Monday, July 24, 2017

Blended Week Eight: Choose the Model

As you were reading chapter 8, were you starting to put the pieces together and come up with a model (or models) that might work well in your classroom, school, or district? Is there a question that's more important than the others as you're thinking about blended learning in your environment? Or are there any questions you can't answer yet or that you can't answer by yourself?

We only have three weeks left in this this book club. In order to receive all 22 of the PGPs you need to have made at least one comment to each week's blog post or to other people's comments each week. Now might be a good time to catch up on weeks you've missed. We have had lots of comments each week and in order to see them all you have to click on "Load more" (sometimes multiple times) at the bottom of the post pages.

If any of you were able to attend Warren Township's Blended Learning Forum '17 last week, feel free to share any resources from which you think the others in this group would benefit. To see what people were sharing at the conference you can also go to Twitter and view the conference hashtag #BLForum17.

Next week we will be reading and discussing chapter 9, "Create the Culture."

295 comments:

  1. # 1 When I read the first paragraph of this chapter (reminding us of the 6 steps that should have been completed before choosing the model), I realized that in our system this could take 40 years, and I will be dead and buried by then! It just looked really overwhelming.

    # 2 I love the idea of "replicate." The notion of "beg, borrow and steal" is one every teacher is well-versed.

    # 3 Page 220 It was good to be reminded of the questioning process.

    # 4 At our school, we already use disruptive models to address nonconsumption (page 222). I was glad to see that we were already on board in some areas.

    # 5 I thought the charts were the most meaningful part of the chapter - easy to get an entire overview all at once. These were clearer for me than the reading text.

    # 6 It seems that it would be very difficult to have only one level or department using a flipped classroom within a system. Scheduling at the secondary level would be a nightmare, I think.

    # 7 Favorite Quote: "Few people dispute that quality teachers are the single most important resource that schools can provide for teachers.....nothing is more important then ensuring access to great teachers." This struck me powerfully because within the last two days I have read several articles discussing the teacher shortage in Indiana. Fewer applicants for each open position; Poor choices among the applicants; and an outlook that is not favorable for seeing an increase in individuals perusing a career in teaching.

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    1. 2. Teachers love to use each others ideas its a way that we can continue to grow and try something new in our rooms. If it wasn't for me being able to use blogs and some pre-made activities, I'm not sure I would have ever started using stations in my middle school classroom.
      3. The questioning process is a very beneficial part of blended learning so it is always nice to be reminded of it.
      5. I agree with you about the charts. They seem to help me to better understand what was just discussed as sometimes it gets to be a bit overwhelming.

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    2. I had a supervising teacher tell me, think smarter, not harder, and do not re-invent the wheel. Using other teachers ideas is one of the best things I have done. I love getting ideas and trying them out in my room.

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    3. This blog has been wonderful to read other comments. It is a great venue to share and learn from others. I'm sure my students will love responding to literature in this manner. I am also concerned about retaining high-energy skilled teachers. This type of professional development will help us continue to engage the students in latest technology advances. Thank you for all the positive comments!

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    4. Sandra, I whole-heartedly agree. I always say that teachers are the best thiefs. ;) There are already so many great ideas out there, find something and modify it to make it work for you and your classroom.

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  2. # 8 Page 230 The notion of "posting video lectures on line for students to watch at home and then redesigning classroom time" sounds great, but what is four students out of 15 do not watch the videos? Does the teacher proceed and leave them behind? Does the teacher slow everyone down to "catch up?"

    # 9 Page 235 Chromebooks have an application that allows students to do presentations directly to classroom projectors/smart boards.

    # 10 Page 240 "What do you want the primary role of the teacher to be? The school boards of trustees will want to save money - everywhere - even when hiring teachers or maintaining positions. The teachers' union will want to save teachers' positions and ensure their continued presence - even when doing so is not the absolute best or necessary answer. When two groups as powerfully motivated as these are trying to cooperate, it can get messy really fast.

    # 11 STATE TESTS ISTEP (elementary and secondary)
    Indiana has an extensive network of testing required for students in both the elementary and secondary system. At the high school, there are tests which must be passed in order to receive a diploma (graduation requirement for students not in some type of special education category). The whole blended learning arena is based on students being able to proceed at their own pace....learn with strategies compliant with their personal learning styles....and allowing them to be somewhat self-motivated and self-monitoring in tracking goals and progress.
    THAT IS ALL WONDERFUL if learning is the goal and progress is the indicator. But, our state testing assumes that all students at the end of such-and-such a grade level are ready for the test. If the state did not expect that then there could be no "pass" or "did not pass" assigned.

    And the percentages of pass/did not pass are used to evaluate a corporation's "grade!"

    What if a student is 19 years old and just then mastering the ELA ISTEP 10 standard-based skills? Presumably, he would have failed the test several times already and his "did not pass" would be entered in the demographics for the school (and used to credit/discredit the teacher). For corporations using blended learning would the state allow testing to occur only when a student has reached the particular level that is being evaluated? What if the student NEVER reached that level?

    I am NOT saying that testing is not a valuable tool in determining deficiencies in comprehension/mastery that would then impact changes in instructional strategies. They are so valuable for differentiation. I AM suggesting, however, that Indiana's current method/program of student testing is not really blended-learning friendly. Maybe I am missing something and they are compliant. What do you all think?









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    1. Your example about a student not mastering the content/skills until years after the test is already happening in many schools, I wager. It certainly was happening in my last school.

      My hope is that a student who has an individualized learning plan outside of the whole-classroom-lecture model with interactive content will continue to push herself as she sees success in each module. She may be 19 when she achieves mastery, but she will have a history of success that will sustain her in her future pursuits (whatever they may be). In the current system in my district, she would have several failures, and repeat the same course material at the same pace, crowding her schedule until all that is left is any class previously failed. The last ditch effort would place her in credit recovery. To me, that is a recipe for frustration and a stifling of any desire to try things that may be difficult.

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    3. I also agreed that ISTEP is very anti friendly for our students and teachers. I worry about my own daughter who is my first and will be starting school in about 3 years. She is Advance now and wonder will my daughter be used to help other students catch up and therefore not get the advanced teaching and education that she deserves? Or will she simply be left alone to do her work independently while the teacher helps other soon as behind her catch up and therefore my daughter still doesn't excel in school as she should. I certainly hope there is a way to make testing in Indiana more student and teacher friendly because I have seen for elementary students break down and cry over a test. And that is certainly a disservice to our students. I hope Blended learning will help reduce stress for everybody.

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    4. Thank you for your post. You are spot on. I teach a high school elective. Currently, only 2 of the 7 teachers are correctly licensed to teach the subject matter. The remainder are on emergency licenses without a teacher background. My concern is at what point will an important elective be eliminated? Will blended learning be used to teach more and more electives because we do not have qualified teachers? My other comment is at what point do we say enough is enough of putting our children in front of a computer? We test and test and test and remediate and remediate all on front of a computer screen. I truly worry that at some point teachers need to be face to face with our students. Computer screen do not develop relationships.

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    5. My school is adopting a new assessment called iready. The students take a diagnostic at the beginning. Them they work through the lessons at their own pace with the program doing the differentiation. It finds where they have gaps and helps to fix those. The teacher monitors and does rti when needed. It is very blended learning friendly.

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    6. You raise a really interesting question about the Flipped Classroom Model! When I think about using blended learning to solve the need for more lab time, I naturally would gravitate toward using the Flipped Classroom Model. I would have students watch online recorded lectures at home so that in class we could have small group Q &A sessions and larger blocks of time to perform lab experiments. But yes…what about the handful of students who simply don’t watch the lectures (same students who don’t do their homework now) or students who have been absent for numerous days and don’t sit to watch the lectures they missed? Do we just move on? How can the Flipped Classroom Model be beneficial to all the students if the teacher has to still spend class time catching a handful of students up to speed? I would be curious to know experiences from teachers who have tried the Flipped Classroom Model in their rooms. While naturally this is the model that would work best in my classroom, there are clearly some drawbacks that I would need to consider before selecting the best model to implement.

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    7. Replying to Molly W....And you are spot on. Our school is beginning to offer more online classes to enable students to take electives not offered or to catch up on lost credit. These students, while supervised, are pretty much on their own in their learning. In regard to personal relationships, I have heard from several friends who own small businesses that their worst workers are the 16 - 25 year olds. They constantly have their gave in their phones. Their problem solving skills are weak. And, their interpersonal communication skills are poor at best. Whereas, I think blended learning had a lot of positives, we need too stay mindful of these issues.

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    8. That was exactly my thought about the flipped classroom...how will the kids complete the in class activities or projects if they don't read the content/online videos at home? I teach seniors (and a required course for graduation), and it's VERY difficult to get my students to do any outside reading. In addition, even when they do read, a lot of the content is difficult for them to understand without the in-class lectures. I can see where the flipped classroom model may be very effective in an Advanced Placement classroom. But, I'm not sure how effective it would be with the majority of my students.

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    9. At some point in time the student needs to be responsible for their learning. We can not make excuses for them. They can do far more than we often give them credit. There will always be a few that aren't quite ready to handle the responsibility...so we encourage and support them.

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  3. Since this past year was our first year as a complete one to one school I think the answer to the first question "what would work best in your classroom, school, district?" Would be station rotation. I think this because station rotation would be easiest to emplement in one's classroom and I think that most teachers would be willing to try new things in this way first before taking a major change district wide. It also gives teachers information and to take to the district if other methods are to be discussed and in turn changed.
    In my classroom this year I could also easily incorporate station rotation activities and learning experiences.As I will be teaching elementary this year I think it is important to guide students and think it will be important to keep in mind the choice of time, place, path and pace as talked about on pg.226 of our reading. I think that face-to-face instruction is still quite vital when teaching elementary school but guiding them and teaching them how important independent learning experiences can be is a major part of their education now and for their future in education. I also think it is of major importance for us to teach young students how their online and device behavior will effect how much and how effectively they can learn in their middle and high school years and even on into college.

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    1. Our school sounds very similar to yours. I would agree with the way you are approaching it as well.

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    2. Station rotation would work best for me too because I'm in a preschool class and they need to have face to face instruction. At this age, I don't believe they should be getting all there instruction through computers. From a young age many are put on tablets and given smartphones to play games and watch videos. They do not need to always be on a device to learn. They need to have active hands-on learning.

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    3. Well said. I agree with you with the face-face instruction and station rotation. Janet Bowen...I am also with preschool (it is nice to hear from another preschool teacher) and have the exact same thoughts. I even think that tablets and computers are used a bit too much at the elementary level. Hands-on learning with life long skills are so important!!

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    4. I am planning on using a lot of station rotation in my classroom this year as it gives so many different options for learning the material plus adding differentiation. I am in a school that is not 1-1 yet so I don't have much technology available but should have enough for a few students to use it during a station which would be a nice start to using technology.

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    5. I am gearing up for station rotation, too, primarily in math and reading. Has anyone found it to be successful with the entire day (3rd grade)? I can see it being good for science by having a weekly or a unit rotation maybe. Time to get everything prepared does seem overwhelming at this point.

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    6. A lot of teachers at our school use station rotation in the classroom. I think this is used mostly for one subject. I think that reading is the easiest area to implement stations into the classroom. I've used stations a couple of times in science but not enough to say consistently. I'm going to try to implement stations into math this year.

      I also agree that the face-to-face instructional is vital in the classroom. I think that some teachers are taking advantage of the the technology in the classroom and are expecting the students to figure it out on their own. This isn't the purpose of technology!

      The charts were very helpful in this chapter.

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    7. I still remember the thrill of reading a professor's comments on a paper I had written or having an instructor chat with me before/after class. The face-to-face instructional time is vital, I agree. Every students needs and desires that personal touch from the teacher, I think. Even those who assume the roughest persona need to feel worthy.

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    8. I agree that station rotation would be the best in my classroom. I am part of a huge corporation that will never get everyone on the same page. And it's up to individual teachers as to how they use the computers. We have been one to one for a good five years now And still don't have any set criteria in how to use it from the corporation. I too agree with earlier posts,however, where people said not everyone watches videos from home. I know that will not work in my classroom. As it is, students don't even all bring their computers to class or bring them uncharged. We also have students who get their computers taken away for being on inappropriate sites. We always have to have work that is not needing a computer for them to use. Face-to-face instruction is huge and is much needed. The students are already inundated by a lack of social skills due to computers, smart phones, video games, etc. they need interaction because college and their future work place will require it. I really believe stations is the way to go in my classroom.

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  4. I loved the charts throughout this chapter. They were very helpful when thinking of models and what could work. When thinking of models/teams my school will need a lightweight team or heavyweight team to get things moving when it comes to blended learning. As an elementary teacher, we are still going to be in charge of many things as we get the ball rolling especially with teaching how to use the device we are given and directions. Students may have some control, but we ultimately will still give guidance. Right now, I won’t be able to do much outside of my own classroom just because of how our school is built. I can change the design of my classroom, but there is no way that we will knock down walls and all of that. I will continue to use my existing classroom and work with what I have at the school. All students will have a device once we get them. This will be nice, because the kids won’t have to wait on each other to do different things. Before this year, the only time I was able to have all kids on a device was when we went to computer lab and that was once a week. Now all students in my class will be able to work at the same time and we won’t have to leave our room. We will also be doing the testing in our classrooms this year. I know this is a contrast to what the book says though. It is stated in the book that many blended learning programs thrive even when students do not each have a personal device to use. I’m glad we have the option though now to have a device for each child, but I don’t want it to be all they use during the day. I will integrate the technology component as needed since I’m still learning too. I think models or ways I do things will change from year to year after I experience my first year 1:1 starting this fall.

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    1. The charts were my favorite part of the chapter. They gave us a way to see how each question might be answered!

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  5. I did attend the Blended Learning Forum and I spent about 15 minutes one on one with author Michael Horn. I expressed my belief in blended learning as a way to move my students forward. I also expressed my overwhelm at getting it started and implemented in a timely manner. I summarized my situation: no money, short on staff and space, fear of change in regards to ISTEP accountability. He helped me work out a place to start. He suggested I find a team of teachers receptive to the ideas and philosophies of blended learning. Train these teachers and work out the goals and outcomes. Let them begin with the Station Rotation. Monitor and adjust. Model to others and share the outcomes. It really helped me wrap my brain around a starting point. He did suggest looking into Summit Learning because it is a free platform.
    The questions to narrow model choices did in fact point me to Station Rotation. I now feel some hope that I can get moving in small steps.

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  6. I feel this chapter does a terrific job with the six key questions at the beginning. I think providing the breakdown of each question, the tables provided, and explaining the models in detail was an excellent guide.

