School of One Mastery-Based Model: Classroom Tour

Classroom Tour
Teacher In Action
Teacher In Action
Blended Learning Model Overviews

School of One Mastery-Based Model

A self-paced mastery model of instruction builds student flexibility

In 2011, my school was awarded a grant that brought the School of One mastery-based blended learning model to MS88.  School of One allows students to learn at their own pace in a totally redesigned, open classroom that can fit well over 100 students in different centers of the room.   Students are assessed at the beginning of the year and given a “learning trajectory” for the entire year.  Every day, each student is assigned new individualized lessons in different parts of the classroom in one of seven different learning modalities: virtual instruction/reinforcement, independent practice, small group/peer-to-peer collaboration, live investigation, and task projects.  At the end of each class, we use an “exit slip” to evaluate and regroup students based on their progress. They are required to demonstrate mastery in each skill or concept before they can move onto new skills and concepts.

Number of Students: ~300 students

Number of Adults: six teachers; one Operations Technology Associate; SPED teacher(s) and/or paraprofessionals (as needed)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 92 minutes (divided into two 36 minute sessions)

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: proprietary web-based software;  IXL, LearnZillion, VirtualNerd, Khan Academy, MangaHigh, Math XL, TenMarks, I Can Learn,  Khan Academy, Engrade, Educreations, Padlet, Remind, Weebly, Google Apps for Education

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: student laptops (1:1), iPads for teachers, SMARTboards

Key Features: competency-based; student agency;individualized learning paths; project-based; innovative use of time; innovative use of talent; co-teaching

Aaron Kaswell
Middle School 88 Peter Rouget
Brooklyn, NY


About this strategy

Prep Time:
Sixth grade, Seventh grade, Eighth grade
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Whole-Group Instruction
Whole Group Discussion
A self-paced mastery model of instruction builds student flexibility

During Live Investigation and Task sessions (both teacher-led), I often use a whole group discussion format just like a traditional classroom. Blended or not, there is no substitute for discussion.

Routines and Procedures
A self-paced mastery model of instruction builds student flexibility

Positioning is a strategy I use, especially at the beginning of the school year, to ensure that my students know where they should go, what they will do at each station, and how much time they will spend at each station. Positioning occurs after I welcome the class (please see the "Opening Bell" strategy video) and before they begin rotating. I typically project the group assignment page from our class website onto the smart board and do a few quick checks for understanding before I let students go to their stations. 

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