Catlin Tucker

Teach Students To Treat Their Learning Like They’re Making a Documentary

Catlin Tucker

Learning is a dynamic process that requires active engagement. Unfortunately, many students have gotten comfortable in their roles as passive observers or consumers in the classroom. Yes, that is a less cognitively and socially taxing role, but it is not nearly as interesting or engaging.

Blended Learning: What It Is and What It Is Not

Catlin Tucker

The pandemic has elevated the phrase “blended learning.” ” When schools closed or shifted to hybrid schedules, many institutions turned to blended learning to navigate the new demands placed on teachers and educational institutions.

Insiders

Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Choice Boards: Benefits, Design Tips & Differentiation

Catlin Tucker

Student agency, or a students’ ability to make key decisions about their learning experience, is an essential aspect of blended learning. Student agency requires that we design our lessons to offer students meaningful choices.

UDL 366

Transform Your Google Calendar into a Digital Planner

Catlin Tucker

Time management is a constant struggle for teachers since they spend most of their days working directly with students. That leaves a small window of time for all of the other tasks and responsibilities that teachers have to juggle, including planning and designing lessons. .

Google 405

End-of-the-Year Housekeeping: Reflect & Organize

Catlin Tucker

The end of the school year is a great time to do a few “housekeeping” items. This is probably the last thing you feel like doing after the year we have had! Despite finding these chores tedious while doing them, I always feel more organized afterward.

Shifting from Time-Consuming Teacher-led Workflows to Sustainable Student-led Workflows

Catlin Tucker

I had the pleasure of chatting with Matt Miller this week for my podcast, The Balance. During our conversation, we explored aspects of the teaching profession that are time-consuming and create work-life imbalance.

Teacher Tips: Starting the Year with Station Rotation

Catlin Tucker

Guest post written by Amy Tobener-Talley. The station rotation model is a great way to introduce your class expectations to a new group of students while simultaneously building relationships and developing your class community.

UDL 340

Universally Designed Blended Learning

Catlin Tucker

There are two things I am certain of in education. First, learner variability is the norm, not the exception. Second, technology is here to stay. So, how do we design and facilitate learning experiences to remove barriers and allow all students to succeed?

Peer Feedback: Making It Meaningful

Catlin Tucker

Feedback is how students feel seen and supported. It is also how we communicate to our students that we value the process over the product. When we give feedback as students work, we signal that the work they are doing is important, and we care about their progress.

Pile of Words: Drive Deeper Engagement with Vocabulary at the Beginning of a Unit, Text, or Project

Catlin Tucker

Each new unit, text, or project presents learners with vocabulary words that may be new and unfamiliar. So, how do we get students to think more deeply about vocabulary? How can we make learning new vocabulary more engaging and meaningful?

Vision Boards: Start the Year with a Visual Goal Setting Exercise

Catlin Tucker

When I began my doctoral program, one of my first assignments was to create a vision board. I was instructed to imagine my life in the future and create a visual to represent what I wanted that reality to look like. What did I want to be doing personally or professionally in five years?

5 End-of-the-Year Activities

Catlin Tucker

As this year winds down, I encourage teachers to take the final weeks of the school year to create closure, collect feedback, and help students look forward. Needless to say, the 2020-2021 school year has been intense. Teachers and students alike are eagerly anticipating the summer.

Standard-aligned Rubrics: Assessing Progress Toward Firm Goals While Allowing for Flexible Means

Catlin Tucker

In our book UDL and Blended Learning , Dr. Katie Novak and I encourage teachers to work toward firm, often standards-aligned, goals. We also stress the importance of providing students with flexible means.

An Active Reading Strategy for Any Learning Landscape

Catlin Tucker

I’ve experienced the phenomenon of reading a text, but when I get to the end of a page or the bottom of the article, I have no idea what the text was about. I could not answer a single question about the content of what I read.

Designing and Facilitating Learning for an Alternating A-B Hybrid Schedule

Catlin Tucker

As schools prepare to accommodate more in-person learning, many are opting for a hybrid schedule that divides the student body into two groups that will alternate days on campus to keep numbers lower in classrooms and allow for social distancing.

Will Existing Mental Models Threaten Post-pandemic Progress in Education?

Catlin Tucker

Over the last 14 months, people have asked me, “What do you hope the silver lining of this tough year will be?” ” I hope educators and educational institutions use this year and the lessons learned to reimagine “school” and how we design and facilitate learning.

Reading Resources for Your Blended or Online Class

Catlin Tucker

As I reflect on the last year, it’s my books that have provided a sense of freedom and adventure while I’ve been in quarantine and felt socially isolated. My books have transported me through time and space in a year when I have barely left my home.

Self-Regulation in Blended Learning Environments

Catlin Tucker

“Students don’t do the asynchronous work.” ” “Students don’t work unless I am monitoring them.” ” “Students will only do the work if I grade it.” ” I hear statements like this every week.

Using a Flip Flop Design for the Concurrent Classroom

Catlin Tucker

“I wish I could just focus on one group of students at a time.” ” This is a sentiment I’ve heard repeatedly from teachers navigating the demands of the concurrent classroom.

The Why, How, and What of Blended Learning

Catlin Tucker

The events of the last nine months have launched the phrase “blended learning” into the mainstream.

Enhance Student Engagement with Virtual Social Learning Spaces

Catlin Tucker

When I ask teachers, “How would you describe a successful online or blended learning course? What would that look like?” ” Most teachers include some form of the word “engagement” in their answers.

Combatting the Challenges of the Concurrent Classroom with the Station Rotation Model

Catlin Tucker

I’ve been a fan of the station rotation model for years. As I support teachers struggling to navigate the demands of the concurrent classroom, I find myself continually returning to the station rotation model as a strategy to design and facilitate learning for this challenging teaching assignment.