    After reading, I took the opportunity to go back and highlight what would be best, in my opinion, for our small school. I also felt that the match the model to the role of the teacher was most helpful. It zoned in on the areas that would best fit. It also brought to light the "things" that we are already doing and how we can improve on those.

    Overall as a traditional school, the models best suited for us would be the Station Rotation, Lab and/or Flipped Classroom. These models along with a heavyweight team would be a good foundation to begin this process. The main constraint for us is the physical space. There is no funding or cash flow that would allow tearing down walls or building new, so this is a major problem.

    I think starting with the Station Rotation model would enable the school to begin the process moving in the right direction.

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    1. I completely agree with you, Debbie. My school is also very traditional and I feel as though we are always last to the game with technology. I have 6 iPads in my classroom so Station Rotation is probably the best choice for us. It would indeed be a slow start, but hopefully eventually more teachers would catch on. I think an issue that we could solve is how to bridge the gap for those kids getting ready to start standardized testing and are still behind. Sadly, so much emphasis is put on standardized testing in this state. Maybe a blended learning classroom could be one way in which to increase a school's scores. I know we should not focus on these tests but it is so hard not to. Not only will this help with testing, but also with each student's individual needs.

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  7. The 2 questions that hit me as being hard to answer or that I couldn't answer yet would be "What problem are you trying to solve?" and "What do you want the primary role of the teacher to be?".

    The 1st question "What problem are you trying to solve", I believe is about the "Why" we are getting devices or going 1:1. I believe that my school corporation is failing in this aspect, Nobody really knows why we are going 1:1 or how we will all benefit.

    The 2nd question "What do you want the primary role of the teacher to be" I think that many teachers in my school corporation are confused as to how to integrate devices and how to monitor student learning. Also getting devices is a big jump in the technology department and some teachers may be less than willing to give students the main roles as is what happens in some of the models.

    I think that with just going 1:1 this year the best model for us to use would be the station rotation. This allows teachers to still deliver face to face instruction, but also work in small groups.

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    1. I agree with your answers to both your questions. This coming school year will be my 2nd year 1:1 and our elementary schools 1st. I'm still trying to figure out what my primary role should be with this technology in my classroom.

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    2. Those are the same two questions that stuck out in my mind as well. Our school has has 1:1 devices for a while now. Now we just have to ask what problem will we solve? Why do we have 1:1 devices? What are we going to do with them? What role do the devices play when teaching?

      Many of our teachers feel the same way about their roles. They are confused. Some are worried that the computers will take the role of teacher and soon we won't have many jobs available. Some teachers are confident with using technology, where others are lost and need a lot of support.

      Many of our secondary schools have flipped their classrooms. And we are highly encouraged to use google classroom. I feel once more teachers feel confident in using technology is when we will see more flipped classroom.

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    3. Those 2 questions were important ones for me as well. A key thought from this chapter was: Through blended learning teachers can personalize learning, extend access to classes as never before and keep costs down
      When you have students work at their own pace, expectations for that time is essential. I have seen students become “bored” during work time. Is this due to the content? Is this due to personal student engagement and buy-in to the work they were to be doing? Teachers are key to make sure students are working to their best ability: pulling students, monitoring work, setting expectations, tutoring them. This is one area I have seen students struggle.

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    4. Reply: I agree, I think that understanding what the goal of going one to one is essential to implementing the model that fits the students’ and staff’s needs the best. I think that a well communicated plan would be the best starting point for schools. I understand our goal and “vision” for one to one even though I don’t know if it published.

      In order to answer the role of the teacher, I think that schools need to make clear the initial problem question. The role of the teacher with one to one needs to be clearly communicated from the administration. Professional development is going to assist teachers in learning how to develop the role of the teacher using technology. I do think that there needs to be a clear statement or plan for teachers to know their roles and goals.

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  8. I do have another question that I think needs to be addressed. What about schools that are larger than the ones talked about in this book? Every time they have mentioned the population of a school using this it's 200 students. I believe one time in this chapter they did mention six or seven hundred. I would just like to know how feasible it is in a school like mine. We have two grades (7 and 8), and approximately 950 kids. Obviously when talking about station rotations or flipped classrooms, that's something that can be done. However, knocking down walls and have an open floor plan concept with 950 teenagers walking around, doesn't really seem to work out in my mind. Hopefully in the next few chapters they will at least allude to schools who may have larger populations. I would think that if my school tried this, the teachers' role would turn into more of crowd control than anything else, and that's definitely not ideal.

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    1. I agree, I've wondered to about the sizes of schools they use for examples. I've had class sizes of 36 and 37 in my AP classes. Our school has over 5,000 students. How does this compare to and work with their models? Sometimes in my larger classes it just isn't easy to do a "Station" lesson because there's no room to move around!

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    2. I had the pleasure of visiting Plymouth High School several years ago as they were just beginning to switch up their technology and infrastructure. Plymouth is a larger school than the ones mentioned in the examples but not as large as some other schools; however, they have done an amazing job not only implementing 1:1 technology, but also having that open floor plan that is discussed. It was a great place to visit and I learned so much.

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    3. Yes, exactly. As a district with large secondary schools, I feel like we use all the blended learning models. The charts in this chapter would be great at the classroom level but, due to our size, I don’t know how well the charts would work at the school or district level—which makes integrating 1:1 that much more difficult. Maybe we could use the chart to address differentiated district, school, and classroom level models. But at the school level, we could easily have a hundred charts each addressing different problems. Then, what? We need to take all those charts and make some kind of cohesive technology integration plan—that’s the real struggle. While we can address access to devices as a whole and maybe even physical space, there is no universal response for the remaining four questions for a large school. The problem, the team, the role of the teacher, and the level of control granted to students are so conditional and vary greatly, especially with the range of courses and pathways available (to students) at large schools. I suspect that most large schools use a blend for sustaining and disruptive models to meet their students’ needs.

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    4. I also have struggled to imagine some of these strategies working in a larger school.

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  9. I liked how the chapter summarized the prior chapters and focused on presenting the important questions to ask in making your decisions in regards to blended learning. The charts were a great visual addition! I feel that the most important question is #1 and that none of the other questions matter if you haven't clearly established #1. (What problem are you trying to solve?) For example... question #2 is about the team... well who I put on a team will determine what the problem is... #4 is about the role of the teacher... this also depends of what the problem is that I'm trying to solve and what kind/type of student the teacher is working with (relates to #3). So, I would say that question 1 is the most important and needs to be solidified before any other can be addressed.

    That being said, the answer to this question can vary depending on what subject is being taught and the age of the learner and type of learner. In large school corporations, there is so much diversity and what may work in one classroom/subject area may be completely inappropriate in another. I feel that the attempts at implementing blended learning should be done at a more classroom by classroom level. Let the teacher decide what would work for their subject area (this of course is coming from High School perspective-elementary and middle may be different). I, in my social studies dept., have no idea what would work for a math or art teacher in their classroom.

    Since I feel that the blended learning implementation should be teacher controlled, this makes questions #5 and #6 challenging. Typically physical space and technology control would be governed through school administration. The teacher has limited control over the furniture in his/her room, and can't easily knock down walls :( So... this takes me back to the importance of question #1 and the need to focus on it... what is the problem you are trying to solve? Focus on the students and what's best for them and everything else should fall into place :)

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    1. Robin,

      I agree with you that question 1 is the most important. Without a problem to solve all we have is technology for the sake of having technology. I also think that individual classrooms/subject areas will have different problems to solve, and different ways to approach the problems, so flexibility in finding solutions to the problems will be necessary. That art classroom will certainly be very different from your social studies classroom, which will be very different from my chemistry classroom. I think it would be beneficial to have the flexibility to use different models at different times for different purposes. One size will not fit all problems either in a big school system like mine or I suspect in smaller systems as well. But flexibility to meet the needs of individual students at whatever point they are can be what helps all students to learn and succeed.

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    2. I too think the key to the idea of blended learning for a classroom teacher has to be a focus on question number one. Why are we reading and hypothesizing about the innovations presented in this book if we don’t have the answer to that question. My personal belief is that the A. option as presented on page#223 is the only choice for an individual teacher. In our classroom microcosm we should want for individualized instruction as the core problem involving mainstream students. The “differentiation in instruction” factor, “no child left behind,” and “data driven instruction” all point to our need for focusing on each student. We are assessed and graded as instructors on these factors in our class, as well as intrinsically motivated as educators to want to succeed in changing every student’s life. With the onset of 1:1 capabilities in the classroom, the idea of data and personalized learning becomes a more legitimate factor in helping teacher’s optimize that individualization (at least for those of us that have 150 students per semester and struggle with finding time to analyze where the focal point of our instruction should be for every student). Unfortunately, I only see a disruptive model being implemented from the top down. An approach that falls well outside of my abilities and role in the infrastructure of our district.

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  10. For me, the two biggest questions mentioned were 1, What problem are you trying to solve, and 2, What physical space can you use. My answers would be non-consumption and to use our building (that’s strictly used for our program and is separate from the main high school) for individual rotation. We are 1:1 (every student has a Chromebook) so the amount of devices isn’t an issue. And then obviously a big looming question would be, will my fellow teacher teammates be on board, as well as my administrators?

    For me right now, a big goal of mine is to use the current technology I’m provided with (Canvas and Edmentum PLATO curriculum) to give my students more autonomy and for my role to change to observer/helper instead of strict lecturer/instructor. The PLATO curriculum allows me to assign students modules and they can complete them at their own pace. I use it but not near as often as I should.

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  11. As a special educator, I find that it is always necessary to look at how to personalize each student's learning. I plan to continue to search and use when available technology to strengthen students' individual skills. At this time, I feel I want my resource students to be able to control their pace and path during any online part of the class. I believe I will need to continue to provide guidance through the online portion and act as a mentor to the students. Obviously, the goal for my students is to get them to be as independent as possible in their learning.

    I agree with the authors that it may be very beneficial to combine two models together depending on goals for students. Again, it is essential to think about the "role" of the teacher and what that "role" needs to look like for the specific activities of the day. It may be that the teacher needs to provide face-to-face instruction or it may be that the teacher needs to serve as a mentor while the student is doing online work.

    The six questions in this chapter are helpful to review as a teacher decides on a blended learning model to use. I feel that it all comes down to looking at the needs of each learner and then deciding what model or models will fit best. Each teacher will have to make the decision to what will work best in his/her classroom. The authors state on page 229, "Few people dispute that quality teachers are the single most important resource that schools can provide for students." This just emphasizes to me that teachers play an important role in students' learning and will not be replaced by technology.

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    1. Pace and path are my key focus as well. I hope that a rotation of some kind will help me incorporate technology to support overall goals, which sounds similar to your focus. I think it will be really interesting to see the student (with the technology support) take the reigns and have the teacher offer additional support and mentoring along the way.

      The questions were really helpful to zero in on which components really matter the most and see the way the suggestions align. With plans for rotation, I'm definitely interested to see what the next chapter about culture has to say! I keep wavering about how excited my students will be about this shift. Some of them seek/require routine that I'm hoping to be able to balance the structure of general functioning and time with the flexibility of programs and topics. Totally open to suggestions on that front!!

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    2. Erin I agree that path and pace are great focuses. I am wishing to do the same.

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  12. When I was reading this chapter, the part where it talks about how the education system has long suffered from lacking enough resources to meet the list of societal demands is so true. As a teacher, I feel like we do so much more than just teach any more. Many kids anymore are having to face so much. As a result, we are always working on personalizing learning.
    Station Rotation or Lab Rotation would probably work best for first grade. Students work at their pace while working on their i-pads, then when they switch the students fall back with the group pace. The kids love stations and are comfortable with this set-up. I feel like face-to-face instruction and small groups are very important in first grade. I also monitor the stations. Middle to the end of the the school year, I give the students more independence in working in these stations. Thankfully, each student has an i-pad but in first grade they do not take them home.

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    1. I teach kindergarten and also feel Station Rotation and Lab Rotation would be the best for my classroom! They definitely make it possible for small groups and allows me to either assess students or work with students one-on-one.

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  13. I found the 6 questions to ask yourself helpful in figuring out where to start because everything can seem so overwhelming and, in fact, daunting. I guess the part that I'm still "fighting with" in my head is that it seems like a very collaborative group of teachers is a necessary component for this to work. In my building, we have teachers of all ages and experience levels, which is a plus at times, but many of the teachers refuse to collaborate at this level with others. So, while I can be following this to the best of my ability in my classroom, there may be others that either blatantly refuse to comply or will say they are in compliance when they obviously aren't. Then we also have the people who are not sure of how to put things in place and think they are doing things with fidelity and are trying to, but their vision isn't coming to fruition quite like what they envision for themselves and/or their classroom. I guess my question is, how do you implement this in your classroom with fidelity when you know that the other classrooms that the students are going to travel to in the day are going to look and sound very different?

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  14. I thought that this week’s reading did a good job of pulling it all together, and looking at the big picture. The charts throughout the chapter were very useful in helping to think through the important questions and likely answers to those questions. I think for me, the model that would work best is the flipped classroom. This model is not only easy to implement individually, but it also allows for great flexibility in choosing what parts of the curriculum to flip, and what parts are better suited to being taught in a face-to-face environment.
    My favorite quote from the book this week was on page 220: “the next step for successful blended learning is replicate. Beg, borrow, and steal from the examples of successful blended-learning models already in place.” I think as teachers, most of us do not have enough time during the school year to truly invent much of anything. Most of us can find time to modify good resources that we do find, but it also takes a lot of time to look for and evaluate good internet sites, videos and applications that can be used in specific classrooms for specific content areas. I expect that as more and more teachers/schools move toward a blended approach that this part of the process will get easier and easier as more resources become available, and the ones that are currently available are improved.

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    1. I also appreciated the charts to give me visuals of how ideas come together. I think modifying is more doable place to jump in to a more blended approach.

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  15. This chapter's delineation of which models match the individual pieces (team type, level of control, role of teacher, physical space) helped me to see that the model I thought I wanted is not a proven success story. The pieces I had thought would match up don't seem to in the charts. I'd like to mix some individual rotation with flex, but an autonomous team and open learning space were recommended. I'm not sure that's where my school is headed. It seems more likely that we will start with station rotation mixed with some flipping.

    Finding the content and developing meaningful activities for flipping will be my challenge. With no control over the budget, everything will have to be created by me or free.

    The most important element for my classroom is student control of their learning. Many of my students are years ahead of the state-prescribed curriculum. Allowing them to determine their pace and path will feed their desire to explore careers and areas they may not have considered previously. Keeping them eager to discover is my first priority.

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  16. Loves the chart at the end. This definitely cleared up some misconceptions I had about what I thought would work. I'll be interested to see where we all decide to take our classes this year as we move forward in this technology-driven age.

