From our personal experiences in the trenches, we know that very few classrooms have a 1:1 technology ratio. Even if your classroom does have a 1:1 ratio, you may not have the right environment or class to effectively facilitate active 1:1 technology at all times. Rotational models are a strategy for setting expectations and managing classroom technology. Setting expectations will give students a clear vision for their use of technology. We adopted the following language to describe three possible centers in your classroom: the island, coastline, and peninsula. Here, we outline how these three stations can be implemented using ThinkCERCA three days a week.
Island (Quiet Discussion / Silent Reading / Writing)
On the Island, students pull their desk or table together to engage in a collaborative discussion. Their discussion could stem from the overall Writing Module or Unit/Theme within their given class. Another option for the Island is to have students silently read/write. Regardless of what the students are doing though, there is no technology.
Coastline (Silent, 1:1 Technology Use / Blended Learning)
All 1:1 technology access happens on the Coastline. Students literally lineup on the walls of the classroom, facing the wall so that the teacher can see their screen from anywhere in the room. Students are most likely using ThinkCERCA on the Coastline with the specific focus of a given lesson or step.
Peninsula (Teacher Instruction, Medium Volume, Discussion)
The teacher is the base of the Peninsula, as this final station is for a small group or direct instruction. The only technology use in on the Peninsula is a teacher device, like a forward facing laptop or SmartBoard. From his or her position, the teacher should be able to see and monitor the rest of the classroom during this instructional time.
Download a sample of a schedule that you can use to incorporate ThinkCERCA as part of centers three days a week for 60 minutes at a time. The other centers could be CERCA related, or incorporate other focus skills areas. Ideas for centers include:
- ThinkCERCA: work on Writing Lesson (self-paced)
- Small Groups with Teacher: use their student work/performance to drive instruction
- Independent Reading: class novels or student choice
- Skill practice: more practice on focus skills for the week
- Vocabulary: create a rap, story, crossword, memory games, play, memoir using 5-7 vocabulary words from Writing Lesson
- Peer Editing: work in pairs to check using rubric within ThinkCERCA or specific areas to focus on
- Group Discussion: Have students discuss the Key Question for the Writing Module, or come up with additional discussion questions for larger Socratic seminar. You could also have students play the debate game
- Journal Writing: have students write to journal prompts or free write to continue practicing Narrative writing