Blended learning, ideally, seems like to be an effective strategy for addressing the various intellectual our needs of our scholars. It seems to involve a multitude of various technological resources, hands-on manipulative, centers/stations, small group instruction, and differentiation. One issue that I have with blended learning is the gap of technological resources in certain schools and the households on the scholars. Technology is a vital component to blended learning and I don’t see if being successful in any of the schools I have worked at because they did not have enough technological resources to provide the online instruction that the scholars would receive. I also fear that majority of the scholars may lack the initial technological skills or resources at home in order to satisfy the technological aspect of blended learning. The issue could be resolved by locating investors or donators on Teacher Choose or reaching out to companies or schools who have upgraded their technological resources, who are looking to get rid of their “out dated” resources.
This article grabbed my attention because it mentioned the tremendous success their school has shown with blended learning; even though 46% of the scholars receive free or reduced line, a poverty indicator. Those were one of my main concerns due to the population of scholars that I am familiar with educating. The article gave me a great overview as to what blended learning should and could look like; along with its positives, negatives, and areas of improvement.
The manipulative that I would have scholars use are algebra blocks. The virtual manipulative may be found here: http://illuminations.nctm.org/ActivityDetail.aspx?ID=216
The scholars would use the tiles to represent variables and constants, learn how to represent and solve algebra problems. Solve equations, substitute in variable expressions, and expand and factor. Flip tiles, remove zero pairs, copy and arrange, and make your way toward a better understanding of algebra.
Inside of the classroom, the scholars would use the algebra tiles to review the skills of solving equations using algebra tiles. This would lead into using the tiles to solve more complex equations, expanding and factoring equations, solving equations by substitution, and how to use algebra tiles efficiently physically and virtually. Scholars in the physical class would use to the tiles to write algebraic equations and then go through the steps of the solving the equation by hand and with the manipulative.
Inside of the virtual classroom, the scholars would use the virtual version of the manipulative to solve the given equations on the screen. They would receive their instruction about their assignment via web video or whatever resources their school may provide. Scholars in the virtual class would share their thoughts on how they used the virtual manipulative to solve each equation. They would then be directed to http://a4a.learnport.org/page/algebra-tiles to complete exercises that will extend and deepen their knowledge of solving algebraic equations.