Back To CourseLife Skills: Lesson Plans & Activities
12 chapters | 282 lessons
Over the past two decades blended learning has been incorporated in schools nationwide as part of a push to modernize and improve academic instruction in classrooms. One of the hallmarks of blended learning involves using technology to enhance the educational experience. This can enable students to learn remotely; they do not always need to be in the classroom to be instructed. When this blended learning approach is in place students who are ill or absent for other reasons no longer need to rely on friends to take notes for them; they can catch up with classes online.
Schools that implement blended learning find that it offers students more autonomy to work at their own pace. This means that students who understand concepts quickly can move on instead of waiting for peers to catch up. The benefit of this approach is that students are motivated to work efficiently, but those that need extra time aren't pressured by the class to simply move on without understanding or completing work. Research can easily be done online via smartphones and tablets. Since students are already active online this can be a great way of incorporating their interests and skills into the learning process through both instruction and assignments.
Incorporating blended learning increases student participation while saving teachers time as they take advantage of tools and resources for instructing students, creating assignments and marking work. Blended learning also provides a number of advantages for teachers who seek to prepare students for the modern world. Emphasis on technology means students become experienced digital citizens and understand how to complete research online, they learn to communicate effectively and professionally through digital means, and they learn to balance working in-person, online, and collaboratively. Blended learning means that teachers spend less time on direct instruction and administrative work and are able to effectively differentiate instruction and provide personalized learning experiences that prepare students for the modern world.
Huntley High School's Alpha Courses Blended Learning program began in 2011 and now includes nearly half of the student body. The flex approach allows for more differentiated instruction, and gives students agency over when and where they do their learning, better preparing them for college and workplace environments. Students can have face-to-face time with teachers when they need it, and complete work on their own time without having to sit through long lectures if they've already demonstrated competency. Based in Huntley, Illinois, HHS has been one of the fastest-growing high schools in the country since the early 2000s.
Flower Mound High School is the largest high school in the Lewisville Independent School District and draws its student body from three local middle schools and seven different elementary schools. Their blendED instructional option allows students to enjoy a flexible schedule and learn both at school or at home. Students will spend time working independently through remote learning but also enjoy the benefits of classroom instruction. Those who wish to solely work independently can take advantage of the Virtual Learning Academy, which allows them to complete courses online. These students still enjoy guidance from instructors via email and other messaging options.
Students at Oyster River High School can access virtual learning opportunities. They can choose between taking some of their courses online or becoming a full-time online student. Those who attend classes benefit from the use of station rotation, which means that they move from center to center to complete tasks at each station, with one or more stations incorporating online learning. Oyster River High School also incorporates a flipped classroom strategy, which means that students learn about something outside of the classroom and then apply the skills or knowledge through assignments while in class.
Downingtown East High School is the top blended learning high school in Pennsylvania, and has distinguished itself with a number of options for blended learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Online learning can be pursued full-time. Students can also take advantage of blended classes, which combine online learning with in-class instruction.
Marcus High School is located in the same city as Flower Mound High School and also benefits from offering access to the blendEd program that enables students to learn independently through online studies. Students still have access to their teachers and can meet in person or use online methods to interact. Since the school uses an A La Carte approach students are not limited to using the same approach for all of their classes; they can opt to take some classes that require them to be at school and in class every day, while also using blendEd online learning for other classes they believe they will excel in independently.
This private school in Maryland is for students in junior kindergarten through grade 12. There is no Jewish day school for students of this age range that has a higher enrollment than Charles E Smith Jewish Day School. From its inception in 1965 this private school has maintained a low teacher-student ratio so that all students get the help and attention that they need. This school actively strives to incorporate technology in classes and assignments and uses Flex to facilitate the use of online learning to allow students to have more control over their schedule.
Since opening in 2013, this public school has embraced technology and blended learning. The instructional process is distinguished by a personal learning approach that sees each student working on their own academic goals. Regular hours of online instruction are incorporated into classes, and students are able to complete courses faster because of the individualized approach. They also benefit from mentoring from their teachers and meet regularly to ensure that they are on track and fulfilling their instructional objectives. The teachers at Shasta does not simply teach their students subjects, they also teach them the skills needed to learn independently.
