Blended Learning: The Two Station Rotation Model for Direct Instruction and Independent Practice

At the 5th Annual COP3 Summit this summer I had an opportunity to see former YPICS employee Jonathan Tiongco present on blended learning. After leaving YPICS Jonathan headed up Alliance Charter Schools’ Blended Learning for Alliance School Transformation (BLAST) program. During his presentation Jonathan shared with the group the Alliance “Pick 6” Station Rotation Models for blended learning. Today I wanted to spend some time taking a deep look at one of the models and share some ways that you can use the model in your classroom.

The Two Station Rotation Model for Direct Instruction and Independent Practice

Two Station Rotation Model

Explanation of the model:

    In this two station rotation model the students have the opportunity to work with the teacher and work independently. This is a great model for teachers who want to start experimenting with blended learning in their classroom.

Timeline for using this model:

Blended Learning Two Station Rotation Model Timeline(1)

  • Start your class with a whole class do now.
  • Review your objectives for the day. When using this model you will want to have an objective for the direct instruction station and independent work station. You can also use this time to review your data goal for the day.
  • Have the students move to their stations. To help speed this process up you may want to have groups already created so the students can quickly identify where they are supposed to go. You can also display this information for the students so they have a visual reminder of where to go.
  • Each rotation should last for 15-30 minute depending on your number of instructional minutes. For 100 minute blocks you can extend this time frame to meet the needs of your students.
  • After the second rotation have the students come back together for an exit ticket and closing activity.

Pros of this model:

  • Allows for differentiation based on student groupings.
  • Allows for small group instruction and more targeted instruction for students with IEPs and EL students.
  • Gives the students time to work on our online programs during class time.
  • Allows for smaller chunks of direct instruction.
  • By teaching the same lesson multiple times throughout the day the teacher has a better understanding of the content and can anticipate student misconceptions about the content.
  • Helps students learn how to focus and work independently.

Cons of this model:

  • Classroom management at first can be difficult. Once the students learn how to work independently classroom management gets better. If you would like some tips for managing technology in your class check out this article.
  • Getting through content takes a little longer because you are only working with the students for a short time frame.

How to use this model at YPICS:

Blended Learning Tools Available at YPICS

  • Math – ½ of your class working on the active instruction section of the SFA Math curriculum and ½ your class working on ALEKS.
  • ELA – ½ of your class participating in a lecture or activity and ½ your class working on Achieve 3000.
  • All other classes – ½ of your class participating in a lecture or activity and ½ your class working on another independent assignment. You could assign a webquest, Illuminate Quiz, presentation creation, etc to the students. The goal is for the students to be able to complete the independent practice without much support from the teacher.

Implementation tips:

  • To help keep the students focused during the independent station, set a goal with the students for number of topics completed in Aleks, number of articles completed at 75% or better in Achieve3000, etc. This is a great time to use positive incentives with the students. If the students meet their goals you could hand out scholar dollars, class points, or use any other incentive that you have in your classroom.
  • Use Google Classroom/Website to share assignments with students prior to starting rotations. The students should be able to access and start the assignments without much support. This will take a little time at first because the students need to learn the routines.
  • If you have a classroom tutor you can have the tutor support the students working on the independent practice.

If you have any questions about how to use the two station rotation model in your class please let me know.

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