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September 24, 2018

Mexico High School 9th Graders’ Blended Learning Successes


MEXICO – Mexico Academy and Central School District ninth graders’ learning has reached new heights, thanks to continued implementation of blended learning.

Freshman Harley Wakeman works on a classical civilization quest assignment in Eileen Murray’s blended learning classroom.

Freshman Harley Wakeman works on a classical civilization quest assignment in Eileen Murray’s blended learning classroom.

The combination of limited traditional instruction with web-based online learning through a variety of technology applications has enabled Eileen Murray, Mexico High School social studies teacher and blended learning leader, to provide her freshmen students with more intensive instruction.

Learning at their own pace, she said, has limited frustration, wait time moving on from lessons during whole-group instruction and repeated low scores.

One student even said he has enjoyed being able to control his own learning.

Murray’s ninth graders don’t have to worry about having to retain freshman material for the 10th grade Regents exam, as guidelines have recently changed.

That allows for more concentrated learning in the ninth grade blended classroom environment to ensure students retain new skill sets for their sophomore examinations.

The new wave of testing includes short answer questions and writing an enduring-issues essay where students read five documents and decide if they are about conflict, scarcity, human rights, power and population growth, among other topics.

The blended learning process for student success is simple, she said: students log onto their Schoology accounts via school-owned devices when they arrive in her class, view a checklist of work to complete and proceed to work.

Murray has organized each lesson with video clips, graphics and other pertinent information.

The blended learning approaches opens Murray up to more individualized time with students who may need additional assistance.

Murray said she remains excited about what blended learning will continue to do for her students through the remainder of the 2017-18 school year.

For her efforts, she was recently named the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation ITS: Model Schools’ Educator Spotlight for December 2017.

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