Blended learning is a term that is being heard around the educational world more and more. This concept incorporates a fusion of face-to-face and online/offline, independent learning. It requires a change in the approach of the teacher, and the willingness to accept that we do not have to be the center of the learning in our classrooms. Learning stations are a great way to work blended learning into your classroom.
If you can incorporate learning stations into your classroom, it will allow you to the opportunity to meet with smaller groups of students. This promotes:
- An easier way to differentiate
- More opportunity for one on one conversations
- A chance to build better relationships with your students
- An opportunity to focus on what is really missing in their understanding
We need to remember, the learning is being done by the students, so the work should be done by them as well. We need to let go of the urge to do the work for them and let them figure some things out for themselves. This will provide a deeper understanding of what is being learned.
When creating stations for your classes, keep the following in mind:
- Create “horizontal lessons” so that students can rotate through the stations in any order.
- Keep the stations student-centered and around 15-20 minutes long to help students stay on task.
- Rotate between online and offline stations. Your online stations should not just be individual, independent work…use them to allows students to collaborate and share with each other.
- Use online instructions for an online activity and offline instructions for an offline activity. This keeps students from accessing devices in an offline station.
- Create a “charging station” where students can plug in their devices to charge when they are working offline. This is a positive way to remove the device from the situation.
- Mix your teacher-led stations up to address the biggest needs of your students. Some ideas for stations include: targeting instruction, modeling a process, providing an opportunity to reteach a concept, or doing a quick assessment to provide real-time feedback.
- When grouping the students, don’t leave them in the same groups all the time…mix it up. Use an online document, such as an Excel file in OneDrive, to document groups you liked when you put them together. That way it is easy to reference them again and update if needed.
Most of these ideas, and many more, come from Catlin Tucker’s website. Check out these blog posts and resources for more information: