Search form

How to Make Hybrid Learning Easier on Middle School Students

A hybrid learning system can be a challenge for students as they transition into their new educational reality. Due to the ongoing pandemic, most American students have been learning from home. But as the government lifts the stay-in orders, schools have adopted a hybrid learning system. This means you, the teachers, must devise strategies to make hybrid learning easier and effective for your students. Handling middle or intermediate school students is no easy feat because they are in an age group that thrives on having real connections. Hybrid learning may be a hurdle for them, and at just 8 to 12 years old, you will need to support them as they adjust to the program.

How Teachers and Educators Can Make Hybrid Learning Easier for Middle School Students

At some point in your hybrid learning experience, you may find yourself teaching a portion of your students remotely and in-person synchronously. It could also be that your students have to switch between online classes and face-to-face learning sessions daily, posing a daunting challenge for most students. This is why we've compiled some of the most effective strategies for making hybrid learning easier for your students.

Establish Routines

Routines reduce the amount of information and tasks that students have to organize. The easiest way to confuse your students is to send them an overwhelming number of emails or other digital communication forms in a single day. Instead, ensure your students are aware of what you expect of them for the particular day. You can achieve this by posting a weekly schedule and daily schedule (listed by date) to help your students plan. 

You should also post assignments in a consistent format and on one digital platform like Google Classroom to avoid confusing your students. They may be part of a tech-savvy generation, but it's not solely their job to figure the technological end of hybrid learning. 

Group these assignments by unit or topic and label them with their due dates. This can minimize students missing assignment deadlines or turning in course materials that they didn't mean to submit. Start and end your classes in the same way, each day. You can begin the lesson by reviewing the day's schedule and end the class by giving reminders of assignments with close due dates.

Keep Everything Simple

Hybrid learning has so much going on that it will be essential to focus on the basics. The more streamlined things are, the easier it becomes for your students to learn comfortably. To start, decide on the platforms and technology you and your students are comfortable with. Students can be overwhelmed easily by complicated and lengthy procedures. It will also be impossible to deliver information to your students if you're struggling with the digital tools. 

Avoid having too many plates spinning, and always try to find areas where you can simplify the process and encourage consistency. One great way of making the program easier for your learners is to match the daily online schedule with that of the school. Schedule matching will ensure that the students have an easy time shifting between home days and school. And though we promote simplicity, we understand that hybrid learning involves multitasking on a completely different level. That's just why it's essential to keep things simple as need be.

Adopt Project-Based Learning

The one-size-fits-all approach to teaching may be in some way effective in a classroom but not in online learning. When it comes to online learning, students are in different locations and situations at home. This is why you need to use an approach that highlights the student's skills and strengths. During face-to-face lessons, you can use the usual "we do" and "I do" teaching style. Then you can adopt a "you do "approach, which is great to help build independence in the older kids in your class. These "you do" techniques can be learning tasks that students have to finish at home. 

During class, establish ways that your learners can create their own resource materials for classwork or homework. Depending on what you assign them, you can give them applicable anchor charts. While they complete the task, you can learn about each of your students' strengths and weaknesses. This can be helpful since hybrid learning means you will not always be physically present to monitor your students' progress.

Include Fun Activities in Lessons

The importance of including fun and engaging activities during learning needs no reiteration. You can use activities like virtual debates to reinforce skills or help your learners develop logical reasoning and critical thinking skills. By incorporating such activities in hybrid learning, you help your students remain engaged with the new learning program. It also makes learning feel more straightforward. 

Middle school science is a great entry point for fun activities, and you can have them conduct safe but exciting experiments. Middle school students are at a more advanced stage and can do more projects independently. Ask that they get the supplies—or send the supplies—they need for the activity beforehand and assemble or conduct the experiment together, either online or in the classroom. Pick an activity that most or all of your students will find interesting. 

Activities can also be very helpful if you're teaching topics that traditionally use multimedia. When teaching units such as foreign language, you can get your students actively involved by creating comical dialogues in the language. This expands the multimedia use to full-blown learning sessions from the simple traditional audio recordings.

Most Importantly, Be Patient with Your Students.

Don't be surprised when your students show up underprepared for a class or aren't ready to learn things at grade level. As teachers, you deal with different kinds of students and scaffold to their needs constantly. While your school perfects the hybrid learning model, be prepared to scaffold every student. Therefore, focus on growth. In the first months of school, conduct undaunting diagnostic tests to establish the level at which your students are learning. Track this data until you're satisfied that you know each of your students' weaknesses and strengths. As you teach, take time to appreciate and celebrate growth. Don't spend too much time thinking that most of the kids you're teaching are below grade level. Students can easily recognize when you appreciate their efforts and hard work. It also makes them feel more motivated to work harder and improve themselves.

Copyright© 2021 Education World