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A Strategy for Dealing with Concurrent Hybrid Instruction

By Kim Marshall

In this online article, Catlin Tucker says teaching with some students in the classroom and some remote is “the most challenging teaching assignment I can imagine.” Teachers she knows who are working this way “are exhausted, frustrated, and not feeling particularly effective.” What’s most difficult, keeping teachers up late at night planning, is holding all students’ attention.

The answer, says Tucker, is designing lessons that allow the teacher to focus on one set of students at a time – a two-station rotation that she calls flip flop. Key steps:

• Identify the target standard and craft a clear learning objective that will be shared with all students.

• Design a 10-15-minute kick-off task that will engage students in meaningful work while the teacher welcomes online students into the virtual classroom, handles administrative tasks, and deals with technology issues. Some possibilities:

  • Bell ringer – Students engage in review activities, retrieval practice, or spiral review.
  • Spark activity – A prompt piques students’ interest in a topic, gets them doing creative writing, or encourages inquiry.
  • Goal setting – Students set an academic, personal, or behavioral goal for the week and reflect on actions and behaviors needed to reach the goal.
  • Feedback forms – Students give their thoughts on what’s working, their struggles, and questions or suggestions.
  • Connect and reflect – Students make connections between curriculum topics and their lives, or orient new learning in a larger context.
  • Self-assessment – Students evaluate a piece of their own work using a simple rubric.
  • Formative assessment – A writing prompt or quiz collects quick, informal data on students’ understanding of the previous day’s lesson.

Practice gets students to the point where they automatically enter the class (whether in-person or remote) and get right to work on the kick-off task.

• The teacher pulls all students together for a short review of the lesson, or students watch a prerecorded video of the teacher’s introduction. Students then go to one of two “stations,” one self-guided, the other with the teacher. Tucker suggests that the teacher works first with the remote group and gets the in-person group working on the self-guided activities with a short recorded video or screencast to reduce questions and confusion. After a set amount of time, students rotate to the other station.

• At the in-person station, the teacher provides guided practice, engages in interactive modeling, real-time feedback, or has students apply what they’ve learned.

• At the independent work station, students might practice with adaptive software, watch a video lesson, do online research and exploration, collaborate on shared tasks using Google Suites, or have an online discussion about texts, topics, and issues using FlipGrid or the discussion tool on their learning management system. Students present in the classroom can do pen and paper practice, read and annotate, compose a piece of writing, work on an art project, create a flowchart or concept map, or “tinker to learn.”

• The lesson ends with an exit ticket to collect quick formative information and give students a chance to ask questions or request help.

See the article link below for Tucker’s suggested planning template.

“Using a Flip Flop Design for the Concurrent Classroom” by Catlin Tucker, November 13, 2020

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