During the past four weeks, our staff has been studying and reflecting over what blended learning is and how does it, could it and should it work in our school. We have broken down the definition, looked at models and studied examples, read important research on the topic and debated what does and does not work for our students.
On a recent walk through, I noticed a lot of activity in our Physics 2 class. One of student teachers was reviewing concepts for an upcoming Physics assessment using a blended learning model – station rotation.
During two sessions of 45 and 55 minutes, students in small groups rotated between stations. The pre-arranged stations included:
- Calculation station – students could work on problems as assigned in their textbook, they could use video references and work together
- lab 1: transversal and longitudinal sound waves
- lab 2: “telephone” to see how sounds travels over a distance
- lab 3: straw tones – investigate how the length of the straw affects the tone
- lab 4: singing plastic pipes – what happens to the tone when we rotate the pipes at a faster pace
In each station, students were required to read and follow directions. Record their observations and draw conclusions. Both the student teacher and their regular teacher were available to clarify and guide as questions came up.
At the end of the station rotation sessions, each student answered an individual online quiz using Socrative. This “exit ticket” reinforced important concepts, assessed how much each student had understood during this review session and gave the teachers important data for the coming lesson.
I asked the two teachers …
What was your most interesting observation during the process?
“Seeing how engaged the students were at each station and seeing how much they already knew and their ability to use their knowledge in order to explain physical phenomena in the different experiments. … It’s also evident from the answers to the questionnaire in Socrative that the overwhelming majority of students have understood the concepts behind the different experiments which is very fun to see.”
If you repeated the lesson, what might you organize differently?
” … Let all groups end at station 1 in order to ensure that it is quiet when they have to concentrate and make calculations. There was also a bit of a lack of time for the students at the stations which could be prevented by not starting the lesson with half an hour of walking through how to solve a physics problem that the students had requested. “
In addition to answering assessment questions, the students also gave our student teacher some valuable feedback on this process:, from Socrative:
fun and helpful
good with stations
flexible, easy to understand concepts
Good to see so many students and teachers engaged in review of important concepts, there was an element of choice for students – path, pace – they, obviously, appreciated this approach to learning.
Thanks, Aree and Malin for sharing!