Rotation Enables Small Group Lessons: Freddy's Approach to Instruction

Freddy's Approach to Instruction
Teacher Reflection
Teacher Reflection
Blended Learning Model Overviews

Rotation Enables Small Group Lessons

Evolving a rotational model to increase small group instructional time

At Aspire Titan Academy, we use a rotational model where some students engage with interactive software, enabling small group lessons for others. Our students have 90 to 120 minutes of individual computer time daily. Our rotational model is currently evolving to use more programs and create more rotations. The goal is to increase the opportunities for small group instruction where we can better meet individual needs.

Number of Students: 26 students

Number of Adults: one teacher; various other adults support during specific times (e.g., Blended Learning Coordinator, Special Education Teachers, etc.)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 60 minutes--two 30  minute rotations (Math Block)

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: DreamBox

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: Lenovo ThinkPads (1:2 ratio); SMARTboard; Document Camera; iPad (for teacher)

Key Features: station rotation; student agency

Freddy Esparza
Aspire Titan Academy
Los Angeles, CA


About this strategy

Prep Time:
Third grade
Similar Strategies
Small-Group Instruction
Small Group Intervention
Evolving a rotational model to increase small group instructional time

This strategy is a small group guided instruction, or in student friendly language, team time with Mr. Esparza. A group of 3-4 students is pulled as other teams are conducting a differentiated math investigation. Students are given a selection of materials to create models and formulate ideas. We work as a collective to identify our misconceptions by asking ourselves questions, explaining why, and checking for understanding. As a scaffold, students use hand signals and our learning goal success rubrics to check themselves for understanding throughout the process.

Collaborative Student Groups
Peer Support on Computers
Evolving a rotational model to increase small group instructional time

In my class, students are allowed to offer peer support on the computers. My students identify what is a problem or a need they have and it is my job to identify who might be their support. This has helped my students offer guidance and help in a structured way. Peer support on the computers has helped with increasing academic discourse and social interactions as well as give a structured place for students to provide assistance to each other. Cooperative learning and reciprocal teaching are benefits to this strategy as well.

Collaborative Student Groups
Peer Tutoring on Computers
Evolving a rotational model to increase small group instructional time

When a student is working on the computers, they may ask a peer for help if they haven't successfully figured out how to solve a problem. I emphasize trying something first on your paper to explain what you have tried to your buddy, and ask for ideas they may have. Given the adaptive nature of our BL software, many students are encountering difficult content. I want my students to teach each other how to overcome challenges and persevere. This helps to create a sense of unity along with our motivational BL wall. 

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