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  17. This was the chapter I was looking for since the first chapter! After these past several chapters, I was wondering which would be the most feasible for me with my school's resources in mind d along with my teaching style. I thought the charts were easy to follow and made it simple. I feel I can slowly incorporate these changes and have a more rewarding experience this year.
    For me, one of the biggest questions is knowing how I as the teacher want to deliver the material. That's based on the studemts , what their motivators are, and how they learn best. As the teacher, I can change my strategies from time to time to deliver great material. As the book said, schools that hire great teachers is the best way they can help today's students.
    All in all, this chapter really drove home the idea that I can push through and Get some real blended learning taking place.

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    1. I totally agree with you that the charts were very easy to follow. At times, I felt a little overwhelmed with all the material in this book, but this chapter really helped clear things up. I often struggle with how I want to present a a new topic. I couldn't agree with you more on how you deliver a lesson all depends on your students, their motivators, and how they learn. Each year is new experience and great teachers will adapt their teaching style to best fit the needs of their students.

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    2. I also found this chapter as a positive boost to my understanding if all the concepts presented earlier. I'm in my second year at my new school and have switched from high school where I taught for 12 years to middle school. Coming up with the right lessons to motivate students has been difficult just from a age/culture standpoint. Question 1 is what I addressed with my administration when I was hired. I now have two new principals, and they said their goal for me is to get to 20% teacher-led instruction and 80% student-led. I'm hoping they have strategies to help me with the flipped classroom they are wanting. This chapter will help me when I sit down with them to set my goals.

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    3. I thought the charts were great too. They really helped me to understand the information better.

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  18. I appreciate Horn and Staker’s affirmation that quality teachers trump all other factors:
    “Studies show that strong families and trauma-free childhoods are hugely beneficial, but in terms of the element that falls squarely on the shoulders of schools, nothing is more important than ensuring access to great teachers.” Horn, Michael B.; Staker, Heather. Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools (p. 229).

    As a teacher I am an educator, lion tamer, and counselor all rolled into one. A teacher can blend, whirl, and beat content in a lot of different ways; most importantly an experienced teacher maneuvers what works for the students when the unexpected happens (daily): when there is no internet, when there has been a traumatic community event, when a student doesn’t have a mom, or has one but hasn’t seen her all summer, and when a heated e-mail arrives from the overly involved mother. Horn and Staker’s question “What problem are you trying to solve?” is key as it can be applied to much more than what model of blended learning is most appropriate. It is a simple question that I will remember was followed by a lot of tables and charts but looks differently when I see my students and my list of standards that I need to accomplish. “What problem are you trying to solve?”: a great question that I can also ask my students.

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    1. How very insightful. You rolled the entire concept into a neat little package. I really like how you voiced your opinion.

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  19. I liked how the author formulated the six questions that should help guide schools in developing blended learning in their schools. It is important to make sure all stakeholders are included on answering and developing these responses (administrators, teachers, students, and parents). The author also does a great job breaking down each question to further help the reader narrow down the focus on their answers. The author includes a great rubric to help stakeholders evaluate which models would be the best for their goals. As an elementary educator, I am interested in how other elementary would use this in their buildings. I feel that my lower 25% and 25% on on the education spectrum could be a great start to use some of these blended learning models.

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    1. The questions are so helpful! Everyone needs to have their input heard. I was thinking along the same lines as the lower 25% of the kids using this, but had never thought about kids on the spectrum! What a great resource teachers could use to help them understand in a new way. Each child is different and has different needs and there are so many programs that can tailor to all of them!

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  20. Questions 3 and 4 seem to have caught my attention the most. What I feel I will struggle most with blended learning is the control of the students and the lack of control with the teacher. I want my students to have an opportunity to control their learning. How to do that is the challenge for me. Question 3 helps me understand what questions to ask myself and gives some insight on ways to give them that freedom. Question 4 addresses the teacher's role. The opportunity for my students to not receive face-to-face instruction isn't available. I teach in a classroom where the students attend. There is not an option for primarily at-home instruction in my program. Students would have to enroll in a different school/course altogether. I'm hoping to incorporate a little of face-to-face instruction, as well as allow my students more freedom to be responsible for their learning. With that being said, I teach 4th grade. Students typically come to me at age 9 and turn 10 during the school year. I'm not sure how many will be responsible enough to implement individual learning on their own. I think my role has to be both a guider and and supporter. However, I plan to "play" with this concept and see what will work best for my kids.

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  21. Of the 6 questions to help you choose a model, I believe that #1 is at the top of my list to consider. What problem are you trying to solve? I want to consider this question from my classroom perspective, my grade level perspective, and my math department perspective.
    We are blessed to have been 1:1 for the last four years with many improvements made in our district along the way. What started years ago when our high school was part of the New Tech program has seen much development as we expanded. We are currently Ipads for K-4, Chromebooks for 5-12 (much better quality than on our first deployment of devices.) We began using Moodle for E-learning and have moved to Google Classroom, etc. As a math teacher I have access to Google, Study Island (with NWEA learning paths), Everyday Math (text and online), Brainpop, plus the limitless expanse of open source materials.
    Back to question #1, I want to figure out how to best engage and move forward all learners, so they ALL show growth - those below grade level, at grade level, and above grade level.

    For now I hope to try things in my individual classroom that I can share and develop with my grade level colleague who also teaches one section of grade 6 math and helps with grade 6 math rti. We are really focusing on stretching all students with gutsy goals. This means my core problem involves the mainstream students. I hope to work with station rotation and possibly entertain some form or variation of the flipped classroom. I want to find a way to work with different small groups on content where they are. I want to make sure that students at all levels have access to personal interaction with other students and with the teacher. I want to make sure that my face-to-face instruction with students is top quality.
    I am struggling with figuring out how to help students track their individual progress. This is the one component that I cannot quite get my head around. I am comfortable with Study Island, and Edmentum has made great improvements to help with this over the summer. I am going to more EDM training this week. I want to be able to combine these 2 programs with student accountability. From there, I hope to be able to create and develop more blended opportunities for my students.

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  22. I like how they brought the previous chapters into one with the six different questions to be considering when choosing the best model for you. I felt the charts throughout and at the end of the chapter were a great help in understanding where you stood and what was needed in answering the questions. The one question I seemed to be stuck on is the third question. Given the class I had last year, I have a lot of hesitation in allowing students to have control over the time, place, path, and pace of their learning. I think from the beginning my expectations need to be clear to them when working with technology and I feel goal setting will be important. The biggest part for me will be keeping track of growth and making sure students are still on track to succeed.

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    1. I liked the charts as well. It put everything so you could easily visualize the models. I also agree with having clear expectations in goal setting. I love the ideas of student paced learning but thee need to be highly motivated learners. What happens when students begin to struggle or get frustrated. ? There needs to be teacher intervention planned to accommodate for instances such as this. Overall though I felt the chapter did a great job of bringing the info together

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  23. For me I want to address my reading scores for mainstream students so I am going to take the blended learning approach as my intervention for many of my students. This means I need to choose a sustaining model of blended learning rather than a disruptive model. My choice would be a Station Rotation Model combined with Flipped lessons.

    I prefer to have my students choose the pace and path of the online course only rather than pathways for the entire course, or lastly the option of choosing when to skip the in-class experience too.

    I don't know that I have any space available to change my classroom physically. I think incorporating the new teacher desk with my personal monitor setup as well as spaces to meet with small group is a start and will free up more space. What else could I do to accommodate rotations and stations for blended learning? Could I free up a table that is for technology only or does sending kids out into the classroom create those same opportunities?

    We have a large number of chrome books available at all times. Typically we have enough for half the class, but we can borrow easily to make a complete class set when needed.

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  24. At this time, I think the station rotation model would work the best for my classroom. In my classroom I would be working to solve a core problem involving mainstream students, such as providing support and differentiation for the wide range of reading levels and writing competencies I have in my English classroom. Additionally, I would not need the help of heavyweight or autonomous teams, I could continue to use my existing classroom, and I have access to enough internet-connected devices to implement the rotation station model.

    I think my students would also respond to the variety that the station rotation model would provide. My students enjoy working independently and in small groups, but when tackling difficult or new concepts for the first time, I find many of my students like face-to-face interaction with a teacher. I think many of my students would like the opportunity to control the pace of their online learning as well. Giving students control over the pace of their online learning could potentially help keep students motivated and on-task. Too often students get sidetracked because they are either overwhelmed by the material or bored with it. I like that the station rotation model begins to give students control over their learning, but still allows for the teacher to give face-to-face instruction when needed. I think this would be helpful for traditional schools, like mine, just beginning to look at blended learning options.

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    1. I also like the station rotation model. Although I would be applying it in a math class instead of an English, it would be for much of the same core problems that you mentioned in your post. I agree, too, that the station rotation model seems that it could provide a wide variety of classroom activities for different learning styles. It also sounds like a good place to start blended learning in a traditional public school.

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  25. The chart at the end of the chapter is wonderful. I am focused on question #1 and "drilling down" into involving mainstream students. I work in a very big and diverse district and one solution for a school on the north side of town may not work for a school on the west side. I know there isn't a simple solution.

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  27. I like others here tend to ask what problem are you trying to solve? My school has had 1:1 for four years now. Blended would be a great step in making 1:1 meaningful but it would take the corporation making a dedicated effort to make it work. I almost feel like we are stuck in education between the old ways of the 1970's and 80's or older and the new ways of today but afraid to change. By going 1:1 we have not changed much because it has no focus I think blended would give it that purpose but I don't think it would ever be supported as it will need to be. It seems in education we are at the cliff and yet afraid to jump into the water below.

    I also think the station rotation model looks very much worth trying in the classroom.

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  28. Students in our district have trouble passing competency-based core curriculum. The #1 question is the most relevant for us. Station rotation and lab rotation would be the better blended-learning model. How to deliver small group instruction and monitor stations would present a problem. Students tend to log into other websites when not monitored. The district would be hesitant to employ people to simple assist students at work stations. What level of competency would monitors, for high school students, need? High school teachers are knowledgeable about their subject area. Monitors for each subject is not feasible.
    The availability of internet-enabled devices, #6, would hinder blended learning in my district. My school was given 100 laptops last school year. Money was not available to purchase the operating system. There are many desktops, because of school closings, but out dated wiring for internet connections prevents them from being used.
    Co-teaching, having enough devices for a fraction of the students, would be a possible solution to integrating blended learning. One teacher could monitor while the other teach small groups. Students would be helped by a certified knowledgeable teachers.

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    1. I'm in the same boat as you. Being able to monitor the students while on their devices is a major hurdle for us as we try to incorporate more technology-based curriculum. We are trying co-teaching this year, so I'm hopeful it will make a difference.

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  29. Like so many others, I really appreciated having the charts to compare models. I found the results interesting at the end as I marked each item throughout the chapter. The question that I want to pose to our administration is "Where can we visit schools that are immersed in the blended learning?" I feel that it would be so much more beneficial to observe it in action and be able to ask questions of those with more experience with it. I want to take this book back to school and share the concepts with my colleagues to see who might be interested in implementing some of it in the future. I know already that some will be more receptive than others, but I think there is a lot of merit in the concepts, especially with today's learners .

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  30. The question that has me on pause is #3 - What do you want the students to control? The middle school where I work has adopted a new district-wide science curriculum that is designed for students to work together in collaborative teams on a regular basis. While this concept does seem to align with part of the blended learning goals, the new curriculum, being heavy on lab work, would be very difficult to implement if students were allowed to move at their own pace. The lab work requires a time investment for myself to set up and will need supervision in the classroom. The labs are also created to be completed in a linear fashion because the results of one experiment are then used to perform the next. Having different groups of students working on different labs would not be realistic for my situation.

    Thus, students would not have very much control over the pace at which they move through the material. They would need to be present in the classroom to learn how to properly use lab equipment and perform experiments by participating hands-on. There will be a number of times that I will need to be the “sage on the stage” when performing demonstrations. I know that I could make or play videos of demonstrations, but that takes away from the impact of the experience. It also removes the opportunity for classroom discussions that arise from a shared experience.

    I am not opposed to blended learning and do incorporate technology into my lessons, but I’m still not seeing how blended learning would look in my classroom, given the curriculum I am going to be using. At best, I’d be using a sustaining model rather than a disruptive model. Are any other science teachers facing a similar dilemma?

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    1. Ues, we science teachers have labs we have to set up. If we are lucky enough to be in a lab in will be easier but what about thise that work in a classroom, do not have a lab, and have multiple subject area preps? How are they supposed to accomplish this?

      the main thin that I believe is needed is time. do not just say "here" and expect us to start. give us the equpment (tech), give us the training, and then give us TIME.

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  31. I believe the charts giving us guidance as to which blended environment would best suit our needs was the most helpful information yet. I have felt frustrated as I read the book and thought it was basically talking about high school innovations. As for me, a second grade teacher, I see the best process as the station rotation. I have used this for a number of years and once the students are evaluated, it is an easy process.

    I really felt vindicated with the statement regarding quality educators being the most important when students are concerned.

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  32. After reading this chapter, I like the six questions....but i see that it matters most WHO IS ASKING the questions. Is it the Teacher, Department, Special Ed., Counselors, Administrator, Superintendent, or School Board that is asking the questions. Usually the school district is asking the questions either to fill in the gaps for students who fall through the cracks of large school districts or small school districts that do not have enough students to offer enough classes. I hope the questions are being asked because "best practice" education is the goal, not how can we save money and not pay a teacher.
    I like the comparison of MATCH THE MODEL TO THE TYPE OF PROBLEM: transistors vs. vacuum tubes. Like technology, radios, computers, phones....the best examples work best when you build it smaller. I can see Blended Learning thriving and working best, with small numbers. Large schools do not look to
    wholesale change curriculum format for large subject area's, but use blended learning for their specific needs. Small schools have more gaps to fill in the elective curriculum. They can look at what works best for them and their student needs.

    P. 229- "Few people dispute that quality teachers are the single most important resource that schools can provide for students." Duh.... followed closely by... "Studies show that strong families and trauma-free childhoods are hugely beneficial......." In a perfect world. Students would show up to school, on time, ready to learn, willing to learn, without trauma-free childhood's... we wouldn't need Ala Carte, Blended, or any other alternative education form.

    As much as I want to say, MATCH THE MODEL TO THE ROLE OF THE TEACHER....in most blended educational situations, it needs to be MATCH THE MODEL TO THE DESIRED STUDENT EXPERIENCE.

    How many school districts or systems can tailor their educational setting to MATCH THE MODEL TO THE PHYSICAL SPACE? Don't most schools match their technology to what available space and needs they have....and just try to make them work together?