Natick High School offers students access to a large number of course options that can be taken online. Any student taking one of the 350 classes offered is assigned to a teacher in the school who ensures they stay on track and complete work. Learners start off working independently in a classroom on campus with a teacher supervising them. Once they demonstrate strong academic performance in online studies they may work elsewhere on campus. One of the things that sets Natick High School apart is that all of their students are given a MacBook to use.
Mountain House High School has been able to promote blended learning since the day it opened. As a new school, the focus has been on innovation not just for instruction. This school has adopted philosophies designed to promote learning and second chances; students are allowed to redo material. The objective is to ensure students fully grasp the concepts rather than simply complete a set amount of work. Each student focuses on their own specific goals and can choose between a combination of in class and online studies or take all of their courses online.
iSchool High At University Park promotes flexibility and independence with a unique structure that emphasizes individual study. Students aren't assigned to specific classrooms they must be in; they can go to a classroom hosted by a teacher who teaches the subject they're working on and receive assistance if necessary or work on their own. They are also encouraged to meet in small groups to study with other classmates. Their objective is to work on material for a course until they believe they have mastered the subject. Successful completion of a mastery test is used to advance them to the next grade in that subject. iSchool High is expanding the program for online study.
One of the hallmarks of Kaneland High School's blended learning approach is to facilitate online studies onsite. Computer labs are provided and students have access to teachers to supplement their studies with instruction in small groups or through tutoring. The school emphasizes ensuring students learn how to effectively take tests as well as course material, which helps their students perform well on standardized tests.
KIPP San Francisco College Preparatory has two specific blended learning programs in place. Students work on Chromebooks and follow a self-paced approach that allows them to process material and complete assignments independently. They also participate in small group instruction with teachers. Their flipped classroom approach has been initiated with science classes and is expanding. This blended learning strategy involves using instructional videos that are viewed outside of the classroom. When students are in class they focus on completing assignments.
Indiana Area High School combines online studies with in-class learning in a number of subjects. The school is expanding course options to promote this instructional approach. Some courses emphasize working on computers, others have set numbers of days that involve in-class instruction, and others courses are almost entirely comprised of online studies.
One of the blended learning options offered by Pasco eSchool involves independent online study. Students work in computer labs and teachers are on site to assist them. They can opt to supplement the online learning process with in-person instruction or webinars. The Cohort Credit Recovery Program (CCRP) provides students the same option in labs.
This Summit Public School is a small school with just 275 students in San Jose. Like other Summit high schools it emphasizes independent learning, with each student focusing on their own learning goals. Independent study is a hallmark of their approach; students set their schedules so that they aren't rushed when they need extra help and they aren't held back by other students still working on material they already grasp. Students have mentors and are monitored to ensure their progress in their studies.
Students can work online independently in a lab setting and solicit help from a teacher present in the lab as needed. They can also schedule tutoring for components of the curriculum they are struggling with. Cactus Shadows launched their blended learning approach in 2006 and it is offered to high school students in all grades.
Casco Bay High School promotes at-home instruction through videos and other materials. While at school a group of teachers will work together with a number of students on specific learning projects. This offers students teacher access when they are applying the skills and knowledge they're learning so that they can ensure the students comprehend the materials.
Summit Preparatory Charter High School follows the same mandate as the other summit schools that have ranked on this list. Individual goals and learning schedules form the backbone of their program. Teachers mentor students so that nobody falls through the cracks. Group mentoring is also part of the educational experience for all students.
Gettysburg Area High School has an extensive online education program. Students start off their course reporting to class and meeting with their teacher to set up goals and ensure they understand what's expected of them. After that, they are free to work on the material at home or elsewhere. Their teacher remains available during that period so that they can meet with them at any time they need extra help. Station rotation is also used in some subject areas, allowing students to work at stations and combine independent study with small group activities.
Summit Public School: Rainier follows the flex model employed by other Summit high schools. With expanded school hours and a longer school year, this school capitalizes on a flexible schedule throughout the year. Students have teachers who monitor their progress, and they also participate in small mentoring groups that help them stay on track throughout the year. Each student works on individual goals tailored to their academic needs and interests. Independent learning is emphasized, which allows students to work through material faster than those in traditional classrooms.
