Today’s Contributor: Terri Reuwsaat
Terri is a 7th grade teacher at Fulmore Middle School. Along with teaching Math, Terri is leading a Service Learning class for the first time at Fulmore Middle School and also leading an after-school computer science programming club. Terri’s interests outside of teaching include traveling and competitive sailing.
Fulmore Middle School is a diverse population of learners. Google Classroom was the “go to” for many of us in the past, but now we are learning how to bring BLEND into our learning space. I decided to go to three teachers who are jumping into the BLEND platform head first in hopes of learning from their experiences.
First is Patty Delmar, a teacher of 8th grade Math. I asked Patty to share how she uses BLEND in her classroom. The feature to allow embedding of material into lessons was tops on her list with Educreations videos and Quizlet being two of her most popular applications. She is able to embed these into her content for vocabulary practice, notes and example problems.
Valerie Hernandez, who teaches Algebra 1 Pre-AP, Geometry Pre-AP, and is our 7th grade Volleyball Coach, has also embedded learning tools into her curriculum. She took full advantage of BLEND professional development opportunities this past summer, giving her the confidence to implement BLEND into her classroom. In asking her “How do you see your class moving toward Blended Learning through the use of the BLEND curriculum?”…her response was, “I use BLEND to store class videos on skills we are studying. I treat it like the class website, where I have all my units listed out and linked to my class support for each unit.”
Another area in which we all struggle are substitute lesson plans and what to do with our students while we are away. I don’t know about you, but the amount of work preparing for a sub and then cleaning up afterwards is often a deterrent to attending a professional development or staying home when I am ill. Valerie is making sub plans that are 100% online learning. She links it to EDpuzzle, Quizlet, GeoGebra, Quizizz, and Desmos for specific lessons and activities. She then has her students submit all homework assignments digitally on BLEND so that she has a time stamp and digital proof of submission. There is never any confusion over turned in assignments.
Lucy Figueroa, Teacher of the Year and 8th grade History Teacher, uses BLEND for creating digital projects. When completed, the students can then take a picture of their project, submit it through BLEND, and she can use speedgrader to grade quickly and efficiently. When asked, “What aspect of BLEND has been most beneficial in your classroom?” Lucy responded, “Submitting digital projects in BLEND!”
The question is though….How do I get started?? Recommendations from these new but experienced users included: (1) Quizzes (2) Transferring your word docs into a google doc and upload them into BLEND as external google docs; This also serves as a location for resources for absent students! (3) Embedding videos of support for students that can then be used for tutoring, small group intervention, and even differentiation.
And there you have it! Ideas to get you started in BLEND from teachers just like me and you. Please feel free to contact me through district mail for more information on any of the above comments…or to offer up more ideas. I am always listening!