If you’re only using print products and traditional classroom instruction, your students are missing out. Blended learning strategies allow you to integrate technology into your literacy instruction — and that only benefits students.
Think students have too much screen time? We live in a digital world. Students need to navigate online resources and traditional resources. And remember, this is a blended learning strategy. You can have print rich environments and digital literacy centers.
Why use blended learning strategies
Using multiple teaching methods helps students learn, retain, and apply information and new skills. Digital activities are often engaging for kids, but this isn’t about using technology for bells and whistles or so students can have fun. It’s about offering students different ways of learning that match how they learn best and giving them different ways to show what they know.
There are lots of ways to use blended learning strategies. Here are a few ideas:
- Start by reading a book with students and then have them watch a video clip on a related topic. Have them compare what they learned from each source.
- Teach a lesson on sh digraphs. Send worksheets home for students to practice sh digraph words. Include digital games in your digital literacy center for students to practice over the week.
- Listen to a song and then read a poem together. Hold a class discussion of rhythm.
- Launch a lesson with technology, such as letting students work through google slides to prepare for a research project. Then meet with small groups to help the identify their topics and ideas. Let students choose whether they want to use a print packet or online worksheets to complete their project.
- Offer both digital and print games and activities in your literacy center for center time or choice time.
- Let students create a slide show, video, or other digital format project to demonstrate what they’ve learned.
Add some digital activities to your classroom today.
Get your FREE Sample Digital Digraph ch Activities!
Set up your digital literacy center
Let’s update your literacy center! Remember we’re talking about blended learning strategies. That means you can update your literacy center with traditional or print activities and with digital options.
Things you can add to your digital literacy center:
- mini video lessons that students can watch on their own
- ebooks or audiobooks
- online worksheets
- digital games
- links to online tools, such as dictionaries or thesauruses
If you are comfortable with the technology, go for it. You may be able to repurpose lessons you already have for students to use. It could be as simple as recording yourself giving a short lesson or sharing your Google slides.
Not sure you’re ready to create digital resources? That’s OK! There are lots of great resources available. Just like you can download printables for use in your classroom, you can get great digital materials too.
If you get materials that come in both digital and print versions, like the activities listed below, you can mix and match! Send home a worksheet for homework. Use a digital activity in your digital literacy center for individual or small group work. For example, get more Digraph ch print and digital activities (like the free sample with more).
If you want to engage students and provide more practice on other digraphs, check out these print and digital games and worksheet packs Digraph th, Digraph ae, Digraph ck, Digraph qu, Digraph ng, and Digraph wh.
You’ll find posters, bingo games at two levels, and a bunch of activity sheets: cut and match, draw the words, word and sentence jumbles, word hunts, word triangles and more — all in print and digital versions.
Use your digital literacy center
Once you set up your digital literacy center, make sure you actually use it for blended learning strategies.
Set your students up for success, but demonstrating how to use any new technology. For example, show them where to find materials and how to log in or open them. If you have videos or other activities with sound, talk about using headphones at an appropriate level. Set clear expectations of what students can and can’t do while using the digital literacy center. Then have fun with it!
Here’s one way you could use a print and digital activity pack to teach long A.
Introduce the sound of long A. Ask students to list words with that sound. As they do, write them on the board. Add a few examples to help cover different spellings of the sound if students don’t get them. Then use the words on the board to demonstrate different ways of spelling the Long A sound.
Hand out word cards from the activity pack. Have students sort their sound into the correct column of chart using the spelling patterns. Hang the poster of words by spelling pattern that comes as part of the activity pack.
Provide three worksheets in your digital learning center for students to complete when it is their turn in the center. Send a print worksheet home for additional practice.
Play bingo with small literacy groups, either online or on paper. Make four in a row and the beehive spelling game available for partners as a literacy choice activity.
Use the fluency board to assess student fluency. If needed, give students additional practice activities. You can choose digital or paper — or give students the option.
You don’t have to do it all at once. You could start by adding one practice activity in a digital version. You could spend a lot of time on paper activities if students have had a lot of digital time for another subject or testing. Digital learning centers are a great way to engage in blended learning strategies in your classroom, but like any activities, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t for your class and teaching style.