The Teacher Leadership Team for the Franklin Innovative Plan set out to address this question: “How can we integrate more science, engage our students in their own learning, and use technology to improve our teaching?” They unanimously found the answer to be an approach called Blended Learning.
What is Blended Learning?
Blended Learning is a combination of online technology with traditional, age-appropriate classroom instruction. A Blended Learning classroom might use technology to enhance a standard lesson with online research, videos, virtual tours, and collaboration with professionals or other students. Teachers can customize student instruction while creating time for more small-group learning.
Franklin’s Innovative Plan calls for special emphasis on science learning, using online tools like FOSSWeb to enhance the in-class science curriculum. You can read the final executive summary here.
Last year, Ms. Meyer’s fourth grade classroom put Blended Learning to use. You can get an idea of what it’s like by looking at her classroom web page. From there, her students can log on to access their homework and instructional tools. You can also click here to see a video of how blended learning might look in action.
Franklin’s goals for the Innovative Plan include:
- Improved student academic outcomes, especially with targeted students (SED/ELD/Tier II)
- Increased student ownership of learning and engagement
- Increased teacher skills and instructional practices
Franklin has applied to add up to 8 additional minimum days for collaboration and professional development. Most days will be coordinated with holidays. The PTA has coordinated with AEF to offer Mad Science classes to parents on those minimum days. Registration for these sessions will take place in the beginning of the school year. Stay tuned to this website for more information about registering.
The additional minimum days for 2016-2017 are as listed on the PTA Calendar page.