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Sunday, April 09, 2017

Shuford Elementary students explore blended learning | Hickory Daily Record

"Drew Fisher has attended Shuford Elementary since kindergarten, and now as a fifth-grader, he admits there have been a lot of changes – mostly because of blended learning." continues Hickory Daily Record.

The first example he likes to highlight is the amount of technology used by students.

“You used to do everything on pencil and paper, and now we’re finding ways to do it on the computer, and I like it that way,” Fisher said. “Now, the teachers can’t get on to you for turning in something on crunched up paper.”

It was this type of bold, confidence visitors saw in every class they visited from kindergarten to fifth grade during Wednesday’s Blended Learning Showcase at the school.

This method of teaching has students working in small groups of equal learning levels and then rotating from face-to-face time with their teacher to using online tools to working at hands-on stations. The system allows teachers to personalize instruction while not slowing down an entire class, making the most of digital content online.

Working in a group is a big part of the blended learning method as well, and some of the student guides during the showcase admitted it can be hard working with others at times.

“It depends on the assignment we’re given,” Reid Griffin said. “Patience is important. It’s the same thing like sports. If you keep working with what you’re doing, you’ll get better at it.”

Aspen Hartsoe, a fourth-grader, said it came down to learning how to get along.

“The people in your group have to cooperate with you or it doesn’t work,” Hartsoe said. “You just figure each other out, and it gets easier the longer you do it.”

Newton-Conover City Schools board chair Jeanne Jarrett was one of the school’s guests, and she enjoyed seeing the different teaching options available to Shuford teachers.

“Showcasing it like this really showed us a little bit more hands-on as to what they’re doing,” Jarrett said. “It’s really amazing how you can walk into a classroom and they’re all working on the same topic but they’re doing it in different ways. Some are on iPads. Some are using pencil and paper. Some are using books.”

Jarrett also was impressed with how focused the students were despite having guests coming in and out of their classrooms.

Source: Hickory Daily Record