With the shift to Common Core learning standards, our district needed to change our math curriculum. We knew we wanted something aligned strongly to the rigor of the new standards with appropriate scaffolds that ensured equitable access for all learners. Additionally, it was a priority to our teachers that we select instructional materials that provided adequate data that would enable them to personalize learning for their students. Through the selection process, our teachers felt that the Ready/iReady blended learning curriculum would the best fit for K-5 math instruction. It fit all of our selection criteria and more...and it offered a blended learning opportunity which we were excited about exploring.
Our challenges were 1) that we did not have strong experience in blended learning structures, and 2) that we had limited devices (hardware)...at the K-5 level multiple classrooms were share Chromebook carts.
To support the shift to blended learning, we have multiple team structures in place. We believe strongly that all members of the teams need to participate in on-going, high quality professional development in order to ensure the effectiveness of our use of blended learning tools and structures.
Our teaming structures include:
- District Level Leadership and Support: We are responsible to supporting blended learning with adequate resources: access to curriculum, access to hardware, quality professional development (personalized for each group), structures for data analysis and action planning, clear tight-loose guidelines for implementation and master scheduling, and instructional coaching to support our schools, administrators and teachers.
- School Level Leadership (Principals): Strong instructional leadership from our principals is a key component to the success of our blended learning model. Principals need to understand the curriculum, know how to access data and make it actionable in improving learning outcomes for students, provide coaching feedback from classroom walk-throughs and observations, ensure that resources are available (instructional learning block time and access to hardware), leadership and clear expectations for collaborative structures (like PLCs), and to support continued and personalized professional development for their teachers.
- Teacher Collaborative Teams: Our district uses the PLC model (Professional Learning Communities) as support for on-going teacher collaboration. Teacher teams, usually organized by grade level...including both classroom teachers and specialists, use this time to analyze student data and modify instructional strategies accordingly.
- Data Structures: Our district uses the RtI model (Response to Intervention) as a structure for broader analysis of student outcome data and instructional planning. This takes place in cycles (6-8 weeks) where grade level teams review student data with the principal and other specialists to monitor progress and inform planning.
Our district is in the beginning of year three of our implementation of the blended learning model for math K-5. We are pleased that outcomes on both summative and formative measures are steady gains. Proficiency on math standards in grades 3-5 as measured by our state assessment (Smarter Balanced Assessment) has increased almost 10% in the last two years. Teachers are also seeing improvement in outcomes on formative measures in the classroom and in students' overall number sense and mathematical thinking. Additionally, survey data from teachers shows increase in "soft skills" as well: student confidence, communication skills, metacognitive skills, perseverance with difficult math tasks, etc.
Our teachers are pleased with the ease of use of our online system for personalized learning and with the detailed data it provides on each students progress and areas for continued support (along with aligned resources for that support).
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145 SE Salmon Ave
Redmond School District's Website