Synchronous Online Discussions: Preparation, Facilitation & Wrap Up

Catlin Tucker

Discussion is a cornerstone of any learning community. Students construct and confirm meaning, in part, through dialogue with their peers.

Design a Choose Your Own Adventure Learning Experience

Catlin Tucker

It’s only two months into the school year, and teachers are exhausted. This year has made everyone, regardless of their years of experience, feel like a brand new teacher. Teachers are designing learning experiences for a range of learning landscapes.

Back to Basics: Lesson Planning for the Concurrent Classroom

Catlin Tucker

Teachers juggling the concurrent classroom with some students physically attending class and others joining remotely via video conferencing are trying to balance the demands of teaching in two learning landscapes simultaneously.

Support Online Learning with Powerful Thinking Routines

Catlin Tucker

Project Zero at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education has created a collection of Core Thinking Routines as part of their Visible Thinking Project. Teachers can view the entire collection on the Project Zero website , where each routine is described in detail (e.g.,

Universal Design for Learning and Blended Learning: Action and Expression

Catlin Tucker

In my last blog, I focused on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principle of representation. I described how blended and online learning can help educators provide opportunities for students to perceived and engage with information presented in multiple modalities.

UDL and Blended Learning: Removing Barriers with Design

Catlin Tucker

I like to compare the teacher’s work designing learning experiences to the work of an architect. In my new book with Dr. Katie Novak, UDL and Blended Learning , I share a story about working with an architect to design a new home after my family lost our house in the Tubbs Fire in 2017.

UDL 298

Formative Assessment: Collecting Data & Designing Differentiated Learning Experiences in Class or Online

Catlin Tucker

The more physical distance between the teacher and the learner, the more challenging it is to collect formative assessment data consistently. I’ve taught in person, online, and in blended learning environments.

Blended Learning: Designing with Balance in Mind

Catlin Tucker

I am concerned about the impact that the imbalances in education have on teacher engagement and job satisfaction. I know firsthand the toll that the imbalances caused by traditional workflows in education can have on a teacher. Those unrealistic workflows almost drove me out of education.

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous: How to Design for Each Type of Learning

Catlin Tucker

This school year will look very different for most teachers. Some are beginning entirely online and others are returning to school on a modified schedule where they will only see students in person a couple of days a week.

How To 429

Blended Learning: The Whole Group Rotation

Catlin Tucker

When I work with teachers who are new to blended learning, there is often a knee-jerk concern about the time required to design a lesson that strategically blends active, engaged learning online with active, engaged learning offline.

Video Conferencing: Establishing Routines and Structuring Online Time with Students

Catlin Tucker

I had the pleasure of chatting with Linwood Paul, an executive coach, for an episode of my podcast, The Balance. In the final moments of our conversation, I asked him what advice he had for achieving a work-life balance at this moment when many of us are both living and working in our homes.

Video 429

The Concurrent Classroom: Using Blended Learning Models to Teach Students In-person and Online Simultaneously

Catlin Tucker

Teachers all over the country are being asked to teach “concurrent classrooms” in which some students attend class in person and others attend virtually. The teacher in a concurrent classroom attempts to meet the needs of the students in class and online simultaneously.

10 Strategies Designed to Engage Elementary Students Online

Catlin Tucker

A few weeks ago, I published a blog titled “ 8 Ideas Designed to Engage Students In Active Learning Online.” ” I had several elementary teachers request that I work on a similar blog focused on younger learners.

A Flipped Learning Flow for Blended or Online Classes

Catlin Tucker

As teachers prepare for a new school year, many are brushing up on their video production skills. Teachers know there will be times when they will need to lean on videos to allow students to access information asynchronously. Video has several benefits in a blended or online course.

Preparing for Fall 2020: Blended and Online Learning

Catlin Tucker

2020-2021 promises to be an unpredictable school year. Most of the teachers I know, including my husband and most of my friends, are not sure whether they will be returning to school on a hybrid schedule or teaching entirely online. That is making it a challenge to prepare for the new school year.

8 Ideas Designed to Engage Students In Active Learning Online

Catlin Tucker

I’ve spent the last four months working with teachers all over the country (virtually, of course) as they navigate the uncharted waters of online and blended learning. The majority of teachers I have spoken with did not enjoy their initial experiences with distance learning.

Universal Design for Learning and Blended Learning: Engagement

Catlin Tucker

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that is based on a scientific understanding of how people learn. The goal of UDL is to design “barrier-free, instructionally rich learning environments and lessons that provide access to all students” (Nelson, 2).

Promoting Literacy: Cultivate a Reading Culture

Catlin Tucker

Guest post written by Amy Tobener-Talley. September 8th is International Literacy Day, a great time to think about promoting a class culture that values reading. However, encouraging students to read in and out of class is challenging as small screens command much of their time and attention.

UDL 206

Teaching in the Concurrent Classroom: Four Strategies to Make it Work

Catlin Tucker

On Thursday night, I presented a 30-minute webinar with AJ Juliani for educators focused on the concurrent classroom.

Farewell, 2020: Lessons Learned

Catlin Tucker

When I was in college, I started writing a holiday newsletter to include with my Christmas cards. My mother had always written a newsletter, so it seemed a natural way to reflect on the year. It also provided friends and family with an update on my life in a pre-social media world.

Station Rotation in an Era of Social Distancing

Catlin Tucker

Teachers are preparing for an uncertain future. Many are unsure if they will be returning to school on a traditional schedule, a blended learning schedule, or completely online.