With just 96 students, Six Rivers Charter High School is one of the smallest schools on this list, but it offers two distinct blended learning approaches that benefit students. One option to is to take online studies. Students report to a lab and have a teacher on site for assistance but otherwise work independently. The other option for their students is to work online from home or elsewhere most of the time. These students must attend some training on site, but the amount varies. Students may only need to be at school one day per week with this approach.
Lewisville High School offers students a range of options for instruction. While some may choose the traditional in-class approach, others can take their studies completely online. Students can also combine approaches and spend part of their time working online independently and report for classes a few times each week.
Crestwood High School's approach to blended learning combines three distinct components. All students spend time working in each of the three learning environments in their classes. Some time is spent working independently, while another portion of time is dedicated to in-class instruction from teachers. The third facet of Crestwood's approach is collaborative learning, where learners work with small groups.
Independent learning is the emphasis of USC Hybrid High School's flex program. This approach uses lessons that students work through at their own pace. There are other types of assignments that students must complete, such as oral presentations. Freshmen and sophomores are expected to report to assigned classrooms or labs to work on their assignments, while juniors and seniors are given the ability to work independently on Fridays and only report to class when they choose.
Alice M. Baxter High School promotes independent learning on-site. They build flexible time into the schedule to enable students to choose what they wish to work on during that period. Students are able to pursue topics of interest, catch up on subjects, or work ahead on projects. Some or all of their studies can be completed online.
Achievement First Amistad High School has introduced blended learning in some of their subject areas. They process instruction online. In-class instruction emphasizes applying material learned online with the instructor present. The school's goal is to ensure that 100% of all graduating students are accepted at a four-year college or university program when they leave Amistad.
Lufkin High School combines online and in-person instruction in their approach to blended learning. Online courses are the backbone of some subjects, with students assigned to labs where teachers are available to assist them. They also report for instruction with small groups of students, enabling teachers to reinforce what they've learned in their online studies.
Founded in 2010, Fraser High School offers more than two dozen courses that incorporate blended learning principles. Students combine both independent study through online courses and in-person classes at school to cover the required material. During online study days students can work from home or anywhere they choose.
Oakland Unity High School has introduced blended learning in mathematics. Their approach involves rotating students through a number of different learning environments. This includes spending some of their class time working independently to complete online studies. They also work in small groups and attend classes.
Morristown High School emphasizes independent study. Their objectives include having students set their academic goals and take responsibility for their learning. The school opened in 2015 and has set high academic standards, offering several Honors and Advanced Placement classes. Their blended learning approach is part of a wider school philosophy emphasizing 21st century skills for modern citizens of the world.
The blended learning courses at Algoma High School are for Advanced Placement science classes. The students taking these courses combine online learning with in-class instruction, and are also able to take advantage of individual instruction as needed. Algoma provides learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom to maximize each student's aptitudes and abilities.
EDUHSD Virtual Academy at Shenandoah emphasizes blended learning through online and face-to-face studies. Students complete independent work while also meeting with teachers each week to ensure they maintain expected progress. Direct instruction and support is provided for all major subject areas. Students can complete high school requirements at EDUHSD while concurrently earning college credits through the Advanced Education Option at Folsom Lake College.
Lacey Township High School doesn't offer the option of exclusively studying online, but students can take complete some of their courses through online studies. They may have the option of working independently from home or be required to report to an assigned lab where they have access to a teacher for assistance.
Portsmouth High School opened in 2017. Their goal is to incorporate blended learning by emphasizing personalized learning. Students may not be assigned teachers but given the choice of which teacher they would like to consult with in a specific subject area. All classes benefit from the school's encouragement that students bring cell phones and tablets to class to use as part of their learning process.
KM Global Charter School promotes learning by tapping into the interests of their students and encouraging them to establish their own academic goals. This ensures students take ownership of the learning process. Research projects are a key component of their studies and students work online on laptops and meet with their assigned teachers on a weekly basis. They may also participate in some in-person classes and small group activities.
Clark Street Community School endorses numerous approaches to blended learning to achieve truly personalized learning. Students may maintain their own schedule and rotate through workstations, while also spending time completing online assignments. Other students may complete subjects online, reporting to teachers regularly so that their progress can be monitored. Students can also combine online and in-person studies. Clark Street Community School's mission is to 'democratically cultivate a community of engaged learners, serve as a resource for educators, and a catalyst for reform in education throughout our region and our nation.'
