Debbie Varga, OFLA Public Relations and Advocacy Chair
One of my 2018 classroom practice resolutions is to organize an effective blended learning environment for my students. Ever since our school went 1-1 last year, I have been trying to find a balance with technology and small group instruction. I have been using stations more often this year with my level 3 classes and have been a trying to find ways to ensure that the activities the students complete are not just busy work. If there are handouts, I have been reflecting on how to make them as tools towards acquisition.
On a quest to learn more about this format, I attended a Marcia Kish blended learning workshop at Nordonia High School this past November. ( https://www.dsdprofessionaldevelopment.com ). Kish explained the importance of the mini-lesson (small group learning) in the blended learning classroom and that it is also important for the teacher to check in on the other students while they work independently during station work.
I have created a list of activities, station ideas, strategies for reorganizing my classroom practice that I would like to share. Nothing really new but just some thoughts on how to approach things differently.
1.During the mini-lessons, teach the lessons based intercultural competence and comprehensible input.
2.Pop-up or direct grammar explanation.
3.Structured/guided writing on paper (to ensure that what the students are generating is their work and not that of a translator).
4.Goal setting for individual students.
My list is always changing based on the needs of my learners and I am ready more than ever to take the plunge. Will you join me?