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Will this practice catch on? One nonprofit takes blended learning to the next level


If improving math skills with Teach to One is so successful, will other schools adopt this unique learning initiative?

nonprofit-blended-learning

Across the United States, educators are incorporating more blended learning programs to customize teaching through education programs that combine face-to-face learning with online instruction and content delivery.

eSchool News has covered the challenges and successes of blended learning extensively.

However, one nonprofit has taken the blended learning model and expanded on the student/teacher personalization process to strengthen middle school math scores.

How, might you ask, does this model differ from traditional models?

(Next page: Four ways to improve 21st century math skills)

Launched in 2011, New Classrooms creates a customized “instructional model that helps teachers personalize learning to the needs of each student.” The nonprofit has devised a learning template to improve a traditional blended learning rotational model.

New Classrooms inspired a “Teach to One” Initiative which comprises four unique teaching approaches aimed at improving student math scores in a fun and engaging way. Every 35 minutes, students move on to a task that might be on their same skill level, but feels like something new.

These four teaching approaches are implemented to help teach students who learn at different levels.

  • Teacher-led investigations

15-20 students learn from a live teacher to explore a particular concept.

  • Collaborative

Three to six students in a small group setting work together to problem solve and receive peer-to-peer support.

  • Virtual

Students receive coached instruction, virtual reinforcement, and live tutors.

  • Independent practice

Using a computer or pen and paper, students work alone on assignments to become more comfortable at problem solving.

Joel Rose, founder of New Classrooms, says that this type of personalized instruction can maximize student achievement. It appears there is evidence to support this claim.

A recent study concluded that of the seven middle schools sampled during the 2012-13 school year in Washington D.C., New York, and Chicago, Teach to One students outperformed similar students by nearly 20 percent.

Rose acknowledges certain challenges remain, especially how to teach a class that is engaging for students at the bottom, and not boring for those at the top.

Do you think the Teach to One math initiative should be replicated nationwide?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below and by following me on Twitter @Michael_eSM.

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