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Innovation and Blended Learning in a K-3 Classroom

[Listen and learn : Lecture]

Wednesday, June 29, 11:45 am–12:45 pm
CCC 504

favoritesKaren Lirenman  
Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning is a STEAM program that focuses on developing independent learners, critical thinkers, collaborators, innovators and contributors. In this interdisciplinary program, students learn through hands-on inquiry and project-based learning. Learn how you can adapt SAILs principles and practices for your classroom.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Internet access to contribute to the discussions never hurts. It is not required though.
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Early childhood/elementary, Innovative learning environments
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: Students : Critical thinking, problem solving and decision making
Teachers : Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
Students : Creativity and innovation
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand, ISTE Professional Learning Network pick

Related exhibitors: favorites Wonder Workshop, favorites Tinkerine Studios, favorites LEGO Education, favorites GoNoodle, favorites littleBits, favorites Sphero, favorites Osmo, favorites FreshGrade Education Inc.

Digital tote resources
Description: Presentation URL

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

In Sept of 2015, Surrey Schools launched The SAIL Academy. SAIL is a STEAM program which offers a special focus on developing independent learners, critical thinkers, collaborators, innovators, and contributors. In this interdisciplinary program, students learn through hands-on inquiry and project-based learning with a Maker mindset. Karen will share specifically how she is facilitating this innovative classroom learning with her students and the success outcomes for her students. She will also share some of the growing pains the program has overcome so others can avoid them. This will be a practical session with many examples from her day to day k-3 SAIL classroom experience.

Participants will leave this session being able to
- create powerful and productive learning opportunities and experiences for their youngest learners
- create opportunities for students which support independent learners, critical thinkers, collaborators, innovators and contributors
- utilize a blended home/school learning approach which allows families to be an integral part of their child’s learning journey
- support the maker mindset for their students


What is SAIL? 5 min
Why SAIL? 5 min
K-12 Overview 5 min
K-3 Specific Details - Specific examples of how this “ SAIL Academy’s Elementary STEAM program welcomes learners who appreciate hands-on, interdisciplinary curriculum experiences combined with flexible hours and pacing that allows time to explore and access learning through a variety of digital platforms, and to connect to the community in powerful, unique ways” looks like in practice. 25 min
Learner Successes 5 min
Strengths and Areas to Improve Moving Forward 5 min
Group discussion around how this can be replicated in your school 5 min
Question Time 5 min

Supporting research

Invent to Learn by Sylvia Libow Martinez & Gary Stager

Watson, A. D., & Watson, G. H. (2013). Transitioning STEM to STEAM: Reformation of Engineering Education. Journal For Quality & Participation, 36(3), 1-4.

Mortenson, D. (July 23,2015). A Look Inside the Classroom of the Future. Retrieved September 28, 2015, from

Blended Learning Research: The Seven Studies You Need to Know



favorites Karen Lirenman, Surrey Schools

Karen is an ISTE award winning K-3 blended learning STEAM teacher at the Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning. Karen has a student choice driven hands on approach to teaching which includes inquiry, project based, and maker mindset. Her students blog, tweet, and video conference. Karen is an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google for Education Innovator. She has recently published Innovate with iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom.