This website has been set-up to allow me to implement four elements of effective math instruction in a blended learning environment in both the high school and college level classes that I teach. Blended learning is a mix of “online” and traditional “offline” instruction. But, as you know, math instruction has intricacies and nuances all its own, so the idea of choosing the “best blended learning model” for my math classroom is a very tricky process. My goal is to meet every student’s math learning needs by creating a perfect connection between online and offline learning tools.
The four key elements of effective math instruction that will be implemented in each of my classes will include:
1) Systematic and Explicit Sequencing – appropriately placed throughout the semester, I will guide students through a detailed, defined instructional sequence suitable for the course they are enrolled in.
2) Self-instruction Opportunities – regularly throughout the semester, I will allow students to manage their own learning with specific prompting or solution-oriented questions. This will allow me to assist struggling students while simultaneously engaging gifted learners through self-directed, individualized learning opportunities.
3) Peer Tutoring Environments – pairing students to learn or practice academic tasks will be implemented on a regular basis. Peer tutoring and small group discussions will provide my students with a learning environment where students can get immediate feedback on their progress from their peers.
4) Visual Representation Resources – using “manipulatives”, pictures, animations, number lines, and graphs of functions and relationships will be used to teach mathematical concepts in every course I teach.
My goal throughout the semester will be to apply these four math instructional elements within two of the best blended learning models.
1) The Rotation Model – the process of rotating between “learning modalities” (at least one of these involving some form of online learning resources) that essentially combines all four of the above elements. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to learn with visual representation (manipulatives) both on-screen and off. A variety of educational technology tools will be used to provide great visual representation of math concepts and problems.
2) The Flex Model – within a flex model, the teacher provides face-to-face support on a flexible and adaptive as-needed basis. This model offers an excellent opportunity for students to use technology to focus on self-driven learning and allows me to provide immediate teacher-to-student interaction that focuses on individual student needs.
My hope is that, by implementing the most effective math instructional techniques with the best blended learning models, my classroom environment will provide students with a math class where they will no longer fear that “dreaded math class” which they are required to take. Children are born with an ability to appreciate “numerosity”. When teachers can utilize this natural ability and create the perfect learning environment, students excel in mathematics!