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Edutopia PBL Gateway

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Links to the Edutopia PBL topic homepage and several videos, articles and blogs to get you started!

Edutopia PBL Home Page. Finding the Sweet Spot: Creativity, Candy, and Commerce. During the 2013-2014 school year, Elizabeth Forward Middle School created a DREAM Factory by combining art, technology education, and computer science.

Finding the Sweet Spot: Creativity, Candy, and Commerce

With this space, we removed the silos of the traditional subject classes -- instead, we've implemented a project-based curriculum, and students rotate between teachers according to their needs to complete a DREAM Factory project. The art, computer science, and technology education teachers have common planning time to work on projects where students can see the cross-curricular connections between these three subjects. We wanted to do a project that would a) engage the kids, while b) giving them 21st-century skills.

Then it hit us: We have the Sarris Candy Company in our own back yard. The three teachers visited Sarris in preparation for the unit to learn the basics of candy making. The Candy Bar Project. 6 Strategies to Truly Personalize PBL. In the past, I wrote about how, along with other teachers, I've ventured into truly personalized project-based learning.

6 Strategies to Truly Personalize PBL

I discussed the challenges we face as well as what it looks like in the classroom. Many of us may be personalizing PBL without even knowing it. Teachers have always had students pursue their own research projects on their own questions. Students around the globe are engaged in genius hour activities about their passions and are given voice and choice in how they show their learning. These are just some aspects of personalized PBL, and we can improve the model further still when we adopt more tenets of personalization into the already-existing PBL framework. 1. If you don't know your students, it will be impossible to personalize learning for them. 2. Project-Based Learning and Gamification: Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together.

Times of flux should signal the A-OK for some experimentation in schools.

Project-Based Learning and Gamification: Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together

My own school, for instance, is encouraging more PBL. In my room, we've got my advocacy unit on superheroes. Meanwhile, a fundraiser is launching in a sixth-grade room, a seventh-grade science class is doing a national parks tie-in to the upcoming Rose Bowl Parade theme, and a living museum is underway in some history teachers' rooms. The other big PBL experiment is one that will hopefully create a universal academic experience for many students. PBL Research Review (Edutopia)

Editor's Note: This article was originally written by Vanessa Vega, with subsequent updates made by the Edutopia staff.

PBL Research Review (Edutopia)

Studies have proven that when implemented well, project-based learning (PBL) can increase retention of content and improve students' attitudes towards learning, among other benefits. Edutopia's PBL research review explores the vast body of research on the topic and helps make sense of the results. How School Leaders Set the Stage for PBL Success. What does the effective implementation of project-based learning (PBL) look like within a school or across an entire system?

How School Leaders Set the Stage for PBL Success

There's no one right answer, according to superintendents and school leaders who have started down this path. Some leaders want to see wall-to-wall PBL, with students learning mainly through projects in every subject. Others set a more realistic goal, hoping to see students taking part in projects at least a few times during the school year. For strategic reasons, leaders may choose to concentrate PBL rollouts in certain subject areas, such as STEM, or launch PBL initiatives at specific grade levels or pilot sites. Whether the goal is for projects to happen occasionally or every day, in one building or across an entire school system, lasting results require thoughtful leadership. PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL.

Editor's note: Matt Weyers and co-author Jen Dole, teachers at Byron Middle School in Byron, Minnesota, present the ninth installment in a year-long series documenting their experience of launching a PBL pilot program.

PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL

Formative assessment is a crucial element of project-based learning and the education profession as a whole. Understanding how to swiftly and adeptly modify the scope of your lesson based on the needs of your students will play an enormous role in their learning. PBL and Standardized Tests? It Can Work! It's never too late to address this subject.

PBL and Standardized Tests? It Can Work!

Yes, many of us are gearing down from (or gearing up for) the epic standardized testing season, enjoying the freedom, released from the many pressures that come with the tests. However, these tests will keep happening. Whether a yearly course assessment, a six-week benchmark exam or a state-level competency test, teachers and students are inundated with testing. Because of the way that testing permeates education culture, I often hear some "pushback" from teachers about their implementation of PBL. Resources for Assessment in Project-Based Learning. Project-based learning (PBL) demands excellent assessment practices to ensure that all learners are supported in the learning process.

