We started with blended learning two years ago, in 2016-7. This year, 2018-9, will be our third year. University of Northern Colorado did research in our district, and there were six schools that started a blended pilot in 2016-7. Shawsheen began the blended pilot in math for grades K, 2, and 4 then. Last year, we implemented blended learning in math for grades K-5. The first year, we used ZEARN in K and 1. Last year, we made the adjustment to ST Math because we felt that it provided more foundational skills and that it was more supplementary, so that teachers were able to provide more direct instruction. We have a few grades that are using blended learning in literacy, though none full-time. This year, we will be piloting Lexia with grades K and 1 to progress in our implementation of blended learning in reading.
I think the biggest challenge that we haven’t necessarily overcome regards asynchronous learning. When some students finish a ZEARN module more quickly than others, the teacher will often allow them to go on to the next module. We have been working with teachers to enrich students’ understanding of the module at hand (rather than assigning the next module). We’ve also worked with teachers to remediate when a student is struggling with a module on Zearn. We don’t necessarily have a macrocosmic solution to challenges around asynchronous learning. We’ve been searching to find solutions specific to particular teachers, students, and situations.
It’s okay to start slow and to do one piece at a time. Start with the staff members who are excited about blended learning and integrate others slowly so that you are building up success. Think about what you are hiring technology to do for your school. You should make sure that technology is not just becoming a bright, shiny object; you are hiring digital devices to do a specific job.
I see structures and routines as an area of strength of Shawsheen. We have many routines around care of devices, for example. Sometimes adults think that, because students are digital natives, they know how to take care of digital devices, but we have to teach them how to be stewards of the technology. It’s also about teaching kids little things like how to transition from one station to another. We enact routines and procedures so that students gain increasing independence over their learning.
Shawsheen Elementary is a diverse, energetic, positive, and student-focused community which is built upon four cornerstones: Academic Excellence, Professional Excellence, Social/Emotional Climate, and Community Partnership. Working together in a safe environment, our mission is for students at Shawsheen Elementary to achieve at high levels and celebrate the joy of learning. The school serves students in grades PK-5 living in Greeley, Colorado.
Shawsheen Elementary School
4020 W 7th St
In 2013-2014 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test. The TCAP replaced the CSAP as Colorado's state assessment program effective for the 2011-2012 school year.
In 2010-2011 Colorado used the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CSAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test. The CSAP is no longer used by Colorado, instead they use the TCAP.
The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) are the state's common measurement of students' progress at the end of the school year in English language arts, math, science and social studies. CMAS encompasses the Colorado-developed science and social studies assessments as well as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)-developed, English language arts (ELA) and mathematics assessments. The science and social studies assessments were first administered in spring 2014 in grades 4, 5, 7, and 8. The English language arts and mathematics assessments were administered for the first time in spring 2015.
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