Blended Learning Coaching Academy with Marcia Kish

Lisa Jacobs, Instructional Technology Specialist

Changing the way students learn one student at a time.


Academy Format:  Two full days of training for coaches and teachers, monthly Zoom sessions, and a Keynote address for Superintendents in the spring.

Marcia Kish is a Blended Learning Specialist providing professional development across the United States. She is now bringing her message, experience, and practical tools to teachers, coaches, and administrators in Great Prairie AEA. Marcia has a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology and her experience includes 11 years working as a classroom teacher and technology teacher in Worthington, Ohio, 5 years as a professional development coordinator, and one year as the Director of a blended learning high school, Learning Without Limits. Marcia is well known for her “cookbook” approach to blended learning. According to Marcia, “Blended learning tends to resemble cooking in the kitchen—As long as you are willing to start and have some key ingredients; you can whip up something amazing in the blended learning classroom.”

Marcia Kish’s Blended Learning Framework is appropriate for all grade levels and focuses on three phases of implementation. Each of the three phases can be monitored by a rubric that describes changes in pace, path, place, and data. There are clear milestones to observe as classrooms change from teacher centered lessons to a more student centered environment. Marcia has developed checklists and observation tools to assist coaches and teachers as they transition into a blended and more personalized classroom.

In Phase One, students rotate between stations every 10 to 15 minutes and complete the same learning objectives. In Phase Two, students move when they are ready with no timer. There is a range of learning objectives and differentiated instruction. Phase Three include students having a voice in selecting their own learning objectives, projects, and specific learning tools. Data is used to drive the instruction and used to monitor the mastery of the learning objectives. The learning in Phase Three is personalized, but not isolated. Students are expected to collaborate with others students and with people outside the classroom as part of the learning process. Physically moving in the classroom is still a part of Phase Three, however students have more choice in what areas of the room to use and how the space is set up.

Blended Learning Coaching Academy Training Day 1 was held November 16, 2016. The focus was on phase 1 and provided coaches and teachers with examples of what is needed to build a blended learning program.

  • The initial work began with defining blended learning
  • Constructing an understanding of the blended learning rotation model
  • Teachers and Coaches all participated in a phase 1 lesson
  • Participants explored the use of space within a classroom to maintain structure, yet allow students to physically move as they rotate around the classroom and work on various projects
  • All teachers and coaches created and shared a lesson plan based on the blended learning rotational model

Blended Learning Coaches Academy Training Day 2 is scheduled for February 22, 2017 will feature both Phase 2 and 3. Coaches and teachers will explore how to generate blended learning pathways that can be implemented into the classroom. The pathways will include but not limited to

  • Creating organizational tools to keep the momentum of the blended learning model moving forward
  • Developing data rich lesson plans with both online and offline assessments
  • Exploring tools for differentiating student learning.
  • Learning how to use technology tools and software including data collection software, collaboration tools, creativity projects, and choice boards
  • Teachers and coaches will begin sharing and curating lessons from other trainers and teachers within a bank of shared lesson plans that use a blended learning framework.

screenshotMonthly Zoom Sessions
The Blended Learning Coaching Academy participants are meeting monthly via Zoom with Marcia Kish to talk about progress in their own districts and to expand their own learning. Data will be collected along the way to show growth and to monitor success of the training of coaches and the teachers as they implement the blended learning model.

Keynote at Superintendent Retreat
In the Spring, Marcia Kish will provide a Keynote address for the GPAEA Superintendents Retreat about the “Key Ingredients to Blended Learning”. During her Keynote presentation Marcia will focus on the data points that have been collected from Bright Bytes along with other data collection tools being used in schools across the country.

The following districts have teachers and/or coaches participating in the Blended Learning Coaching Academy: Albia, Burlington, Burlington Notre Dame, Davis County, Fairfield, Ft. Madison, GPAEA staff, Keokuk, Mt. Pleasant, Ottumwa, Oskaloosa, Sigourney, Wapello, and Winfield Mt. Union.


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