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  33. Question number 3 would be of the highest importance to me. I feel like this question is very broad and fits the other questions into it, such as #'s 5 & 6. The students already feel like they are in control of so much. Majority of out students, even in elementary, have access to personal devices. These devices allow them to find answers quickly, research absolutely anything and connect with others virtually in no time. All of this contributes to them feeling like they are in control of their own life, because they have access to the world in their hands. Saying all of this, the students ARE going to want control. They will fight for it and if we do not allow them to at least think they are in control, I do not see blended learning being successful. Questions I would ask to lead off of #3 are: How much, how often and in what ways are we giving them control? Will they be able to pace themselves without a teacher intervening and checking them after every lesson? Or will they have to be monitored and only move forward when told to do so by the teacher? These are important questions I have, especially when students are learning virtually. I feel like there could be a great balance. However, as I've stated in my previous posts it is so difficult to keep the students "entertained" online. They are used to the virtual world, much more than us. And my worry is that our ideas of a virtual/disrupted classrooms look like a regular classroom to our already technology infused students.

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  34. I think that with so many of our schools going one-to-one with technology, it might be difficult to say that you are doing a true version of some of the established models, since they are designed to function in an environment where access to technology is minimal. Among the six questions asked, I think the most important is a tie between what do we want the students to do and what the role of the teacher should be. I obviously value the role I have, but I would definitely be willing to alter the parameters of what I do in school if I had an evidence-based viable blended learning model in place that would serve my students better than I could. I think that is the main reason that we as teachers strive to improve our practice and change our methods of delivery in the first place. I think that the decisions that are integral to the implementation of any blended learning model must be made as a team effort. If not at the district or even the school level, then at least as a team at the grade level. I think that teachers would certainly have a better chance at integrating a blended learning successfully if it is done with a support system in place that can help address difficulty in transition from the factory model to the blended model, as well as to have someone who may be experiencing the same difficulty as they are when doing so. I would personally benefit from partaking in an established group as was mentioned in the book. I would learn most about how and why to integrate the model if I could see it in action in a successful way. I have been reading the book and I understand the principals involved, yet I feel like it would be easier to learn about blended learning with a first hand approach. We offer multiple means of representation, engagement, and expression for our students in the class because we understand that different people learn in different ways. I think the questions that are being asked are good questions that would help shape the thinking behind decisions made for blended learning, but I also would like to talk with colleagues and ask them about what considerations are important for them when answering the questions. Even with the framework laid out from the book, I keep wondering "where would I start"? I understand that identifying the areas of need is the most important and logical place to start, but I don't know what that looks like for my school. I could certainly not be the head of "heavy" group whose goal is to determine the areas of non consumption in my district. But, on the other hand, I would feel comfortable doing so if I was able to spend some time in a group that is already established and bring back information from that experience.

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  35. What struck me was in the beginning of the chapter where it talked about teams of folks touring BL environments to discover what works for them and how seeing it in action enable initial innovators to move forward. I think too often we forget this step and although we don't need to invent the wheel and we can beg, borrow and steal ideas about best fit for different environments there is something special about SEEING it play out. Interacting with the folks that are living it. Through this thread there were mention of others that had visited schools within the state pushing these types of initiatives forward. I still think despite what the author states that it is a valid way to inform decisions

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    1. I agree with the visits. That way, we ca network with others for ideas and help. The help will really be needed for teahers with miltiple subject area preps.

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    2. I also agree with the visits. Before we went to 1:1 all of our teachers had the opportunity to tour another school that had already had five of experience of 1:1. It was very helpful to talk to those teachers because they were generous in telling us about the things they would have done differently from the start. These visits were important because it helps us identify what will work and even what will not work in our own school setting and school culture.

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  36. As most people have posted, the charts were very beneficial in helping me figure out what would work in my classroom. Since the beginning, I have felt a station rotation would work best. I went and did some digging around on the website blendedlearning.org and found some videos that did a great job breaking down what one teacher did for different stations. On this site, there is also a forum where you can ask questions.

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    1. Thank you for posting a tangible URL link and feedback on what you found . . . "some videos with breaking down . . . different stations." I am curious as to whether the videos you found were for elementary or secondary classrooms? I found that most of the video links from earlier chapters in this book were for either very small student/teacher ratio school districts or elementary learning environments.

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    2. Also, I am going to sign up and ask questions at the Q&A Forum, thanks again!

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    3. I have also started following Catlin Tucker on twitter. She is a blended learning expert and has some great ideas. I believe she teaches 9th grade English which I felt helped me wrap my brain around incorporating the station rotation in my 6th grade class. Hope this helps!

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  37. At my school we are not one-to-one so the chart helps clearly look at models of blended learning that work well in the classroom. These include station and lab rotation.

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  38. I thought it was interesting that it was suggested that the language of schools and classrooms was outdated. I feel that learning should be more adaptable and not just a one size fits all. I am not sure how this would look but it sounds good to have learning studios, learning plazas, and home bases...

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  39. This chapter began with "replicate" and " beg, borrow, and steal" which is something all teachers have done for a long time, I think this quote peaked my interest! . These six questions gave me a way to bring everything into focus. I think question #1...what problem are you trying to solve and question # 4...what do you want the primary role of the teacher to be, are the most important for our schools to consider. We are blessed to be one to one schools for the past few years so question 6 is not an issue for us. I feel we have started shifting how we use our physical space to better meet the needs of our students. I have thought hard about question #4...I have not come up with an answer yet but I will continue to study for the rest of this discussion. In my classroom, I feel the station rotation would best fit the needs of my students. I am blessed to have instructional assistants available to help with stations and it would allow my special needs students to learn more independence in what they do each day. Lastly, the Appendix 8.1 chart is a tool for answering many questions I still have.

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    1. I agree with that quote Maggie! Instead of calling it "beg, borrow, and steal," I always asked the question, "Why reinvent the wheel?" There are so many resources available to educations now that were not possible when I started teaching 20+ years ago. My first classroom did not have a computer, but only had a telephone. I was so excited to get some worksheets and plans from a fellow teacher because I was starting from scratch. The explosion of information that the internet has brought is exciting and overwhelming. We have so many choices now. I think this chapter and the charts reminded me of this.

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    2. Replicating what others have already done is very much a part of teaching!! I love talking over ideas with others and sharing lessons. Seeing how others are implementing the changes with blended learning and what they feel works or doesn’t is always helpful.

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  40. I found the charts very helpful especially if you had a technology committee for your school or district that you were going back and discussing these ideas. I think for the traditional classrooms the station rotation and flipped classrooms are where we are at right now. We don't have computer labs anymore but we do have rolling carts of chrome books so we could make it a lab rotation if needed. We are getting closer to 1:1. Our next challenge is the role of the teacher and the role of the student, which will vary greatly K-12.

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  41. Chapter 8 helped me solidify my thoughts on station rotation and flipped classroom. All the questions helped reinforce the said two models. The only thing I would like to see is blended learning models used in an average level algebra 1 course in a public HS. In theory I understand how they work. Reality is what I as more interested in.

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  42. As I was reading this chapter, I quess I sank back into my "what about me mode". I have taught on-line but it was one class and I had time and was paid to develope it. the big question(s) I have is what about the teacher?

    It is easy to make a decision to go 1 ro 1 in a distrcit and to find the monies to pay for it. What kind of training and tme are "they" going to give a teacher to do this?

    Once the decision is in place, teachers now have to break it down into what they are going to do and how they are going to accomplish it. Currently, I teach science. I have one prep. what about the teachers that have multiple preps, are they gong to be given the release time to develop those subject areas or are they "on their own and have to use their own time."

    As far as the training, we all know that new things like this come in over the summer so that it can physically be put in place. teachers are going to come back to their buildings and have start using the equipment and programs. Are they going to be given more than a "quiickie: course on hw to accomplish this?

    I know that I have a negative tone and I apologize. I spent 8 hours ridng my motocycle on a trip yesterday, in the rain.

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  43. We have gone 1:1 a couple of years ago and I am still learning - I guess I would keep in mind that you don't have to do everything at once. I love incorporating technology into my class - I teach everything in fifth grade - but I didn't do it all at once - I added things a little at a time. I hope that this makes it feel more manageable. We did not get much in the way of professional development for this either - but there are lots of good online sites to help you out. Good luck! Sorry about the rain!

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  44. The comment above was meant as my reply to TM! Sorry!
    I love working towards a blended classroom but also feel as though there are certainly different "levels" of how much blending happens - even to the point of day to day learning. I flip my math class and do some in class flipping for mini lessons so we use tech most days - that being said, we also still do a lot of hands on and paper/pencil activities. One thing that I have learned since we have gone 1:1 is that we don't HAVE to use tech just because it is available.
    There are many times when I have to bag what I am doing if I see that kids are not getting it! I think that perhaps flexibility is important when working towards a blended classroom. I agree with other comments that seeing how things may work is really beneficial!
    For whatever it's worth, I have told my students that they are my "guinea pigs" and that we will try lots of stuff - some may be great - some may tank - but we will all learn. They love being the "guinea pigs" and are very helpful when it comes to tweaking things to help everyone to learn better. Maybe as teachers, we can let the students have more of a role as we embark on this since we are doing it to help them be better learners.

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  45. I found this chapter to be rather redundant. It simply asks me to do what the other chapters already asked me to do! That being said, I have decided that I will incorporate pieces of the Station Rotation model in my classroom. I have already moved my desks into group arrangements rather than rows, which I ALWAYS use. I have actually used the Station Rotation model in my class before, including online pieces. I incorporated this into a 3 day lesson as a prep for ISTEP, covering major topics such as Independent Reading/Constructed Response questions, Grammar, Vocabulary, Sentence Construction, etc. Students were grouped and moved through the stations every 20 minutes.

    One resource that I didn’t learn about until today is ed.Ted.com This site offers a video, comprehension questions (usually MC), and extension list of resources, and 1 or 2 discussion (open-ended) questions. What a great way to let students work at their own pace.

    Quill.org offers writing and grammar lessons. I haven’t done enough research to know if I’ll be using this site.

    Last year, I used NoRedInk.com, a grammar site. I didn’t use it regularly though. It was a “time-filler” if students finished a task early. It asks students for an inventory of their likes and then incorporates them into the grammar questions. The free option is very limited on topics, but at least it is something related to grammar that is accurate!

    Finally, I’ll use more of the KhanAcademy for grammar this year for sure. I like how it is very linear and offers both the instructional video and accurate practice questions. Most likely, I’ll create some sort of note-taking guide for students to fill out while watching the video to ensure they actually do so! I can include a page to record their answers as well to give them credit for their work.

    I’m still on the look-out for a great online writing program. Since time is running out, I’ll more than likely use the online tutorials that our Collections textbook offers. Since parents are paying book rental, I should probably actually USE the book!

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  46. I forgot to mention Catlin Tucker as a great resource for Station Rotation. Just do a search for "Catlin Tucker Blended Learning" on google or youtube. I can't believe I passed up the opportunity to attend her session at the BLForum17 conference. Wish I had taken that chance and learned from her in person!

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    1. Thanks for the tip to check out the videos by Catlin Tucker on the Station Rotation model. I have watched a couple of them and found this one helpful: 3 ways to shake up the Station Rotation Model. (http://catlintucker.com/2016/05/shake-up-station-rotation/) Thanks again for recommending this source.

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  47. I am getting ready to launch a co-teaching class comprised of resource students, low gen-ed students and average ability gen-ed students. Numbers are pretty equal of each ability level. I think the other teacher and I can incorporate the rotation, station and flipped methods in this setting and be effective. The people it will involve are the co-teacher, the other gen-ed teacher who is also teaching a section with my co-teacher and myself. This will allow us to challenge the higher ability students and move them forward while giving the struggling students more direct and individualized attention.

    The questions I keep coming back to are where do we find good, affordable resources, Where do we find the time and how do we organize so many people within the same subjects, across grade levels and across subject matters?

    Many have mentioned the importance of quality teachers and I think this is a given. I also have to wonder how we support these quality teachers who have new and different ideas? I think what I have struggled with most with this book as opposed to the others I've participated in is the limitations I as an individual teacher with frankly little decision making authority beyond my individual classroom. With the other books, I learned and applied easily in my individual situation. With this book for true change to happen, it has to be a system-wide focus with support financial support, time support and vision from the top down. I can make a drop in the sea which will have some ripples, but there will never be a significant change without a huge emphasis and buy-in from all parties involved.

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  48. Since our school has been one to one for a number of years now we have already experimented with some of the sustaining models. We are in the process of making some major changes in our school day to accommodate some of the disruptive models. I am not so sure that I am personally ready for the changes. I plan to take the path that suits my pace. I know innovation can be good but not everyone succeeds at the same pace nor the same way. My plan is to try some new approaches and build on those.

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    1. Good for you, Pam. Use your own pace and set your own path with all of the changes that are coming. You've had years of experience that you can lean on for what you know is best for your students and for yourself. Have you ever tried the flipped classroom model? Just curious if you have, how you did it and how it went.

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  49. As a preschool teacher I think station rotations would work best. I think that hands-on learning and face to face instruction is extremely important for these little ones. However, building a foundation of blended learning to work with local schools that our kiddos filter into could be helpful for the students and schools.
    I did find this chapter a bit overwhelming with where to begin and what to choose...so many thoughts and ideas. Being old fashioned I guess...I believe that a role of the teacher should be to get the learners to think independently and outside of the box. A teacher should get kiddos to engage actively in all content areas or areas of interest. Getting them to want to know more and want to understand processes or content.

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  50. When thinking of a model I feel the lightweight team with the station and or lab rotation is what I would like to use. The lightweight team coordinates with other parts of the school building and I do many lessons that do not involve the computer but I would like to start having specific parts of my schedule where I can use online activities. Presently I do have some computers in my classroom but I have very unreliable internet access and I have gotten plans ready only to not have access to the internet. Last year I did not even try to use the computers the second semester because they would not connect to the internet. The IT department is trying to fix the problem. I did take note of some of the websites that other individuals listed on this site and plan to check them out. The questions I can’t answer yet…… I’m not sure what or if I will be using blended learning this coming school year.

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  51. I loved seeing the book come together in this chapter and the charts were so helpful! As my classroom has grades K-5 I would need to make a more individual model that best fits each student. I am lucky enough to have two classrooms connected to give more space and opportunity for individualized learning space. This is something to slowly start rolling into as we embark on this 1:1 journey and I'm sure as we start out more questions will pop up.

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  52. Testing...Just typing a test blog since my name was not showing up. I thought I had everything lined up from the start to post my name, but I evidently did something wrong. I didn't realize it until chapter 7 when I posted my response and happened to look for it. I saw that my name was listed as an unknown. I guess I will see what happens. Any suggestions if it doesn't work. I did register through Blogger now whereas before I did only through my Google account.

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  53. Yeah! It worked! I wonder if it will fix my past posts from unknown to my name. Any ideas? Is it easy to find my old posts?

