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K-2 Teachers Are Adopting Blended Learning Practices in their Classrooms

K-2 Teachers Are Adopting Blended Learning Practices in their Classrooms

Technology is expanding education in ways teachers may not have ever imagined, and K-2 teachers are embracing the way that their students learn successfully in the classroom. 

So says education reporter Susan Frey in her article on EdSource.org. In her piece, Frey said that blended learning "is moving from high schools and middle schools to the early grades, even reaching some 4-year-olds in transitional kindergarten."

"Teachers say the programs they are using adapt to the young students’ needs and give teachers time to delve more deeply into the reading and math concepts required under the Common Core State Standards," said Frey, who looked at a number of K-2 classrooms throughout California. She quotes a teacher, Cindy Shannon, a kindergarten teacher at Mitchell School in the Atwater Elementary School District in Merced.

“It’s almost like having another aide in the classroom, and they are learning to use technology,” Shannon said in the article. Frey said that "this year for the first time, she is using the iRead software program recently introduced by Scholastic for K-2 students."

"It keeps them moving, challenging them to work at their ability,” Shannon continued in the article.

According to Frey, "interactive software offers visual clues, such as a big red ball, as students try to sound out B-A-L-L. If students are struggling, the program will go back, for example, to the sound of 'L' to help them. iRead has students pronounce nonsense words to be sure they understand how to sound out letters in words they don’t recognize."

"Some software programs, such as Spatial-Temporal or ST Math from the nonprofit MIND Research Institute in Irvine, focus on conceptual understanding in the guise of a game – helping a perplexed penguin overcome obstacles – that keeps students engaged in learning math," Frey continued in the article. "Programs like iRead and ST Math adapt to the student, waiting until students have firmly grasped a concept before moving to the next. They help students who are behind catch up and offer a challenge to those who are ahead of the rest of the class, educators say. The programs also provide immediate feedback to teachers so they can see which concepts the class is struggling to understand and where there are specific holes in each student’s learning, such as a student not understanding patterns in math."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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