Blendspace in Guided Reading

I’ve been using Blendspace as a tool in Guided reading for the children to select the area in which they would like to advance their own skills or brush up on things they feel they need developing.

By giving children the following link https://www.tes.com/lessons/lQ913wNW6ukxlw/guided-reading and putting them into groups of similar reading ability, I let the children decide what they would like to work on and give them the opportunity to work collaboratively on a learning objective of their own choosing. The objectives are linked across what we are currently learning in class, and what I feel could need developing.

I have found it gives the children the opportunity to develop ideas which they can then bring back to the lesson when we are next teaching a subject. For example, one group of children discussed in our next maths lesson how the 4 times table was linked to the two times table, and we were able to develop a discussion about that. Others were keen during English lessons on descriptive writing to share some of the adjectives and similies they had come up with for a character, and we were able to lead that into a discussion about how to best use that in our writing.

I have found that the choice of activity is important – if a colourful, musical maths game is put up next to a plant quiz, the children are always going to go for the ore exciting activity. Sometimes I feel it’s beneficial to guide the children on what they should be working on for the first 5 minutes, which takes the free choice element away. Obviously, another option is to try and ensure all activities curated are as visually and aurally stimulating as each other so that the choices the children make are based on their learning. There is of course the risk of children selecting activities that they find easy.

So still trying a few things out to use this tool at it’s most effective, but I’ve definitely found Blendspace a good application to encourage child-led learning.

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One comment

  1. I have used BlendSpace in a similar way you have done and I also thought it to be really successful. Although I do not let students choose a topic, students can choose which resources or difficulty of tasks they wish to engage with. So it is an excellent tool for me to differentiate. The only problem I had is that many students think it is allowed to listen to music etc and therefore quite some of my time went into making sure students were on task.

    Did you let students create their own blendspace yet and curate appropriate resources? I want to try doing that term 3 when I am more used to using it myself first.

    Let me know how it goes!
    John

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