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    1. My name is Juliette LUcas. my name doesn't show up either.. I checked on google, my name is in there. What did you do on blogger to add your name? I have found it difficult to find my old posts, but then my name is not there.
      Juliette LUcas

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    2. registering with blogger fixed my no name too.
      thanks.

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    3. ok I found my old post by find command Ctl + F LIttle box at top left came up saying find and then I typed my name. However I could not edit it to have my name and I tried to reply to my post and just say replying to show my name, but it would not publish anything. So I guess I could copy each one and delete and repost but then they would all be posted with todays date and I did such a good job doing them all within the appropriate week. I guess Ill just leave it.

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  54. First off, I would love to be a part of a team that is sent across the country to tour the facilities, talk to the students and talk to the teachers who use blended learning in different innovative schools, like the team in the Odyssey Initiative! However, reading about the various innovative schools in this book and the clips it provides is helpful. As it says on page 220, "...the next step for successful blended learning is replicate. Beg, borrow, and steal from examples of successful blended-learning models already in place."

    After looking at the six questions that one needs to contemplate before choosing a blended learning model and reviewing the 7 models presented in this book, one model especially stood out for me. Primarily because it is just me, a "functional team," (question #2), because it is a core problem, (question #1), because I want students to control their own path during the online portion of the course, (question #3, because I'd like my primary role to move more to providing face-to-face tutoring, guidance and enrichment to supplement online lessons, (question #4), because I can only use my existing classroom, (question #5) and because we have enough devices for all students to use in class and have at home...I would choose the flipped classroom model. This hits every one of the questions and something that is actually getting me excited to try.

    Another reason, beyond the aforementioned six reasons, I think the flipped classroom would work best for me and is something I'd really like to try is because like many other educators, I teach multiple sections of one class. FIVE of the same class for the last few years. As one can imagine this can get tedious and takes a lot of energy to give each class a fair chance at what I teach. I'm sure it comes at a cost for my students too, in what may become a somewhat mechanical and not-as-enthusiastic-as-the-first-few-classes way.

    This drives me even more to try the flipped classroom. I could make one, fully energetic lecture and then be there during class to lead discussion or assist with homework or project work.

    My question is to other flipped classroom teachers. How do you know each individual student has watched your lectures at home? I can imagine having them take notes or answering questions posed throughout the recorded lecture...but copying would be an easy option and there are always those students who simply won't do any work related to school at home for various reasons. I guess the same can be said of homework in the traditional classroom so perhaps I've already answered my question. I can see how it is a whole new mindset the teacher has to take on with a flipped classroom...especially if you are like this old girl...teaching the traditional way for the past 27 years.

    So any tips, thoughts, ideas from those of you that already have flipped classrooms? I really appreciate your help and experienced guidance!

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  55. The charts helped me confirm that station rotations were right for me. I am thankful to have read this book and the comments listed from all the other teachers!

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  56. For years, I have been looking into finding ways to incorporate the flipped classroom into my teaching environment. I find that there are several constraints that keep me from pursuing this as a permanent solution. First, not all of my students have access to internet or devices outside of school. Sure, I can say that they need to prioritize my class, but the reality is that they are barely keeping up with all of their classes plus difficult home lives. It is unlikely I would get a majority of the students participating in a flipped classroom as things stand now. Second, not all of my content should be delivered in that way. I would like to integrate certain features of the flipped classroom into what I do (which I think would be more manageable for my students), but features are a far cry from blended environments. Third, I don't think blended classrooms are the answer for everyone. I loved the part of the chapter that discussed identifying the problem. Our district has done this well, as it appears we utilize blended learning for nonconsumption issues. We do not need it beyond that at this point.

    I struggle to see how the teachers' individual roles would play out effectively (as mentioned on page 230). I realize that we would work as teams to support the students, but I don't know if the roles they suggest would be ideal for the students. I do all of those things right now and use my intimate knowledge from one to drive my understanding of the others. Is there more than anecdotal evidence that creating environments like this really help students' overall development including social-emotional development?

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    1. You bring up a great point to all of these and I feel as if I could fit right into your shoes! You voice all that I am feeling as I head into the new school year. I would simply add only one question- How do I work with others around the school when I am the only one who teaches my subject area! The idea of team teaching according to expertise would not work for me because I am alone in my department in our small rural school. How could I send a student who has the computer knowledge to work the blended side of the spectrum to someone who has no idea of my content area? Again, if the technology even works at all, then I am stuck yet again. I have team taught before with English classes on a combined novel but I still feel the workings of this would take a great deal of effort on both our parts to overcome the fear of working with the areas that are lacking- the computer teacher with Spanish and the Spanish teacher with computers!

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  57. I think the easiest for me and as stated in the chapter the easiest for most is station rotation or flipped classroom. It would cause change on my part that does not change any of the other parts of the school. Once you look at changing other parts of the school it gets SUPER complicated as unfortunately many are resistant to change.

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  58. I think that blended learning for me and my team will just be starting within my own class. I don't know what page everyone else is on or if they are willing to even try this. I will be doing a station rotation in my classroom. These questions really got me started thinking on how exactly this would look in my room. It also had me pondering if I would stay with a station rotation for the full school year. Would it be bad practice to shift between ideas of blended learning? I feel like I should get my feet wet with one type before mixing them. I'm excited for this new journey and these awesome leading questions to guide me to the correct path. Let the planning out commence!

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    1. I don't think it is a bad idea at all to try multiple ways of blended learning. This would certainly help you identify what might work best for you classroom. Giving one particular model a try for a period of time would probably be important before moving on to another but I am sure you know that. Could be a cool thing!

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  59. I was glad to hear the authors state that unless you're filling a void left by nonconsumption, then you will probably be implementing a model that will help to sustain what the school is already doing. So much of this has felt like "pie in the sky" material that I was glad to read this chapter. It felt a lot more applicable than many of the previous chapters. As I think about how my district handles credit recovery, I find that we are doing about as well with that as we can. Some students are in an alternative education program at that point, and they can often do their work off campus. If they actually are enrolled in what we use as our alternative school, then they may not even have to attend "school" nearly as much because they are doing so much of their coursework on their own path and pace using the APEX program. If they have questions or need something, they have a teacher that they can contact. Some of them do attend physically on a more normal basis because that works out better for them, and the teacher is there in the classroom with them. The others are communicating with the teacher using email and online opportunities.

    I have been working with a teacher who has flipped their classroom, and I was glad to see that many of their questions and concerns were the same ones that were brought up in the book about path and pace. This teacher has been pretty creative and is not afraid to try new things when it comes to "How much do I let them go on their own?" and "How often should I bring them together and use class time to do whole-group activities?" as it relates to the pacing of the course.

    Considering the community that we live in, I think one of the biggest questions that would come up is the one about what the role of the teacher should be. We are a 1:1 district, but that doesn't mean that everyone likes it. I have spoken to some parents who claim to wish that we just go back to regular books/paper/pencil courses and that they regret our decision of placing a computer in every student's possession for them to use at school and at home. Some of them really question what our teachers are going to be doing if we continue to move towards online components. Some of them think that the teachers are using the technology too much and that it appears that the teachers are becoming "lazy" in regards to how they used to teach, grade, etc. I have a school board member who stated they wish we would go back to the way it used to be, before the 1:1 initiative, and have traditional classes where the community lets the teachers shut their doors and "teach" their class (favoring lecture-based instruction). We have never told our teachers to stop teaching and let the technology do it for them, and I am very happy with how most of our faculty has implemented technology into their classrooms. For the most part, the students are happy with it too.

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    1. Joe, Your post brings up so many of the questions and concerns I have as well. While I believe our community (1 El ed/1 middle/1 high school in the district) is glad that we have technology available, they would not be excited to hear that I was having my students do their learning at home and for me to facilitate completely during the schoolday. In addition, your concerns about the board of education make me wonder how much of this our board would be interested in if it was aware of it?
      I do agree that computers are tools and should be utilized as such. I plan to use more of a rotation model in my classroom. Yesterday, my "dead" computer was replaced with a live computer, so I'm up to 3 computers on a daily basis and have the laptop cart 1 day a week. If my students are only watching a video, not doing an activity, they can work in pairs at the computers. This will allow me to rotate stations among 24 students in 3 or 4 groups, rather than make students wait.

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  60. I really like the fact that they used the charts in this chapter - the visual really helped me in thinking of what my answers might be to each question. I still believe the station rotation would work best for me for a variety of reasons - 1) I am a primary teacher and I feel like this method would work best for this age of students 2) I am fairly new to the district and I am not aware yet of what all is going on in other schools (like the high school) as far as blended learning is concerned but I am aware that they are going 1:1 in some schools/grades 3) I think the rotation model would be a great starting point that would require little impact on others; therefore requiring little help from other teachers or administration and finally 4) if this model works and students are showing progress then I feel like the administration would definitely be on board to help blended learning spread to other areas of the building/district.

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    1. I agree the blended-learning model charts at the end of the chapter are very helpful in summing up the chapter. These charts are helpful in developing a menu of models and options for student success in the classroom.

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  61. In looking at this chapter, I think that as a teacher I am searching for solutions that fit my mainstream students and not a nonconsumption problem. Having said that I am gravitating more toward the station rotation, Lab rotation, and Flipped models because they are sustaining to the current school, I can does some if not all that is required in my room, they would not need a large team, and my students already have the tech and internet required. Station Rotation could work, however the physical space question comes into play because I have a small room and once you put 30 kids in there it is hard for them to move around. However, I do have the media center next to my room so I might be able to use some of that space. Lab Rotation seems out because of the invasive nature to the space I already have and the need for more people to be involved. It seem that they of model would require some changes to the school schedule and other technical things that would require a team and some planning. So having said all that, I think the Flipped Class is the most practical for me to try with out having to go through a bunch of changes. The one question I have always had though ever since I heard the term Flipped was the idea of what do you did if the kids are not willing to watch the lectures at home? We all know how hard it is to get kids to do things outside of school...even homework. So how can you depend on them to watch a lecture at home that is vital to the next day's work when they won't do anything else? Maybe the answer to that will be covered in the culture chapter.
    Even though I think that a sustaining model would be best for my classes right now, I think for the future a more disruptive model would be better. I have said from the start that I like the idea of allowing the student to design their learning space, time, and pace. But how to do that still remains a mystery to me.

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  62. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  63. I think the 2 most important questions to answer are 1) What problem are you trying to solve and 4) What do you want the primary role to be. However, one could argue the most important questions would be 5) What space can you use.. Until you have space, you may not be able to continue.
    But I would say 1 & 4 are most important in the actual setup assuming you have space.
    I like that the author provided charts in this chapter, it really helped it all make sense.
    If you want to incorporate blended learning school wide, you really need an administrator to answer these 6 questions. If the goal is just for your own classroom station rotation would work nicely.

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  64. As our district gets ready to go 1:1 this fall with K-6 Chromebooks, I look forward to using the station rotation model. I agree with others that the charts were a helpful way to think about our needs and resources in this chapter.

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  65. I have found the charts in this chapter very helpful. I am going to take this book into our next tech committee meeting.
    I think going with the flipped classroom is what is going to work in at least my class. I would like to bring it into all my classes. As I have seen others posted, it is really about what is going to work in your own classroom. I am a high school Sped teacher, and I don't think my classroom would work the same as a general ed teachers.
    I really look forward to sharing this book with our tech committee and our administrators.

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  66. This chapter definitely made me feel like station rotation and flipped learning could be more possible in the classroom in comparison to the first few chapters. Chapter two discusses the importance of NOT using a hybrid model, rather a completely blended format. Nevertheless, after reading this chapter, I felt as if my classroom’s non-consumption “problem” of independent reading could be more accessible using a station rotation. In fact, this is somewhat what I do already. I meet in small groups or individual conferences throughout the entire day during our Reader’s and Writer’s Workshops and independent reading time. Being a kindergarten teacher, the rotating and immediate feedback is constant within my classroom community. Then it hit me that one area of growth for myself and my students is creating a Math Workshop. Utilizing online programs for individualized math stations would be a great next step.
    I still wonder what a non-consumption “problem” like modeling grit and resilience (a portion of our district wellness initiative) would look like for students if they were expected to learn these skills or see them in action solely through an a la carte learning platform…. Thoughts?

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  67. From reading previous comments its seems like station rotation and flipped classroom seem to be receiving the most support, and I must also agree these, I think, would provide the ideal balance of ease of implementation and making enough change to actually observe a difference. And I think it would take a grass roots effort of a small but dedicated group of teachers to prove to administration and other teachers alike that implementing these models proves to be fruitful. Only when you have the support of many could you move to even more modular teaching models and nontraditional classroom spaces. In regards to timing, my school does not yet operate on a one to one model, but will likely make that switch within the next couple years. This might actually be ideal timing to develop a plan of action among teachers before actually receiving the technology. This would allow for more targeted and productive training and implementation once we did receive it.

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    1. I have loved seeing how many of us loved the charts in this chapter. I use "charted" information a lot - everything from grammar, elements of plot, vocabulary - whatever. A chart (especially one created by the student) is a powerful way to organize data. I wish I had kept a count of how many of us mentioned that!

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  68. Having read through Chapter 8 and to answer question #1, it seems to me that the Flipped Classroom model and Station Rotation model would work best for the primary aged classrooms in my building. To address question #2, we largely use Functional teams to solve problems. Our departments and grade levels work closely together. The Flipped Classroom and Station Rotation models are compatible with the Functional team. Station Rotation and Flipped classroom give students freedom to control their pace and path in the online portion of the course which I also believe is more appropriate for younger elementary aged students. To address Question #3, these models also give the teacher the primary control during face-to-face classroom time.

    Since blended learning is a relatively new concept in my building, I believe that #4 the question of the primary role of the teacher is important to address. The movement away from the front of the classroom is a scary one, especially in an elementary setting, but with the introduction of the Station Rotation model it can successfully help guide how the teacher can be used in other ways.

    To address question #6, all students in my building have access to Chrome books. They do not get to take these home though. In terms of physical space, question #5, I do see creative and innovative ways in how teachers rearrange the space in my building. Station Rotation and Flipped Classroom models work well within the existing classroom space. This is a good thing since we only have one computer lab that in the building.

    I like how the chapter addressed that model selection presents an opportunity for lots of creativity. Perhaps a combination of several models isn't a bad idea to try. It seems as though innovative schools are doing this successfully right now.

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  69. I have done a lot of thinking as I have been reading, as far as the questions I am able to answer all of them. Probably the hardest question to answer was type of team. The charts helped to settle in my mind that a light weight team was needed at this time. What will work for my class is a combination of the flipped classroom and station rotation. I have been having a lot of conversations with my principal as I have been reading the book and my class is the pilot class this year. Though I will be working with the 5th & 6th grade teams and the technology coach to implement blended classrooms next year in both grades. I can foresee that adding more people to the mix will cause perhaps differing options about the answer to some of the questions.

