School of One Mastery-Based Model: Aaron's Approach to Instruction

 
 
 
Aaron's Approach to Instruction
Teacher Reflection
 
 
Teacher Reflection
 
 
 
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:
Long
Subject:
Math
Grades:
Sixth grade, Seventh grade, Eighth grade
Similar Strategies
Assessment & Data
Aaron's Use of Assessments of Data
A self-paced mastery model of instruction builds student flexibility

Assessment and data play a crucial role in a blended teacher’s classroom. Blended learning gives teachers an opportunity to assess consistently throughout a class, in a way that drives instruction, impacts grouping, and assignments. Blended educators have to develop capacity to sift through multiple sources of data and synthesizes quickly into action. Check out how Aaron utilizes Assessment and Data here.


 
Academic Culture
A self-paced mastery model of instruction builds student flexibility

Since I work with 3 large cohorts of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students (100+ students in each cohort) my colleagues and I developed a Town Hall Meeting for the beginning of the year to explain our Rules, Routines, Procedures, and Consequences to the entire cohort at once. Having all of my students on the same system has provided tremendous consistency and stability and created a solid community foundation. Town Hall Meeting is a place where students not only hear the expectations but are encouraged to ask questions or make comments to the entire community. Delivering this presentation once to the entire cohort helps to set the culture in an efficient way. 

 
Routines and Procedures
Positioning
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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