Sunday, July 5, 2015

Preparing to Teach in a Hybrid Classroom

The biggest challenge with teaching in a hybrid classroom is that students have much more freedom than they have ever had before.  This means they will need a lot of modeling and direct instruction on how to work at each of the stations. Here is a secondary example of what a hybrid classroom should look like.

Here is what my typical first week of school looks like:

Day 1:  Welcome students to the class, introduce myself, begin to learn student names/faces, begin work of a review packet covering material from the previous math course, explain hybrid learning

Day 2:  Practice direct station, do this by learning about objectives based grading and continuing review, model classroom routines like signing out, use of electronic devices, turning in assignments, etc.

Days 3 & 4:  Practice independent station, do this by getting all students registered for all computer programs that we will use such as Edmodo, edpuzzle, manga high, etc.  Give students time to explore each of these as we go along and model how to use them correctly

Day 5:  Practice collaborative station, do this by finishing review, model what working with a group should look like, practice circulating from one station to the next in under 90 seconds.

Finally, when we return to school the following week I start the new material having the students split into their three groups.  I highly recommend assigning computer seats and collaborative subgroups.  I do it for nearly the entire year because I find students can get very off-task if they are working with friends. At this point I explain how they know who to sit with at collaborative and which computer to sit at for independent.  Ideally you would have a coteacher or aide to monitor the other two stations while you are at direct.  I do not have this for the majority of my classes so the first week of modeling is very important.  It is also important to really focus on monitoring the other two stations while you are teaching at the direct station.  

Obviously there is also a lot of work that goes into planning for your classroom before school even starts.  You need to decide how to arrange your furniture, how to communicate with students in writing (or videos for students who cannot read) so that they are clear on their assignments when you are not working with them, and how to handle every scenario that you could think of that might through off the stations.

For my classroom arrangement I have the computers set up along the perimeter of the room with the screens facing the center of the room.  This way students are less distracted by what the other groups are doing and I can monitor their screens to be sure they are on task.  I set up direct station at the front of the room in a large u-shape with a large table for supplies in the middle and I make three ‘tables’ from four desks each for the collaborative stations.

To communicate with my students, I provide a very detailed agenda both on Edmodo and in paper copy at each station.  I also have the linked expectation and troubleshooting tips at each station. 

Lastly for today’s post, here is a document that will help you consider how you will handle tricky situations in your hybrid classroom.  If you are considering using this teaching method you must know that everything that can go wrong will go wrong at some point.  If you are not prepared, you will be forced to abandon your stations for the day to resolve the issues.  This worksheet is a list of things that have happened to me.  If you are working through it and want to know how I would handle something, just let me know. 


  1. Jennifer, I'm intrigued by hybrid teaching! How many students are typically in your hybrid class?

  2. I've been successful with classes ranging in size from 12 to 33 students. The bigger the class, the more important it is to explicitly teach how to behave at each station. No matter what, it takes time. During the first year I nearly quit every day for the first two months. I had lots of administrative support in terms of observational feedback. Now, I don't think I'll ever go back.