Friday, January 31, 2014

Using Blendspace for Differentiation

This is such a great way to facilitate learning in a co-teaching classroom! This co-teaching pair, Nicole and Lara, learned in a 45 minute workshop on our Institute Day a week ago, how to set up Blendspace for math (or any subject.) I visited their classroom today to see how math was going.

For the past few months, we have been unpacking the math standards so that teachers could really get a good look at the depth of learning required in the CCSS. Nicole and Lara noted that in the fractions unit, students should manipulate paper to deepen understanding. So when they set up the Blendspace unit for fractions, they included the paper folding activities as well as videos, periodic assessments, and practice at fractions.

There's a blog feature on Blendspace. Kids ask each other or the teacher questions or comment. It's fascinating to read what the kids write regarding their thinking or responding to questions posed.

Students in this class take an assessment at the end of each segment of the fractions unit. The assessment feature in Blendspace grades it. The student and teacher get immediate feedback on the student's understanding.

Both teachers moved around the classroom during my visit today, interacting with students individually and responding to questions or comments posted on the blog feature. I noted that students were at different points in the unit with one student far ahead of others. What a great way to provide self-paced, differentiated learning for students.