The Attainment blog is all about providing resources and support to educators, so with that in mind, one of our regular features will be Teacher FAQs. We’ll share the questions we often see in our inboxes or hear from teachers at conferences, demos and webinars. If you have a question you’d like to see us answer here, please share it in the comments!
Q: I have one of Attainment's blended curriculum, and I'm not always sure how to best incorporate all of the different materials. How can I take advantage of video, software and apps, without feeling overwhelmed?
A: Great question! A blended approach can help you teach students with varying abilities and learning preferences, but it does come with its own challenges, like time management. How can you fit it all in? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, we do have some recommendations.
Let's look at Explore Your Community as an example. This curriculum is aimed at adolescents and adults in transition, and it focuses on real-life situations, like taking the bus and going to the movies.
In general, we suggest starting with the written materials in the Student Book, followed by a video modeling the behavior or skill you're trying to master, then an activity in the software or app to reinforce the lesson. If you're covering the lesson during the course of a week, you might start with one day using the print materials, then try the software on the second day, and continue on from there.
The Instructor's Guide actually includes a sequence for presentation (bottom-right corner below), that you can follow step by step. By giving you a "script" to follow, we hope you'll have more time to focus on your students' individual needs.
You can also try giving individual students or small groups a chance to work on different activities at stations or centers; this can be very helpful when you're working with students of varying ability levels. Apps and software make this easier than ever, and free you up for more one-on-one interactions and individualized support. One station could have a teacher leading a role-playing activity while another station is run by a paraprofessional where students watch a video modeling a skill, while a third group uses the software independently to test their comprehension of the topic you're covering.
Every student learns differently, as we're sure you know! Some students are very technologically driven, and we like to make it easy to tailor your instruction around your students' interests. Our software and apps not only reinforce the print curriculum, but also improve engagement for your diverse learners.
Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions about utilizing blended curriculums with your students. We know that no two classrooms are exactly alike, and we're here to help you get the most out of your curriculum!