We were looking at data from standardized testing and needed to try a new tack. There was a lot of complacency in learning. So we shifted to an approach that would be more engaging for students. We've seen that the small-group stations allow teachers to build stronger relationships with students, as well as better assess and meet the needs of individual learners.
When we first launched the Station Rotation, it seemed like a prescriptive approach. It took a few months of implementation to fully realize how teachers could start to make the model their own.
In the 2017-2018 school year, we had 20 Chromebooks per classroom, so there were enough for the school to shift to 1:1 devices. We allowed each 6th through 8th grader to take home a device to facilitate anywhere, anytime learning. We quickly realized that many middle school-age students, particularly 6th graders, however, did not display responsible behavior to care for the devices. There was also a rising issue of technology addiction and use of the devices for non-academic purposes. This year, we shifted back to devices that remain in school and shared among classmates. The Station Rotation approach continues to support student learning in healthy ways.
1. It’s a lot of hard work to get blended learning up and going and to do it well. That’s ok; it's worth it.
2. We have to model for our students what we expect: to embrace failure and proceed forward. Don’t let failure be the end - it's how you respond to failure that matters.
Using blended learning as a tool to achieve greater ends. For example, we use Station Rotation to facilitate small-group, customized instruction.
Located north of Columbus in Central Ohio, Mt. Gilead Middle School provides educational services for nearly 300 students, the majority of whom are considered at-risk students. Facing a steady decline in test scores and persistent discipline issues, the staff decided to take a chance by implementing a hybrid learning environment in 2014. Years after implementation, 100 percent of staff members are still support the hybrid learning method in the classroom. Mt. Gilead Middle School has received significant recognition for its blended-learning initiatives from the State of Ohio, OSBA, OTEC, the University of Toledo and a host of schools across the state. Since implementation, the school has also received the Momentum Award for three years straight, a state-designed award that recognizes above-average academic growth in students. Resources may be obtained by reaching out to the school's contact.
Contact: Jon Grega
Contact Title: Principal
Mt. Gilead Middle School
324 W PARK AVE
Mount Gilead, Ohio
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