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  70. I love the idea of a flipped classroom, but our school is not 1:1. I hope to see this happen in the near future. Station rotation and lab rotation are a more likely option with the number of chromebooks in our building. But our school has a serious internet connection problem, which can cause havoc on teacher plans. One question I have came from a statement on pg 237. "One group of Catholic schools we ADVISED did not have a device for every student they wanted to include in the blended pilot." Advised is the word that stuck out to me here. Many of the blended programs around the country have had valuable help establishing a blended learning program. Do these schools have a better success rate than schools jumping in and doing it on their own?

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  71. As we go 1:1 this year, I plan to use the station rotation model for math and reading. While we do not do blended learning, I am going to focus on becoming familiar with using Canvas. Canvas will enable my students to become more independent and collaborative. Face-to-face instruction is still a must at the 3rd grade level.

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  72. I believe the lab rotation and the flipped classroom would be successful would be successful at my school. This would offer students more control over the pace and path. This would allow the teacher to design student's learning, provide support, mentor, tutor, encourage discussions, and evaluate student work. Our school has computer labs and computer carts that would accommodate all students with devices they need.
    The blended-learning model charts at the end of the chapter are very helpful in summing up the chapter.

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  73. To be honest I don’t see how any of this can work right now except for whatever individual teachers can do in their rooms, such as Flipped Classroom or some sort of Rotation. Any significant changes would have to be decided in a committee with administrators. On the other hand, we are already 1:1 so we wouldn’t have to worry about that part.
    In my mind I am exploring the possibilities of flipping my classroom from time to time so that students can learn the lecture portion as homework. I want to experiment with this to see if students will actually do their homework. As of last year very few of mine actually did their homework in some quiet place where they could concentrate, if they did it at all, or they crammed it in between classes. How would they listen to a lesson that way? And what would I do for the students who didn’t learn the material? I might wind up reteaching the same thing anyway and time would be wasted? Other teachers I know have tried it and some like it and some don’t. I want to find out for myself.
    I think a rotation model would also be beneficial to try. I haven’t thought through yet how I would do it.

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  74. I really liked the six guiding questions and summary chart in this chapter. As I think about what models of blended learning would best fit my classroom, I found these extremely helpful. I already use (to an extent) the lab rotation model. I would like to try the flipped classroom model this school year as well. Face to face time is so limited and important in the classroom, I want to maximize it as much as possible.

    Outside of my classroom, I think blended learning is most likely to start in areas of need - credit recovery and advanced course offerings. Programs like APEX are already in place to meet the needs of these students. If the general classroom teachers can start with hybrid models, I think there is a higher likelihood of success as we make the push towards blended learning across all levels.

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  75. For me the important question is what problem are we trying to solve. For high school students the problem could be for lost credit, courses not available, special interest, better retain students towards graduation or a number of other reasons. Time must be spent really looking at the problems and possible solutions. I appreciated the last paragraph on page 221. The authors discuss the radio transistor. How often have we educators implemented a “new” program/curriculum only to see it end before we really had a chance to see results? If you have taught long enough we learn to save everything because what all the ideas come back again.
    The other question that must be addressed is the primary role of the teacher. I totally agree with the quote “nothing is more important that ensuring access to great teachers.” If teachers feel they are being pushed out by a computer will we lose great teachers? Quality time spent in professional development will also be necessary. Too often professional development is offered at the end of a long day. Teacher’s opinions must be valued. Teachers are known for being flexible, but change is always difficult. Not all teachers feel comfortable with technology.

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    1. Mollie, you bring up so many great points! I agree that teacher voice is imperative, especially when beginning new initiatives. I so greatly appreciate those who are actually carrying out the program and our district is starting a new "Instructional Technology Task Force" specifically for that reason. This team is comprised of volunteer teacher leaders who have a passion for technology and we are hoping that enthusiasm will expand across the district. The idea of the penduluum swinging in education is so true. We all hang on to so many of our "old" ideas in case they come around again. We also do not want anyone to feel that they are less important than a computer. The teacher is still the number one factor for student success and computers help to enhance instruction, not replace instruction. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  76. I like the questions. This gives teachers a good idea of what to ask themselves as they move toward the blended learning process. I certainly think the first question of what problem are you trying to solve is the most important question so it is the first question asked. Teachers must identify the problem or the rest of the process will not work. then identifying the team and asking what type of team is needed to solve the problem follows. This also ties back to the types of teams we discussed earlier in the book. The right team gives us the best chance of solving the problem. the student experience is also paramount to the process. what type of experience to we want the students to have and what do we want them to control? Finally, we get to the role of the teacher. What is the primary role of the teacher? Teachers are important and tie the whole process together. But it is important that we not start with the teacher but define the above stated problems or questions before deciding on the role of the teacher. We all share space problems at time so we next need to ask ourselves or plan for certain physical space. finally without the right amount and type of internet enabled devices the whole process could be doomed. Choosing the best model is critical to the task at hand and it is best to use the provided questions to help us achieve this task.

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  77. Main problems:
    1. For me, I am not sure what our main problem to focus on would be--from my perspective (as a special education teacher), I see the main problems being gaps in skills/learning and students who do not care about learning or education. For other teachers, I think a main problem or concern would be putting our faith in something new/different to teach the standards. How do students in these different programs do on state testing? We know that the tests aren't everything, but they are a big chunk that we do have to consider (I hate saying that!). Is it enough? Will the students learn what they need to be prepared for testing and the future?

    2. Students not invested in or interested in school and learning. I have seen many students completely waste 55 minutes of class work time by goofing off; the only consequence is a bad grade, and they do not seem to care. Now, we do have some independent, self-directed students who would benefit from different structured classes. Maybe if we allowed those kinds of students to participate in rotation or flipped classes, it would motivate the other students to change their thinking and behaviors so that they could also participate.

    3. Not all students have Internet access at home. Even when teachers have made curriculum available offline, if there isn't a responsible (halfway tech-savvy) adult at home, the work still won't get done for many students. It doesn't take much of a hurdle to give them an excuse to not do their work.
    I am always thinking about the students who are missing skills (gaps in their learning). It would be wonderful to be able to offer remediation programs to help close some of those gaps. This would most likely change their perceptions about and behaviors at school so that we could offer differently-structured classes.

    Not problems
    1. Device for every student-we have that. They can even take them home. We are very fortunate in this aspect.
    2. Job of the teacher: I think many of our teachers would embrace the ability to wear different hats (or wear fewer hats simultaneously) in the classroom to give students what they need.
    3. We have space for many of the models, especially if we have enough teachers on board.

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    1. All of these concerns have great merit! These are the types of issues that take a great idea like Blended Learning and have it fizzle out because the implementation was unsuccessful. I have too seen students, of all different levels, waste 90 minutes of independent work time! The difference, I hope, will be in created the cultural norms discussed in the next chapter, reward & punishment system and also I think the choice for students to complete work will also help! Putting more responsibility on the student consistently might eventually have them step up to the plate! Great ideas!

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  78. As I read through this chapter, I used many questions to put together all of the pieces of the puzzle for the hybrid of the blended classroom I discussed in the majority of my posts. First, I don't feel overly compfortable or confident with technology, but I'm not the problem. I will take the time to learn and implement the technologies I would need to use in order to benefit all of my students. From the beginning of the book, I feel as though I have identified a problem and started to put the pieces in place to create possible solutions. I think one of the harder pieces of this puzzle, is figuring out type of team would work best. As I posted in an earlier comment, I have found that not all teachers or administrators are good at being a member of a team and sacrificing something for the "greater good". Assembling the right team is what could be the driving force for this hybrid to function at the level that is most beneficial to the student and teacher. Any kind of space problem could be eliminated by the fact that I don't believe this blended learning would really need to be used for all of the students in our school. The problem I came up with, is which students would benefit most from the blended hybrid? Those students who have been identified would be a part of this program, you could eliminate the need for a whole lot of space. The role of the teacher should never really change. I believe that we could use the virtual/online classroom or class work to enhance our daily lesson plans and in-class activities. This would allow us to scaffold each lesson accordingly, making the lessons more meaningful and personal to each and every student. We need to physically be infront and with students on a daily basis for many reasons beyond the content we are teaching and wanting the students to learn. Our goal as educators is to create lifelong learners. I truly think that if we were able to put all of these puzzle pieces together, the implementation of this hybrid blended learing would be an unbelievable program for students, teachers, administrators, and the community.

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  79. I think the model that will work best for me is the station rotation or the flipped classroom. I also think that a grade level team of teachers will work very well for our current point in the blended learning switch. We are just embarking on this process as students will be receiving 1-to-1 devices this year and we will be expected to use a learning management system called Canvas. There are probably numerous questions that this chapter brought up that I cannot yet answer due to the freshness of the situation but I feel like these two models would give a good starting point. I would definitely think this will adjust my role in the classroom and I'm sure I'll learn how exactly to adjust as the year goes on. I can also see my self experimenting with how much control I want students to have-I might try out a few different possibilities to see how it goes and as we all do I'm sure I'll learn from those experiments.

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  80. My problem to solve would be how to drive up standardized testing scores. I think the flipped classroom would be great for many reasons. One is that I could use the existing space. Another is that I could have more face-to-face involvement with the students. That was always something I struggled with in the traditional classroom. Students would go home sometimes unsure of how to complete homework. Then, questions would linger until the assignment was due the next day. I see the flipped classroom as being simpler to ease into than some of the other models. Many of the elements of the traditional classroom are still there, just in reverse order. I think my student population's parents plus my administrators would see this as a good starting point to ease into blended learning. Most importantly, however, I like how this model would allow for students to hopefully control their paces more easily. Differentiating is so essential, and flipping my classroom can help this work.

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  81. I appreciated the questions and charts that were in this chart. I really think this made the information more relevant and easier to digest and use.

    I envision my school doing the station rotation model - for now! I believe this model is a great way to introduce the concept of blended learning to my entire staff, and it allows for me, as an administrator, to set expectations for observations. My school has Canvas, but my staff doesn't utilize its functions completely. The benefits of blended learning partnered with a robust LMS can help increase our engagement and student achievement.

    I'm excited for the possibilities!

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  82. This chapter was helpful in thinking about what you would think about when beginning this process. I think the station rotation works at the primary level. We do have 1:1 and do use them for eLearning days, but younger students wouldn't do the flipped classroom model unless, as others have stated, they have a tech-savvy parent or older sib that could help. I think that the students being motivated continues to be a concern for all students. With the stations it frees up the teacher to be working with small groups or individuals, however the concern of motivating young students during their station work time to continue to work and learn is crucial.

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  83. Since I teach HS science, there are days when I already do a form of station rotation when we are in a lab setting. I often have kids on different tasks in different locations, although the stations usually lack total open-endedness; I have a desired outcome for the students. With the hope that we go 1-1 or have technology more accessible in our school's in the near future, I would like to incorporate much more independent "search and learn on your own" type instruction to the lab setting. Especially in science, not every experiment or activity should be expected to turn out the same, and when something unexpected occurs, I would hope to teach the kids how to decide for themselves what may have caused the outcome and/or what steps to take next. My fear is that so many students will still need guidance when given the vast realm of the internet from which to find their information, that I will be stretched thin and not able to adequately help everyone (especially at the start of the year when everyone is adapting to the new setup). Grading and assessment is also an area that overwhelms me as the teacher because there could be an infinite way to express the "right" answer. Regardless, station rotation is what I view as the best way to introduce blended learning into my classroom, for both myself as the teacher and leader and for my students as new users of this concept.

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  84. In reading the comments from other teachers, I would agree that the question this week really needs to be put in the hands of district coordinators and administrators for the full potential of blended learning for our students to be achieved. I disagree that it might take 40 years; I have seen tremendous results in data and in culture from a staff, admin, and students who are committed to creating a different way of learning. I appreciate that the chapter focuses again on the methodology and a step by step process that will ensue success. Being able to anticipate the possible questions and issues ahead of time is why many implemented programs fail. I do not think that in my school, which is 5,000 plus students, the disruptive model has superseded the best version of the traditional classroom. In fact, I am not sure we have even had the time to consistently create the best version of the traditional classroom. For instance, the idea of a Flipped Classroom, at least for us, is new and just the idea of incorporating that with the use of new programs such as Canvas are overwhelming on their own. I do believe that this point, our school should be in the Sustaining Models. Our district is so big that classroom models of Blended Learning are the option. We do not have a district or administration acting as a heavy weight team to create change and quite frankly, in a large district, they would be "shock and awe" resulting in many teachers resisting the change. In my planning I have begun to develop lessons incorporating more Flipped Learning for new material, continue with but expand my use of Station Rotation and use Lab Rotation in a different way. In terms of the idea of rotation, I plan to use a combination of individual and collaborative activities that expand on content learned and process skills of thesis and writing skills. Along with these small group experiences, some of the best traditional classroom experiences is whole group simulations and discussions. I really do see myself using the multi-model techniques. I think it is important to build the relationships in small groups and community in the grander classroom!

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  85. I think for me Blended learning will be more of me trying things on my own with a colleague or two and then maybe helping the rest of the dept. develop it. I feel most comfortable with a flipped classroom for a beginners but I also see the value of an A La Carte or Flex model specifically as it relates to differentiation or remediation. I think websites like NewsELA or the SmithsonianMagazine.org can help with that type of instruction in the areas of reading comprehension. We shall see, but I'm pretty excited to try. I think having students control their pace is a good place to start with blended learning. I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable with the student controlling the entire path aspect but certainly taking a gambol down a side path as it relates to the rest of the curriculum could really help keep the student engaged. Still looking for websites or supplemental apps etc. to make that happen.

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  86. I liked that this chapter revisited the different models and then gave parameters for selection. As I am reading this book, I am drawn more to the station rotation model. This is for a few reasons. 1. I teach 9th grade English, so preparing these students for success on the 10th grade ISTEP is paramount. 2. We are a 1:1 iPad school, so I have the technology and infrastructure to proceed with station rotation. 3. I want to explore the station rotation in my classroom this year, with a bit of the flipped classroom as well, to hone the experience. As the year progresses, I hope to be able to feel comfortable enough with its progress to share ideas with colleagues within my department. Hopefully this sharing of ideas will happen sooner than later.
    Using station rotation to better prepare students for ISTEP excites me. We do have a software program that is self-directed and self-paced, so some students could be working on it for remediation, building of basic skills, and test prep while another group is collaborating on a lesson. I could then be working with a small group of students to move them forward where they need to be to get on pace for their grade level. I am sure there will be a lot of trial and error at the beginning, but I am hopeful this will be a way to bring lower students closer to grade level mastery.

