After our emergency transition to fully remote learning, many teachers are somewhat exhausted but settled into their plans for finishing out the school year online. Now as we turn our minds towards next school year, we have more time to be intentional about our instructional design. We don’t exactly know yet what’s coming, but we know that we need to be in a position to be flexible as schools consider hybrid instructional models.
There are lots of educators who are thinking through how schools will adopt a hybrid model (part of the time in school buildings and part at home), with the possibility of moving back to remote learning for shorter periods of time if necessary. We’ve already shared some great ways to use Listenwise in remote learning. Now we want to help teachers think through what elements of Listenwise instruction are best suited for the classroom and what students might do remotely at home.
The great news is that Listenwise has always been designed for teachers to pick and choose which resources they want to use face-to-face in the classroom and what they will ask students to do online. And regardless of how you blend your instruction, the power of a great high-interest story will impact motivation and engagement. You may want to start the new year with some particularly fun stories or stories that help students get to know each other before you delve into curriculum topics.
Many Listenwise teachers were accustomed to having students do all their Listenwise work during classroom time. Now it’s time to ask what are the most important parts of that instruction to retain for live class time (either in class or via video chat), and which parts can be effectively done independently by students.
Flipping the Classroom
One good option is to have students listen on their own and take the quiz online first. Then you can take a look at the online quiz results to see where you might offer instructional support when you discuss the stories with students in the classroom. And if you have to move back to all remote learning, you can easily transition your discussions online.
This is similar to the flipped classroom approach, which was the most popularized model for blended learning in middle and high school classrooms prior to COVID19. We can learn from this approach how to shift direct instruction and consumption of information to remote time and use face-to-face time for guided practice and discussion to deepen student understanding. Perhaps students might do a first listen on their own and answer some comprehension questions. But some activities may benefit from direct teacher support in class, such as a debate or responding to a longer writing prompt based on one of our discussion questions.
If you typically do a lot of scaffolding and pre-teaching of Listenwise stories before or during listening, you may want to take the reverse approach, where you listen together the first time and help students activate prior knowledge. Then you can ask students to do a follow-up activity independently, where they can listen to the story again as they do the written assignment or take the quiz.
If you’re working with students for whom you expect the Listenwise content to be quite challenging, definitely take advantage of Listenwise’s tools for scaffolding and differentiation. Listenwise Premium includes interactive transcripts, slowed audio, word lookup and text read-aloud. In addition, teachers can create different assignments for different groups of students if needed. Now is really the time to use these features, when you cannot be there to answer questions in real time while your students are working. You may even want to record a little video with suggestions for your students about what to do if they have trouble understanding a story.
Weekly Learning Routines
Many teachers find weekly learning routines to be very helpful for students in the classroom, especially in elementary school. But they are also an important tool for helping students transition to online learning and know what is expected of them at any age. Common routines include “Listenwise Wednesdays” or incorporating a required listening activity into each week’s independent literacy block. Think about how these routines will work when you have less time in the classroom. Here are some integration strategies that might offer helpful tools to support you and your students in moving seamlessly between remote and hybrid schooling.
Want more expert advice about how to utilize Listenwise in blended or remote learning? Listenwise is now offering a great new professional development workshop for groups of teachers from a school or district. Even better – it’s affordable and delivered totally remotely! Contact us to learn more about our professional development offerings.
Are you currently using or planning to use Listenwise in other innovative ways? Do you have additional ideas for hybrid instruction? Please share them in the comments below!