Return to Headlines

How Little Elm ISD Is Giving Students Ownership of their Education

October 8, 2021

Written by Cecelia Jones, Director for Communications                                                                                                   

Article contributed by Kaleen Hernandez, Chavez Elementary Administrator Intern

Chavez teacher helps students learn

Academic loss has been at an all-time high resulting in educators looking into strategies that will bring students back to where they need to be academically. It’s a challenge that a lot of school districts are facing. Little Elm ISD Curriculum and Learning know how they’re going to help teachers and students win when it comes to academic performance. That’s because a plan, which was put into motion pre-pandemic, is already in its first year of a three-year roll-out plan starting with grades kindergarten, third, and sixth grades. Year two will include first, fourth and seventh grades, and year three will include second, fifth, and eighth grades.

Last fall, the District was notified it was one of 16 Texas school districts out of more than 1,200 in the state to be selected for a $225,000 grant from the Texas Education Agency.

Doug Sevier, director for Curriculum and Instruction, said “one of the reasons why the TEA liked our proposal from Little Elm ISD was because we weren’t planning to spend the money on items, but rather on training that will help our staff build capacity that would directly result in increased student achievement.”

The District will be using the grant dollars to partner with Education Elements, a company focused on helping districts evolve into a more responsive system to transform education through a blended learning model. Blended learning, in a nutshell, is an opportunity for each student to have individualized learning that empowers them to build ownership of their learning.

Next week, curriculum leaders will show Ed Elements blended learning in action in all kindergarten, third, and sixth-grade classrooms across the District.

kids learning a girl raising her hand in class

 

Taking a Deeper Dive into Blended Learning

Blended learning is a great way to engage all learners by integrating face-to-face instruction with eLearning through a learning management system (LMS). In the past decade, blended learning has become a meaningful tool for instruction in the classroom at all academic levels. An experiment conducted by the University of Iowa found that more than 95 percent of students enrolled in the blended course section earned course grades of C- or higher, compared with 82 percent in the large lecture sections and 81 percent in the online sections (Haynes, 2020). The research is so positive that the corporate world has also started to adopt blended learning as a means to train staff who come with differentiated learning styles (ELM Learning, 2021).

Here are some examples of how blended learning positively impacts student learning in schools (Walker, S.):

  • Flexibility in learning approaches and pacing
  • Effectiveness through multiple methods of instruction
  • Teacher empowerment to check on students’ progress individually or in small groups
  • Student autonomy over their learning
  • Learner Data gathering for better insights
  • Student Engagement learning objectives
  • Differentiation allows students to receive lesson activities gauged to their individual learning level

For more information on how blended learning benefits the elementary classroom, please click here: Blended Learning in Elementary


References

ELM Learning. (2021, August 30). What is blended learning? A Guide to Everything You Need to Know. Retrieved October 5, 2021, from https://elmlearning.com/blended-learning-everything-need-know/.

Haynes, R. (2020, March 5). Blended learning: Choose the Best Model for You. AllenComm. Retrieved October 5, 2021, from https://www.allencomm.com/blog/2020/03/blended-learning-choose-the-best-model-for-you/.

Walker, S. (2018, September 12). 5 Benefits of Blended Learning. Retrieved October 5, 2021, from https://www.imaginelearning.com/blog/2018/09/5-benefits-blended-learning.