Located 20 miles north of Austin, Round Rock Independent School District serves roughly 48,000 students and is currently growing by nearly 1,000 students per year. In 2016, Robertson Elementary School launched a highly-personalized station rotation model starting with five classrooms in the K-5 math content area. Campus leaders aimed to increase the rate of student academic growth to address an achievement gap recognized by historical data analysis through the launch of their student-centered blended learning pilot.
“We use the technology as a tool, but the real power is in personalizing instruction for every single student.” – Patricia Ephlin, Principal at Robertson Elementary
The Robertson team launched a blended learning pilot after finding whole group, one-size-fits-all teaching and learning was not meeting the individual needs of Robertson students as evidenced by a lack of STAAR growth data. Campus leaders designed their pilot to personalize learning and provide teachers and students alike with real-time data. This data lets both teachers and students know where students are in the mastery of specific objectives and content and where there might be opportunities for more challenging content, or support.
The Robertson team launched five pilot classrooms using a highly personalized station rotation model in K-5th grade in year one of the pilot, focusing on the math content block for these self-contained teachers. Utilizing blended math content the team provided real time feedback to students and allowed them to work at their own pace. Over time, the team increasingly provided students access to their learning data and began offering them more flexibility in their learning paths. A culture of innovation and risk-taking developed on their campus through the process. In year two, the team has scaled the Raising Blended Learners pilot to five additional self contained classrooms focusing on the math content block. In the spring of 2018, the team also began the design and implementation of a student-centered blended learning literacy pilot in the year one and two classrooms.
Transparency in Learning
Dynamic Instructional Grouping
Design pillars are used among all Raising Blended Learners sites to identify the essential design elements upon which each site’s student experience is based. The Round Rock Student Experience Design Pillars are: Data-Driven Instruction, Transparency in Learning, Dynamic Instructional Grouping, Student Agency, and Rigor and Relevance.
Data-Driven Instruction is a precise and systematic approach to improving student learning throughout the year. The cycle includes assessment, analysis, and action for the success of each student.
Transparency in Learning refers to the intentional access to and support in analyzing student learning data for teachers, students, administrators, and parents. Students have progress ownership, and understanding of how their long-term goals and aspirations are connected to their daily decisions, actions and behaviors.
Dynamic Instructional Grouping refers to the use of a variety of instructional groupings (small group, whole group, partner, 1:1) to maximize student performance. Grouping arrangements are made in response to individual student data indicating the appropriate instructional level and pace.
Student Agency refers to the level of control, autonomy, and power that a student experiences in an educational situation. Student ownership can manifest in the choice of learning environment, approach, and/or pace.
Rigor & Relevance refers to students having the competence to think in complex ways and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired. Even when confronted with perplexing unknowns, students are able to use their extensive knowledge and skills to create solutions and take action in real-world contexts to further develop their knowledge and skills.
Rigor & Relevance