Gettingsmart.com cited Quitman Street School as one of its “100 Schools Worth Visiting” due to its incredible efforts in blended learning. Going far beyond simply using smart boards, blended learning is built into the schedule of each of the students at Quitman. According to Quitman Street Principal Erskine Glover, “Blended learning is not just something that we’re toying with here. Blended learning is our mindset.” The blended learning approach is incorporated in the teaching of Math, Language Arts and Science. Students receive at least 80-100 minutes of blended instruction every day.
The use of technology engages the students enabling them to be active participants in their own learning while simultaneously providing differentiated instruction. Quitman Street administrators chose to partner with Education Elements, Core Knowledge and Expeditionary Learning in part because of the extensive student performance data that is provided to educators. Glover shared a not atypical experience of one of his 5th grade teachers who runs reports on the weekend and uses the data immediately to individually tailor the instruction that each of the students receives.
Gone are the days of extended periods of lecturing. Within a 2-hour educational block, whole-group, teacher-led instruction may account for 20-25 minutes with small group, interactive and personalized instruction accounting for the remaining 80-100 minutes of instruction.
Of all the computer applications offered at Quitman, student favorites include Achieve3000, a language-arts activity, and FastMath. What the faculty and administration at Quitman are proving is that blended learning works. Engaging the students with a structured blended approach reaps rich educational dividends.