Danville High School has different approaches to blended learning in place for different subjects. A La Carte is used for language studies. The online classes can be completed at home or at school in assigned labs. Lab rotation is the cornerstone of the blended approach in both science and mathematics classes. Students alternate between online study in labs and in-class instruction. The Danville School District implemented blended learning at both the middle school and high school during the 2013-14 school year after administrators visited and observed three blended learning high schools in New York.
Summit Everest follows the flex model employed by other Summit high schools. With expanded school hours and a longer school year, this school capitalizes on a flexible schedule throughout the year. Students have teachers who monitor their progress, and they also participate in small mentoring groups that help them stay on track throughout the year. Every Summit student has a dynamic Personalized Learning Plan, a self-directed approach that lets them set individual goals and work online while reporting to a teacher regularly.
Village Green Virtual Charter High School, founded in 2013, provides a varied set of blended learning strategies for students to select from. Station rotation allows students to set their own pace and have their assignments and material tailored to their skill level and interests. Individual rotation allows for an even greater degree of independence in the learning process, and some students combine flex and station rotation so that they can capitalize on working independently. Students are in 'workshop' working with teachers about 40% of the time and on-line or in advisory and reading groups the other 60%. Students are allowed to work on subjects for as much or as little time as it takes for them to demonstrate mastery; teachers are skilled in data analysis and skill gap intervention to ensure each student gains a comprehensive education.
The Pottstown Virtual and Alternative Learning Academies (VAL), offered by the Pottstown School District for K-12 students, offer both a completely online education option as well as a blended learning option that mixes online and in-class instruction, helping students get the individual attention they need. Learners experience a varied educational experience of in-class instruction, online work, and collaborative work with other students.
Innovations Early College High School uses a flex model to promote independent learning. They have also incorporated college courses into their curriculum and students can work to complete an Associate's degree while studying there. The cornerstone of their blended learning program is independent online work, which enables students to work through material at a pace that suits them.
Every student at Sanborn Regional High School has a Chromebook to use. This promotes both online learning and research, and enables students to work independently. Students set their own academic goals and consult with teachers to ensure they meet their goals and complete schoolwork as expected.
At Chicago Academy, students learn on-site but have a variety of in-class experiences throughout their day. In some they work online and have a teacher available for assistance if needed, while at other times they may receive traditional instruction from a teacher with a class. Other stations may emphasize small group learning experiences or assignments.
FlexTech High School models flexibility in its schedule and approach. The school works to incorporate learning opportunities from all aspects of life and enables students to work independently from home or on-site. The number of hours or days a student must report to school will vary from person to person. The key to their approach is individual academic plans that let students establish their own focus and objectives.
All students at Orville H. Platt High School have a tablet provided that they can use for their studies. This promotes the use of technology in learning. Students benefit from viewing videos and instructional materials at home and complete assignments in class. The school also promotes research online and hosts debates with students.
Bronx Area High School has developed a flexible academic approach that enables students to focus on just a couple subjects at a time and work independently until they have mastered the information and skills. Students have a teacher and counselor who guide them through the process to help them meet their academic goals.
Founded in 2010, Clintondale High School helped pioneer flipped classroom instruction in the United States. Students watch video lessons at home and review materials. Then, when they are at school they spend class time working on assignments or engaged in discussions. Teachers are also available to help students with material they didn't grasp from the videos and information packets provided.
The smallest school on this list with just 47 students, Pioneer Tech High School strives to incorporate blended learning through online and flex studies. Individual academic plans are used to develop goals for each student and online studies are a primary focus of almost all classes. Students can spend most of their weekdays working from home if they choose, and only report for classes a couple times each week.
Many subject areas offered at The Workshop School use blended learning to help students work on learning projects. The school day is split between sections of time allocated for working on specific course projects and concentrated learning related to those projects. Students learn and work online and receive tutoring from teachers as needed.
A small portion of each students' class time is spent on school property. When present, students may be instructed by a teacher, receive tutoring or work in small groups. The majority of the time students learn through online studies and they are not required to be at school during this time, which enables students to work independently at their own pace. A key feature of Goal Academy's program is its drop-in centers, which allow students access to computers and other resources.
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Back To CourseLife Skills: Lesson Plans & Activities
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