Teaching Reading Using a
Blended Learning Model of Instruction
There are obvious benefits to both teacher-led instruction and software-based instruction, so people often debate which one is better. However, you don’t have to choose between one or the other. You can enjoy the perks of both!
***The testimonials included throughout this page are from Dana Boam, a teacher in Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, the 5th largest district in the United States.***
Redefine Your Classroom
Blended Learning gives teachers the tools to be able to mentor, empower, and inspire their students.
Blended Learning with Reading Horizons Discovery
Stacy Hurst explains how Reading Horizons Discovery can be perfectly implemented into a blended learning environment.
Why Blended Learning?
By combining Reading Horizons teacher-led and software-based instructional tools,
your reading instruction is enhanced in the following ways:
Multisensory Direct Instruction
Reading Horizons direct instruction is crucially important because it employs all the modalities used in learning. All learners, but especially struggling readers, benefit from high-engagement, multisensory, teacher-led instruction that activates and connects multiple areas of the brain. By making new brain connections that are only developed through hands-on learning and activities, struggling readers can make great strides in reading.
Individualized Software Instruction
Reading Horizons software-based reading instruction helps emerging readers, struggling readers, and English language learners in four powerful ways:
1. Differentiates Instruction Efficiently
Reading Horizons software differentiates instruction to cater to the specific needs of every student. The software adapts to each student’s individual performance, delivering targeted reinforcement activities for struggling students and faster pacing for advanced students.
2. Ensures Quality Instruction
Reading Horizons software ensures that students receive high-quality, consistent reading help even when they have substitute teachers, miss a class, or enter the school year late. Reading Horizons software also ensures quality instruction in environments where a teacher is new or has not yet been trained in the method.
3. Facilitates Independent Learning
Reading Horizons software is beneficial for struggling students because it delivers the lesson material they need in a non-threatening, age-appropriate way—while encouraging them to become more self-reliant and independent in their work. By learning apart from their peers and teacher, students aren’t embarrassed by their poor reading skills, making them less resistant to instruction and more open to learning.
4. Enables Data-Driven Decision Making
Reading Horizons software helps teachers maximize the effectiveness of their direct instruction by providing detailed information about the specific skills students are struggling with. The report data can also be used to organize small group instruction that matches student skill.
Reap the Benefits of Blended Learning
To provide your students with all of the benefits of both teacher-led and software-based reading instruction, here are three effective ways teachers have organized the Reading Horizons program to fit a blended learning model. You can also combine these models to best match the needs of your students:
1. Use Learning Centers
Learning centers are beneficial because they allow you to differentiate instruction, provide more individualized attention to students, and adjust for limited resources (for example, not having enough computers for your entire class to use at one time). With this approach, you conduct whole class instruction and then break students into small groups that rotate through various stations and activities.
Here is a blended learning model that utilizes learning centers (based on 90 minutes of Reading Horizons instruction):
Whole class instruction and dictation for 20–30 minutes.
Break into learning centers. Rotate in 20-minute time slots.
Center 1: Reading Library Passages (Reading Horizons Elevate)
Center 2: Game/Activity
Center 3: Practice Page/Additional Dictation Practice
Center 4: Software-Based Instruction
Report data showing student performance in the software can be used to determine which students should be grouped together in future learning centers and which content and skills should be reinforced in whole class instruction and learning center rotations.
2. Pre-teach Material with Software
Being exposed to lesson material prior to whole class instruction can help struggling students stay on pace with their peers. By assigning these students to complete software lessons either at home (with the online version) or during lab or intervention time, struggling students receive the individualized pacing and reinforcement activities that make whole class instruction a better experience for all students.
3. Have Students Review Lesson Material at Home with Online Software
To ensure that students have a solid understanding of each concept and to adjust for limited class time, have students review lesson material at home. Students with access to the online version of the software can practice and review concepts at a pace that meets their own needs from the comfort of their own home using their student login. The online software can also be used for homework assignments or as makeup work for missed classes. Because the software adjusts to the individual needs of each student, you can be assured that each student is receiving the instruction that will help them master the concepts that lead to reading success.