02 May The HET Model: Applying Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom
By Gina Hoover, Marie Lam, Amanda Pokracki, and Melanie Nguyen
The Highly Effective Teaching (HET) model is in its beginning stages of development. This model incorporates blended learning, differentiation, and adaptive software to support the high achievement of all students. The HET model can take several forms depending on the needs of the teacher and students.
In Action: Station Rotation
Christ Cathedral Academy (CCA) is currently in a pilot year of implementing the station rotation model of HET. In this model, the teacher uses three to four stations that are rotated on a fixed schedule. One station is a teacher directed-instruction group; another station is a technology station that utilizes adaptive software such as IXL; and the other two stations can be independent work, task cards, or collaborative group work. The station rotation model of HET can allow the teacher to differentiate groups and tailor activities according to student needs.
Using Digital Media to Support HET
Blended learning, a key component to the HET model, combines traditional classroom methods with online digital media or programs. CCA uses IXL Math and Language Arts, as well as the online component of the reading program, Wonders, as the adaptive software component. The middle school teachers also use edpuzzle, socrative, and quizlet as digital assessment in history and science classes for grades 6-8. Adaptive software allows the students to practice skills at their own pace, while also allowing the teacher to monitor progress by providing necessary student achievement data.
Benefits of HET
The HET model provides a unique opportunity for the teacher to differentiate content, process, and product to help all students progress toward the learning goals. By utilizing flexible grouping, the teacher is able to review, reinforce, or extend student learning through small group instruction, while students at other stations are accessing content, demonstrating learning, and practicing skills at their own pace and ability level.
The station rotation model of HET further gives the teacher the flexibility to implement a variety of instructional methodologies that together address the large range of learning styles among students. The technology station provides more meaningful learning opportunities for visual and auditory learners to access content and assess learning. Meanwhile, the direct-instruction, independent and collaborative stations provide a variety of opportunities for kinesthetic, social, verbal, logical, and solitary learners to acquire content and practice skills according to their strengths.
The HET model is a flexible model that can be adjusted to fit the needs of the students and teacher. It emphasizes differentiation and student-centered learning by utilizing adaptive software and a variety of instructional methodologies to tailor learning to the students needs and abilities, while creating an engaging learning environment that promotes student achievement.
Marie Lam has had the privilege of teaching in a catholic school for six years. She received her Bachelors, Credential, and Masters in Education from California State University, Fullerton. She strongly believes in educating the whole child and preparing him/her with the skills necessary for the 21st century. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her small, but growing family.
Gina Hoover received her Bachelors Of Arts in Child Development and English Language and Literature from Whittier college and her teaching credential from UCI. She has been teaching for eight years in both public and private education. She specializes in early childhood education and educational technology integration. When she is not teaching she enjoys spending time with her family and staying active by running and doing yoga.
Amanda Pokracki has been in the classroom for over ten years, beginning as a kindergarten volunteer and substitute teacher in public school, then moving on to teaching full time at Christ Cathedral Academy. She received her Bachelor’s of Science and teaching credential from California State University, Fullerton. Her passion is early childhood education, and technology integration. Outside of the classroom Amanda enjoys traveling with her husband, attending sporting events, and reading.
Melanie Nguyen has been teaching at Christ Cathedral Academy for 3 years. She currently teaches 3rd to 8th grade science, and has also previously taught middle school math. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Theology and Math Education, as well as her teaching credentials, from Loyola Marymount University. She enjoys exploring various art mediums such as wire sculpting, etching, and woodblock printing.