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  87. I have to say I do like the set up of this chapter. The diagrams were very helpful.
    I felt like I could easily answer the questions and would know exactly what blended model would fit my needs. However, I feel like I had to answer some of these hypothetically. There is no budget for online learning at my corporation so all curriculum would have to be made or researched by me. That adds a lot of work and stress to an already stressful job. I do feel I can take some of these ideas and make them work for my classroom but probably not to the liking of what the book is describing.

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  88. I agree that one of the first steps to implementing a program should be defining the problem to be solved, however that is not a one person job. I believe the first step should be surveying all stakeholders in order to define the problem to be solved. Teachers, administrators, students, parents, and even community members, all stakeholders should have a say in tackling a transformative change such as the full implementation of a blended learning program. It is also important for a change like blended learning to be aligned with the school's vision. If a huge shift to blended learning does not help in fulfilling the vision, perhaps a small version of blended learning is in order, such as the station rotation model. Or perhaps the school's vision could be revised to meet the needs of our 21st century learners. The idea of blended learning is a large shift for many stakeholders, however if they were to feel a part of the process (maybe in revising the school's vision) there would be more buy in and less resistance.

    In general, I see the schools that I work with using the station rotation model and perhaps some classroom flipping. I am a coach in two elementary schools, and those teachers are already experts in the station model. So adding a more purposeful technology station is an easy thing to do.

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    1. I like what you said about allowing stakeholders to be part of the process. I agree that you will definitely have more buy-in if people are included in the process and kept up-to-date from start to finish.

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  89. I think the problem that most stood out to me is What problem are you trying to solve? Actually focusing on one problem is more of the issue. Our students are not 1:1 until January which means we won't be able to go blended yet. My students have access to 3 classroom computers for the most part. Another question I have is how this will work if my kids don't have internet access at home while others will. Next how will the parents of my rural corporation respond to all of the changes that a blended program will involve. Since I already do parts of the station rotation, I feel comfortable enough to improve on it in the future.

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    1. We are in the waiting place of one to one also. An idea they suggested to help rural students with access is they may place routers on school buses and at the end of the day park them in places in rural areas where students could have access to utilize their chrome book. I have utilized flip and with limited labs and multiple individuals needing labs it can be difficult to get in.

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  90. I think that the questions that stick out to me the most at least as possible barriers are 5 (physical space to use) and 6 (number of internet-enabled devices available). These are the two that I think I would struggle with the most because they are pretty much out of my control (and of course we teachers for the most part struggle with giving up control- which could go along with questions 1 and 3 which deal with student control and the role of the teacher). We are not 1:1 so we must take advantage of computer labs and carts and having students bring their own devices (this is still not a 100% guarantee). I do believe I have some options in which I could implement such as station rotation and flipping much like someone a couple of posts above me mentioned.
    I am fortunate that two of my classes area co-taught and between the two of us I really think we could find a workable solution for a blended classroom (we are also blessed with having at least one IA). Many of our students have an IEP so the flex model would also be very advantageous. Question number 4 about the primary role of the teacher being face to face, tutoring and supplemental would also serve a co-taught classroom well. Table 8.6 on page 236 provides a nice visual to help know which model would best serve the needs of students and current capabilities with devices in a classroom or building.

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    1. I completely agree that we do struggle with giving up control. I felt conflicted over how much control should be given to students. I think many students would surprise us if they were given the opportunity to have more control.

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    2. I like that last thought- I too think we would be surprised by what students could do with more "control".

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  91. As I think about blended learning, I think the most important question for me is the first question, “What problem are you trying to solve?” I think this question is imperative because I don’t think we want to invest a lot of time into lot of time into forming a group and answering all of the other questions unless we are fairly sure there is going to be a good return on the time we will have to invest. As I think about incorporating blended learning into my classroom and/or school, I’m going to really have to think about what problems we are facing, then decide if blended learning would a good fit for a solution.

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  92. This chapter has been the best so far. The 6 questions where very helpful. I particularly liked where it went back over the teams. They stated it simply and clearly. They didn't go on and on. I understood what each team was for. We just had pd over blended learning the other day and listened to a teacher from a similar school dynamic talk about her school and the whole process.

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    1. I really like this chapter too. The 6 questions were helpful. I am still trying to figure out what my building is ready for, and how to maximize blended learning.

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  93. After reading this chapter and reviewing the six questions and blended learning models via the charts, if I had to choose a model it would be station rotation. Flipped classroom would come in second. These would be two models that would not have a change for the whole school but would effect my classes.
    I sometimes wonder if the students enjoy learning through their devices everyday. Last year, I had a student raise their hand and thanked me for being a teacher that actually taught them day after day. I see students daily that struggle with keeping up with video lessons and applying the concepts in the videos…I would say the majority of these students are the C-D-F students that struggle daily. A question that I would ask…are we reaching all students? Should there be a variety of blended learning used instead of using just one model? Should there be a mixture of “old school teaching” and blended learning models? I’m leaning towards the last…old school plus a little bit of blending.
    I also appreciated (like many others) the charts with all of the information summed up for each model.

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  94. I enjoyed reading this chapter. I think started blended learning in your own classroom would be much easier than trying to take on the entire school or district at once. I like the station rotation. I used stations in my classroom. They gave students responsibility, and I took on the role of facilitator.

    The question that I thought was important was how much control should the students have? I felt very conflicted about this question. I think I would be surprised if I gave more control to my students about their learning, but I also know that many are not ready for the responsibility of being self-directed. Many of the students I work with do not have the skills for endurance or perseverance. When things get difficult, they shut down. In many ways, I think we have created this lack of grit in our students. We do too much we do in classrooms.

    My over-reaching question is how to get more teachers on board? If we always teach the way we have always taught, we will continue to get the results we have always received. “CHANGE is the KEY.” This quote has kept me from becoming stagnant in my own teaching. We are creatures of habit, so we always do what we have always done. This isn’t working for our students. We have to change or get out.

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    1. Pam when you did stations what were some resources you used online?

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  95. Last year, I tried “in class flipping” on days that I had a substitute. I think overall it worked really well. The students and I didn’t lose any instructional time. This year I am completely flipping one class out of the 6 I teach. It is an advanced Algebra 2 course taught to 8th graders. I feel that having more time in class to discuss what they are struggling with is more important than me lecturing for 20 minutes.
    As I look at the questions in chapter eight, I feel that one isn’t more important than the other. When I look at question two, I would want to start off with a functional team. Find teachers from the same grade level that would be willing to implement this new strategy. Eventually this team would grow into an autonomous team. I believe that having a flipped classroom with station rotation would better suit my room. Given students the opportunities to get that one on one assistance from me or other students or having time in class to really dive into the topic.

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  96. I have two different models that I will be using next year. After reading his chapter, the team needed to succeed was the biggest factor that led me to choose the Lab Rotation model. This allows students to get more flexibility in the classroom without making changes that involve more administrative support.
    For my other class, student control of time is the biggest issue that leads me to choose the Enriched Virtual model. These students have access to computers and the internet 24/7 and want to be able to work when it fits their schedule. These students will also meet with me face-to-face once a month or more if they choose.

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    1. Joanne,
      I agree with both of these models for your classes. I like the idea of the Lab Rotation for your morning class. I think this will help since you have such a diverse group of students. Will you be using the ITTS during the computer lab portion? I would love to be able to combine more classes to try the Individual Rotation model, but we would have to get more teachers on board with the idea first.
      The Enriched Virtual model is ideal for the distance learning class. I feel you have already started using this model for the class. I know you would like to have students feel more comfortable coming in for extra help and support. Hopefully we can find a way to encourage them to come to your office hours on a more regular basis.

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  97. I appreciated the practicality of this chapter and how I can apply it to my classroom and school. At the beginning of the book study I was very drawn to the Flipped model for teaching social studies. After considering I still believe this but wonder about how a teacher ensures students participate in the out of class portion? I considered that on Monday during class students view the lectures to prepare for the weeks lessons. While this takes from class time and I'm not sure if this impedes on student choice, it still allows for richer classroom experiences the rest of the week.

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  98. I feel that this is the "deciding" chapter for me: am I all in or am I not there yet? I still struggle with the movement away from face to face instruction. I feel that discussions, whether they be whole class, small group, partner, or with me, still hold a great deal of value. I realize that the instruction is only one part of the day that makes room for more creative STEM/Makerspace applications but, as I continue to read I struggle to keep the whole picture in mind.

    As a 6th grade teacher, I see that there are a small minority in my classroom who I feel could work independently through modules at a self-guided pace. I feel the station rotation model would be best practice still at this level. A good many of my students need collaboration and instructional time. My focus is on ELA, so I keep questioning this: Am I making sure that the student is meeting the standards through a program, or am I working to instill an interest/love/passion for reading and learning about the world around the child? My fear is still that blended learning will lead to more of the first, while my heart still pulls to engage the child in reading, writing, and caring about the world around him/her while guiding them in improving their literacy skills.

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  99. The start of the school year is a little less than 2 weeks away and I am starting to get anxious thinking about the changes that will be taking place in my classroom this year.
    After reading chapter 8, I feel certain that the station rotation model will be my starting place as I embark on my blended learning journey. I know that I will be using this model during my reading block, but I am hopeful that I will be able to use it during my math block as well. That, of course, is dependent on the availability of my school's resources, as we are not yet 1:1.
    I am anxious to have conversations with my colleagues about the ideas I have been thinking about, quite literally, all summer. I found the charts and tables very helpful in determining where I am at, right now in this process.
    I am prepared for this year to be one of trial and error and a whole lot of reflection. In fact, I bought a notebook today to keep at school to document my thoughts and ideas and to record what works and what doesn't. It will allow me to inventory websites I use, as well as passwords, etc. until I find a better system.
    We'll see how it goes. I am fired up and ready to go though!

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  100. One of the best things about this chapter are the charts. They help me visualize what model will help my students the most. As someone who isn't fully 1:1 I am a huge fan of the station rotations and see that they work very well in a special education room since the students have to opportunity to get up and move around.

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  101. I felt like this is the chapter where everything starts coming together. After reading this chapter, I feel like I can finally start to envision a blended learning environment in my classroom. I am thinking that a station rotation will be my starting point. I would like to move to a flipped classroom for a few subjects but I would like to have the online content settled on before I pursue that any farther.

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  102. This chapter like many have said already is where things start to fall into place, I can start to see how everything works together and buildings into a big picture. I love the idea of using what others are using and have progress and success with. What spend countless hours trying to do your own thing when it's most likely been done before. I think it is silly to try to make custom lesson plans for everything when we have so many valuable resources for free or very cheap. Spend that time connecting with your students.

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  103. Apologies for being a bit late to this online party again this week – I am having an ongoing family medical emergency.

    I am not leading my own classroom; I have been working as an aide and will serve as a resource aide next semester. So I worked through the process step by step, just by selecting a problem I feel every teacher faces – the need for help differentiating. I approached each question (220) to create the plan.

    Q1. My problem is differentiated lessons for a variety of learning levels, which is a “core problem involving mainstream students” (223). I feel this problem could possibly be solved by using the sustaining model of a flipped classroom (p 223).

    Q2. I need a functional team to create my solution (25), because it could be handled in my class alone, or perhaps a department if we teach collaboratively.

    Q3. A flipped classroom allows students to control their own pace and path during online learning (227), so I could assign items to be reviewed individually before class. This allows students to do as much or as little work as each of them requires to learn the basics, then students join together in class and expand on the knowledge.

    Q4. The flipped classroom scenario on which I decided will allow me to offer face-to-face tutoring, provide guidance and enrichment (231).

    Q5. I will have no choice but to use existing classrooms for my physical space.

    Q6. I will teach at a 1:1 school, so each student will be able to use his or her device at any time in class and at home (236).

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  104. During this chapter, I found the charts very helpful. It allowed me to visualize which style of blended learning might work best in my classroom and what other factors were most important to its implementation. I think a flipped classroom combined with a station rotation model would work best in my classroom. That being said, I feel like the district that I work in would make it hard to implement blended learning in a single classroom. The parents have more influence then they should when it comes to what takes place in our classes. If the student doesn't like the teacher, the homework that is given, the way lessons are taught, the policies of the teacher, etc. if the parents/student complain loud enough they often get their way. So if a single teacher (me) were to implement blended learning and students didn't like what was required of them in this new model, I could see it becoming an issue as students tried to switch classes. I plan to start making small changes within my classroom first and, as the school year progresses, move to more significant changes so that hopefully students are more receptive.

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  105. I'm going to break it apart into two separate groups PreK-2 and 3-5 in our building.
    PreK-2: We would use the station and lab rotation. We have a couple computers and iPads in the classroom but only enough for a few students to use at a time. We also have pro boards that the students can use individually or in small groups. The lab would be scheduled for small groups once a week and for the whole group during another time slot. A lightweight team would be needed to work out the schedule and to collaborate on ideas. The students will control their pace and path during the online portion and the teacher will deliver face to face instruction.
    3-5: Each student has an iPad and even though now they use them during stations, I would like to see these classrooms flipped. I like the idea of have the direct instruction online and using the class time for support, projects, and enrichment. Each grade level has a pod with retractable walls. They could open up the walls and have a much larger learning space. The students would have control over the pace and path during the online learning portion.

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  106. I feel more involved after reading chapter eight. The previous chapters were full of excellent information that helped me understand what blended learning is and how it could be used in various programs. This chapter helped me focus on the different questions and use what our program already has to determine the best blended learning model. I believe that the Individual Rotation model would be a great fit for our adult learning program and students. We have a very diverse group of adult learners and allowing them to move at their own pace during the learning process is key to individual success. Being adults, they have families and work schedules that we must be mindful of as they work toward their high school diploma. Most students want to get through the process as quickly as possible with the best results. Individual Rotation would allow our students to work at their own pace on their own level to move toward their goal. Break out groups would be ideal to help small groups that are struggling with similar topics.
    At this time, however, our physical environment is not suitable for the Individual Rotation layout. We may have to start with a Lab Rotation approach and then over time move to an Individual Rotation if we can change the layout of our classrooms.

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  107. Which model to choose?

    Q1 - What problem are you trying to solve? A: Core problem involving mainstream students. Choices: Station Rotation, Lab Rotation or Flipped Classroom.

    Q2 - What type of team do you need to solve problem? A: Functional team since it's within my own classroom. Choices: Station Rotation, Flipped Classroom.

    Q3 - What do you want students to control? A: Pace and Path during online learning portion. Choices: Station Rotation, Lab Rotation, or Flipped Classroom.

    Q4 - What do you want to primary role of teacher to be? A: Deliver face-to-face instruction in whole class and small group. Choices: Station Rotation or Lab Rotation.

