    In my middle school classroom, I give my students letter templates filled with sentence frames at the end of each month. The sentence frames promptRead More →

Last spring, I used station-rotation blended learning in my English 9 and 10 classes during a literature unit. For this unit, students were assigned to teams based on their most recent reading scores on a district assessment.  Each team read a different novel and participated in lessons to increase their understanding of literary elements. To help my students actually complete the reading, I adjusted my standard stations that I explained in Teachers vs Zombies Station-Rotation. Instead, I used the following groups:   Teacher: Small group lessons analyzing literary elements in novel and discussions Keyboard: Extra Team: Reading novel in a small group Team: Reading novelRead More →

When I first began using station-rotation blended learning in my classroom, I worked in a district that had purchased licenses for Compass Learning Odyssey.  Compass was mainly used as a credit recovery curriculum, but I was able to pull out specific lessons relevant to the content standards I was teaching in my traditional English 9 & 10 classes.  Initially, I used these lessons during the Headphones station in my classroom. (You can learn more about the Headphones Station’s role in blended learning on this blog post.)   As I began integrating more project-based learning into my classes, I discovered that sometimes I needed shorter videosRead More →

When I work with teachers, I hear that planning activities for the teacher station of station-rotation blended learning, is actually the easiest station to plan.  This station provides opportunities to conduct the small-group direct instruction that can be almost impossible to squeeze into whole-group instruction.   For those of us who use a formal curriculum, our teachers’ manuals contain a variety of differentiation/universal access lessons that are perfect for this station. I remember that as a new teacher, I would just skim these, recognize their potential use, but move on after realizing that I did not have a way to just teach the lesson toRead More →

When utilizing station-rotation blended learning in my classes, I modify the stations suggested by the Clayton Christensen Institute (see image below). In my version of the rotations, I add an additional online instruction station.  At first, this may seem to create more zombies in the classroom, but it actually helps to create a quieter environment that supports two simultaneous small group activities.  Additionally, I use the extra station to incorporate individual lessons.  I teach English, so I often use this station for writing, graphic organizers, and individual reading.  However, I have heard that it can be used for meaningful activities in different subject areas, suchRead More →