What is it?
“Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick- and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.” (Innosight Institute, 2011) Blended learning uses online technology to individualize and accelerate student learning in conjunction with regular classroom instruction. To learn more, this video shows blended learning in one elementary school: Blended Learning Model
Blended Learning Graphic from Global English Website
Why are we doing it?
Blended Learning technology allows our teachers to have real-time data on areas of strengths/weaknesses for each student. Being able to provide immediate feedback and refined support through differentiated instruction enhances learning for all ability levels in a focused, efficient, and encouraging manner.
What will this mean for my child?
Each child has access to a Chromebook, or iPad in their classroom. Additionally, Travis Heights has a computer lab where classes can work as a group. These resources enable every child to work with technology daily in classroom settings or in the computer lab.
Travis Heights uses a Rotation model for Blended Learning. This model has students rotate in groups between time with the teacher, time on the computer, and time in other learning structures (e.g., small group projects, pencil-and-paper assignments, etc.) When on the computer, students use online curriculum that is individualized to their specific needs, tracks/rewards their progress and is monitored and adjusted by the teacher.
Currently Travis Heights is using the following computer programs as a part of its Blended Learning Program:
Pre-K through 5th
Dreambox serves our students with the highest-quality, research-based K-8 math lessons which empower students to master key math concepts. With the power to deliver millions of individualized learning paths, DreamBox tailors math lessons so students work in their optimal learning zone.
Think Through Math helps students in Texas grades 3 and above develop higher order thinking and problem-solving skills, preparing them for success on the STAAR exam, as well as a smooth transition to college or a career.
K through 3rd.
Istation Reading curriculum delivers student-driven instruction. Students start with Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP), a computer-adaptive assessment which measures current skill levels and provides teachers data to drive instruction. Students then embark on interactive reading adventures with Istation Reading which includes explicit, direct, and systematic research-based content that identifies and adapts to students’ individual needs. Perfect for bilingual or dual-language implementation models, Istation Reading en Español delivers focused, supplemental reading instruction for developing Spanish readers in pre-K through 3rd grade.
2nd through 5th
Achieve3000 differentiates lessons at 12 levels of English and 7 levels of Spanish to ensure all learners engage at their individual reading levels, accelerating reading gains, boosting mastery and preparing them for college, career and beyond.
K through 2nd
Raz Kids and Reading A to Z support students by developing phonics and supports dual language in the classroom and at home with e-Books in Spanish.
XtraMath helps your child master the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts that are the building blocks of your child’s math education. Recalling the basic arithmetic facts quickly and easily is essential for success with fractions, decimals, and multi-digit algorithms. It also frees up mental resources for more complex problem solving.
XtraMath student activities are simple and straightforward and take only a few minutes each day. The program uses sophisticated methods to present your child with the right problem at the right time to maximize the effectiveness of practice.
Learning.com equips students with critical skills including keyboarding, word processing, online safety, and coding. Learning.com provides digital literacy curriculum for grades K?8 in English and Spanish through interactive lessons to help students develop the technology and computational thinking skills they need to move ahead and prepare for high school and beyond.
In addition to the specific software programs used advance math and reading skills, Travis Heights Elementary believes in incorporating daily use technologies (equipment and resources) into lessons in a way that allows students to collaborate, communicate, and solve problems by:
- Discovering new ideas (video, web quest)
- Expanding understanding using critical thinking (research, Skype)
- Interacting with knowledges (polls, activities, apps)
- Sharing their learning (blogging, video, email, presentations)
- Assessing their abilities (quiz, journaling, portfolio)
These components ensure that our students become digital natives who are prepared to use technology as a tool for improving the world and themselves.
How can I help?
We have been fortunate to have the assistance from Austin ISD’s Instructional Technology department to find used hardware for our campus and a large portion of our TEA grant to start up as a charter school was used to purchase new Chromebooks for each classroom. Cost for software continues to be an additional component for our campus. The $5 charge for school supplies is one effort to address this issue. Also, working with young students as they are learning to use the technology is like working with children in a garden. An extra pair of hands is helpful in the younger grades when students go to the lab. Check with your child’s teacher for the times she/he could use help.