    Q5 - What physical space can you use? A: Existing classroom. Choices: Station Rotation or Flipped Classroom.

    Q6 - How many internet-connected devices are available? A: Enough for a fraction of students. Choices: Station Rotation or Lab Rotation.

    Based on my answers and the hybrids that would work with my goals, my obvious choice is Station Rotation.

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  108. I still like the flipped classroom. I like the role of the teacher for this model. I still want to be a part of the students learning, yet I want them to do their part on their own. We are a 1:1 school, so we are set. The only questions I have deal with starting the year as a more blended classroom. I am not afraid to try something new. I look forward to trying some of the websites that were suggested in a past chapter. I am ok with trying something out and maybe needing to tweak it a smidge. I look forward to jumping into something new!

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  109. The charts provided in chapter 8 really helped clarify the information and simplified the process of choosing a blended learning model.

    Q1 Problem: I have classes with students of different abilities and from a number of countries, so sometimes students have knowledge gaps in mainstream classes. I think a sustaining form of blended learning like station rotation or flipped classroom would be most helpful.

    Q2 Type of team: Since this would be a classroom or grade-level problem, we could get by with a functional team in a station rotation or flipped classroom model.

    Q3 What students should control: I would like students to be able to control their pace and path during the online portion of the course, which would work with a station rotation or flipped classroom model.

    Q4 Primary role of the teacher: I am conflicted about this. I see benefits in providing face-to-face instruction (station rotation) and in providing face-to-face tutoring, guidance and enrichment to supplement online lessons (flipped classroom).

    Q5 Physical space available: We can use existing classrooms, so station rotation or flipped classroom would work.

    Q6 Available devices: Our students have their own tablets, so flipped classroom or station rotation could work, although everything would have to be loaded on the students' tablets for station rotation to work.

    I think the best model of blended learning for me would be flipped classroom, provided students had time to do the online portion each evening at home.

    Questions: For those with experience in blended learning, did you find that students often didn't do the online learning assigned as part of a flipped classroom? What did you have those students do while the others did enrichment activities?

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  110. The charts provided in chapter 8 really helped clarify the information and simplified the process of choosing a blended learning model.

    Q1 Problem: I have classes with students of different abilities and from a number of countries, so sometimes students have knowledge gaps in mainstream classes. I think a sustaining form of blended learning like station rotation or flipped classroom would be most helpful.

    Q2 Type of team: Since this would be a classroom or grade-level problem, we could get by with a functional team in a station rotation or flipped classroom model.

    Q3 What students should control: I would like students to be able to control their pace and path during the online portion of the course, which would work with a station rotation or flipped classroom model.

    Q4 Primary role of the teacher: I am conflicted about this. I see benefits in providing face-to-face instruction (station rotation) and in providing face-to-face tutoring, guidance and enrichment to supplement online lessons (flipped classroom).

    Q5 Physical space available: We can use existing classrooms, so station rotation or flipped classroom would work.

    Q6 Available devices: Our students have their own tablets, so flipped classroom or station rotation could work, although everything would have to be loaded on the students' tablets for station rotation to work.

    I think the best model of blended learning for me would be flipped classroom, provided students had time to do the online portion each evening at home.

    Questions: For those with experience in blended learning, did you find that students often didn't do the online learning assigned as part of a flipped classroom? What did you have those students do while the others did enrichment activities?

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  111. I work in what might be termed a traditional school. The models best suited for us would be the Station Rotation, Lab and/or Flipped Classroom. These would provide a good starting place for us. However, the main hindrance for us would be the physical space. There is no money for tearing down walls or building new.
    I believe that this is a personal view of each person’s classroom and what works for one will not necessarily work for someone else. Or what works in one discipline may not work in others and it is not for me to say what would work in someone else’s room. As a classroom teacher, I have very little control over the room that I use and the physical attributes of that room. The administration provides us with desks and those are not going to be changed in the classrooms.
    What problems are we trying to solve? That is the ever looming question and I am not sure there is an answer for that. We are to teach standards, make sure our students are prepared for ISTEP, PSAT, SAT, make sure our students have had breakfast and lunch as well as be “mom” and/or “dad” because our student’s parents are not involved as they should be. The task of teacher gets more and more involved as societal changes take place.

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  112. I keep thinking about the question, what role should the teacher have? During the school year, I teach in a traditional classroom setting, and during the summer, I teach an online course. So, I have 2 completely different teaching roles during the year. And, if I compare the two, I believe that my students who take my course in the traditional classroom setting have a better understanding of economics by the end of the course than the students who take it online. Now, that doesn't mean I don't believe there's a place for the online course. I think the online course is great for the kids who don't do well in a traditional classroom setting (nonconsumption--kids likely to drop out) or kids who are academically very self-disciplined and don't need the daily face to face interaction with the teacher. But, a lot of my students have difficulty understanding the material without frequent face to face instruction. So, for a lot of these kids, I still believe the traditional classroom setting will work best. Within this traditional classroom environment, I think teachers can integrate some blended learning into various lessons. But, I think the blended learning works best on a decentralized level. Individual teachers or departments should be able to decide what will work best for their students...because we're all teaching completely different subjects and the type of students we have varies from teacher to teacher. What works best for one department might not work in a different department...within the same school/district.

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  113. This book is actually hard for me to read. I have to really slow down and read it in small doses. ITs starting to come together in my head. But I really want to see it in action. I;m the type of person that I need the visual. I'm not the type of person that if you ask me if I think the sofa will look good over there I cant answer that until I see the sofa actually over there in that space.
    I'm making notes out the different districts mentioned in the book. I just might have to take a few trips to see this in action.
    I have it figured out that I think need a disruptive model. I think that I need an autonomous team. I'm interesting in the models that the students can sometimes not come to school and do face-to-face. But I don't yet understand how that would work with the DOE and attendance for alternative education. I could see my building using a combination of models.
    I haven't decided what role for the teacher just yet. I'm a little scared honestly bc I'm not a super techy person myself.
    jWe definitely need a different space, more laptop computers, and a good internet connection to make this work.

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  114. As I read Chapter 8, I found the six questions on page 220 to be useful as far as beginning to organize. I also agreed with the part that stated, "the school community will embrace the disruptive model only once it becomes superior to the best version of the traditional classroom." As I have stated many times, I teach in a very conservative, rural area. I really think many parts of this teaching and learning style would be tough for the population to buy into. I also have a tough time with so much time in front of a computer for the students and instruction. I know that is should motivate students to learn at an individual pace, but I know students who are just NOT motivated. Somewhere they must buy into education, and until they do, nothing will change much. We need to work with helping some students see the value of learning. Many don't due to the fact that there are too many other problems or issues that get in the way of learning and take priority. If asked where my school would fall in readiness for this program, it would be at the functional team level. I do plan to try some parts of this learning method this year in my room. I do think my principal would welcome it.

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    1. it is a great idea to get your principal involved. They will see the value of the work you are doing along with the benefits and engagement of the students. Start small, the book has so many ideas and has been guiding us towards some best practices which has been overwhelming. However, if you pace yourself, even if it is one hour with one subject you will find success.



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  115. At this point, I'm still not sure which model would work best in my district. I think there are certainly a number of questions I, as a single teacher, cannot answer. I don't have the authority to completely change the format of the school day or the buildings to change how we teach. I can't hire online teachers to facilitate online learning. So some of those things make it difficult for me to think some of the models would work over others.

    I come from a fairly affluent district, but I think my students would benefit most from a model that is heavily brick-and-mortar schooling, seeing as most of their parents both have jobs or they come from backgrounds where they parents/families are always busy with sports, extracurriculars, etc. Students need that school time because, for many of them, they simply don't have time at home to get anything done. These are the same kinds that come into my class day after day without their homework done because they get home from school, go right to sports or other activities, eat dinner at 9 PM, and get a few assignments done before they go to bed at midnight.

    Of all the models, I think the Flipped classroom would be the easiest to pull off in my school, but even that I'm hesitant to say would work for the reason above. Many of my kids simply don't have time outside of school for schoolwork. Parents have overloaded them with activities and school becomes a lower priority. I doubt some of them would watch the online video lecture before coming to class to work on the homework or collaborative assignment. It makes me incredibly nervous to flip a class like this, especially when I've been on the other side of this myself and barely paid attention to the video lectures. I was a much better learner when a teacher was speaking in front of me.

    I think, ultimately, I'd need to see an actual flipped classroom to know whether or not it would work for my school and my classroom. Having never experienced one fully before, I feel like I'm working slightly at a disadvantage when I can't talk to someone about the pros and cons from their own experiences.

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  116. I agree that when you are thinking about a blended classroom the 1st question to ask yourself is "What problems do I want to solve?" As I think about the 2 self contained special education classes I teach as well as the 2 Co-taught classes. I am leaning towards the Sustaining Model. I think an important question also to ask is what role do I want to take on in the blended learning classroom? I would think a teacher would need to consider the needs of their students which would go back to the question 1. I thought the Appendix 8.1 gave a great insight as what to think about as you are in your planning stages of a blended classroom.

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  117. Last year, our school corporation went 1:1 with every student having possession of a chromebook. The station rotation model is best suited for my classroom of second graders. Last year, I implemented "literacy stations" within my 90 minute reading block. On Monday and Tuesday, my students were introduced to phonics, language arts, and reading comprehension skills. On Wednesday and Thursday, students worked independently to practice and review the skills in a format that closely resembles the station rotation model. Students worked at their own pace while I met with small groups of students and also was available as a resource to my independent 2nd graders. This upcoming school year, I intend to extend the station rotation model in the reading curriculum, as well as Math. The question that I most want to focus on this year is "what do you want students to control?" I need to focus on the pace that my students maintain during the station rotation model within my reading and math blocks. Second graders can become easily distracted, as I found out last school year when my literacy stations were introduced.

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  118. The biggest question that made me stop and think was 'What do you want students to control?' I have been doing the Daily 5 for several years and have struggled with allowing students to choose what rotation they wanted to go to. This past school year I decided to give them the ability to choose and they did great.

    In my classroom the station rotation and the flipped classroom will be the most beneficial. We do a lot of center work and will be implementing the Chromebooks in to certain rotations.

    I also think the student pacing is a great idea. We have been using differentiation for years but now we have the opportunity to take it further. It will take trial and error to get used to doing this using the technology.

    As for the primary role of the teacher; I don't want technology taking away from my interaction and how material is presented to the students. Technology is just a tool.

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  119. We are using a Blended Learning Model for our Alternative Education Program addressing nonconsumption issues. The charts were helpful to me as well as the other people who have mentioned it. They confirmed for me that Station Rotation Model will suit our needs best. Even though we are just getting started with this learning plan, I feel like we are ahead of the game because our assistant principal did all of the leg work involved before we all just had to buy in and select the program we wanted to use. I'm sure there will be road bumps and more questions to follow as the year gets started but I am excited!

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  120. I am considering using station rotation for my 8th Grade Math classes and the flipped model for my Algebra classes. The Algebra students are typically self-directed whereas the Math 8 students need a little bit more direction and guidelines/framework. I am excited to implement these models! I have tried to flip my Algebra classes before and have run into some of the issues(i.e. not watching the video) but I believe I need to set some expectations and create a culture in my classroom for this different approach to learning.

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  121. As I was reading this chapter I was struck by the words "desired student experience." It makes sense to me that those words should be the major focus for working through the questions to choose a model. My goal is to challenge every student in my classroom to excel. As I read these chapters I continue to jot ideas that will help motivate my fourth graders.

    I am going to make changes in my classroom this year. However, at this point we do not know what apps will be available to us as Chromebooks come our way this fall. This will be a major factor in the changes that will occur. Hopefully, we will have access to full programs that chart student progress as they work through modules relating to many of our standards.

    Ideally, giving students more choices, working through online modules, using small group instruction, and immersing them in PBL tasks will be a part of each day.

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  122. I liked how the author broke this chapter down into the different questions and used the tables to help us see which of the models would be most suitable to my own situation. (Apparently I am a visual learner who likes those extra text features.) Answering the questions confirmed my previous thinking that station rotation is not only most feasible, but also perhaps most appropriate for our elementary needs. Many teachers are already using it in some form, but perhaps with discussion and planning we could formalize it a bit more to better benefit groups of students. I am specifically thinking the struggling learners and the gifted students within our population could greatly benefit from meeting them where they're currently at and working at their own pace.

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  123. What model will I choose?
    As for a team, I will select a functional team. Our team/ school is already cohesive and up and running. I am eager to run station rotations and flex style programs in my class room. I have tried the flipped classroom and find it frustrating as the kids who don't do homework, never watch the video instruction.
    As the teacher I this classroom I will tradition from present/ lecture, activity to: tutor/ mentor/ facilitator. Units will be modular on organization and function. I am currently adding extensions to units to challenge advance students who complete units more quickly.
    Non-consumptive and students who are non- complying chromebook users will still have book work made available.
    A flex style classroom will allow me to assist those who are slower learners through face to face interaction. I can utilize our school's learning lab, which has a large area for students to interact with each other and me. It also has materials nearby to extend lessons with map making, posters, and a large screen presentation hub that allows students to send me their work and have it displayed on a large screen for other students to critique.
    I am beginning my search for usable apps to create a small a la carte menu for the kids.

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  124. After reading this chapter7 I would love to move full force with classrooms without walls. No hindrances, student driven, sky's the limit, and educators are guides who support and encourage student outcomes. However as I read chapter 8 I came back to reality. Our district requires an autonomous team as we are trying to revamp to one to one. Overcoming technical components to have the ability to navigate so many chrome books. This implementation is beginning at high school level them trickling down to middle school. I see though some areas though we can begin now to build a foundation for future use. I related to the science teacher who evaluated his teaching style and utilized technology to deliver lecture. Once students were in class they were able to run with application and lab interaction. I like this as a student has distractions eliminated as it is themselves and computer. Also the student can rewind and view areas for clarification. This the enables them to be prepared to have active engagement during class time.

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  125. Well, right now, for me everything is just up in the air. The School that I work at has all new administration. We have a new principal, assistant principal, and a superintendent with only one year in the corporation. I work with a team of 4 other teachers to teach 100 students and there is another team of 5 teachers teaching another 100 8th grade students. My counter part is also new to the corporation. Our entire language arts department is basically new to our building. This makes planning to use any technique difficult. Not knowing what the future holds for the corporation or for the middle school I work in has me on the fence for trying any new techniques. We are headed from 50 minute classes every day to turning into a school with block scheduling for 88 minutes. I am looking at teaching 4 classes by myself and teaching at least 1 other class using team teaching techniques. I know that this doesn't answer the above questions, but right now I not sure what techniques I will be "forced" to use or what I can choose to use. So I apologize for not being able to say what model I am headed towards.

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