Resources for Assessment in Project-Based Learning

With good assessment practices, PBL can create a culture of excellence for all students and ensure deeper learning for all. We’ve compiled some of the best resources from Edutopia and the web to support your use of assessment in PBL, including information about strategies, advice on how to address the demands of standardized tests, and summaries of the research. Edutopia 10 tips assessing project based learning. Authentic Assessment: What You Can Do in 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 months, 5 years . . . The School of the Future (SOF) is a unique place.

Authentic Assessment: What You Can Do in 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 months, 5 years . . .

Its dedication to teaching through real-world tasks, checking on student progress often, and adjusting lessons based on a wide variety of assessments is delivering big dividends with increased student engagement and performance. And although these accomplishments did not occur overnight, we believe that other schools can see similar progress, even if they start small and build slowly. Below are some creative tips for teachers, administrators, and other educators to help your school begin this journey. After you read the tips, we encourage you to use the comment field below to offer suggestions and to start a dialogue with educators from SOF about this topic and their work. Studies in Success: A Survey of Assessment Research. Researchers found that authentic work, such as the architectural project completed by students in Eeva Reeder's geometry class, yielded higher test scores for students.

Studies in Success: A Survey of Assessment Research

Academic research points to the benefits -- and identifies ongoing challenges -- of implementing performance assessments in K-12 classrooms. Studies also identify the impact technology can have and is having on both classroom and large-scale assessments. Following are synopses of a sampling of studies on K-12 assessment. Authentic Work Yields Higher Test Scores. Practical PBL: The Ongoing Challenges of Assessment. In recent years, most students in my project-based AP Government classes have indicated, in both class discussions and anonymously on surveys, that they prefer project-based learning to a more traditional classroom experience. They find PBL more fun and believe that it leads to deeper learning.

However, two types of students often resist this model. Students of the first type generally do not enjoy school at all, and are looking for the path of least resistance. Because a PBL classroom is student-centered and calls on students to produce, less-motivated students will find it more difficult to "hide" and be left alone. The second type of student has already been very successful in traditional classrooms and is deterred by the challenges of this new model. Both types of students benefit from the option of choosing their role in project cycles to increase motivation.

Critical Thinking: A Path to College and Career. World Without Walls: Learning Well with Others. Bringing Their A-Game: Humanities teacher Spencer Pforsich, digital arts/sound production teacher Margaret Noble, humanities teacher Leily Abbassi, and math/science teacher Marc Shulman make lessons come alive on the High Tech campuses in San Diego. Earlier this year, as I was listening to a presentation by an eleven-year-old community volunteer and blogger named Laura Stockman about the service projects she carries out in her hometown outside Buffalo, New York, an audience member asked where she got her ideas for her good work.

Her response blew me away. "I ask my readers," she said. I doubt anyone in the room could have guessed that answer. She has a network of connections, people from almost every continent and country, who share their own stories of service or volunteer to assist Stockman in her work. For educators and the schools in which they teach, the challenges of this moment are significant. Connection Meets Content. The Power of Collaborative Learning.

Emphasize Real Problems to Boost STEM Learning. Problem solving is at the heart of engineering. No wonder, then, that engineering teacher Alexander Pancic leverages his own problem-solving skills to improve his students' learning experiences at Brighton High School in Boston, Massachusetts. "I've been trying to get my students to make the step, when they encounter a problem, of asking, 'What do I need to know to try to solve it? '" Students who are accustomed to doing worksheets, Pancic says, "get used to having everything they need to know included in the problems. Life isn't like that. Classroom Guide: Top Ten Tips for Assessing Project-Based Learning (now available in Spanish!) Facebook Edutopia on Facebook Twitter Edutopia on Twitter Google+ Pinterest. PBL Teachers Need Time to Reflect, Too. Student reflection is a key ingredient in project-based learning, and for good reason.

As John Dewey reminded us nearly a century ago, "We do not learn from experience . . . we learn from reflecting on experience. " Reflection not only makes learning stick at the end of a project but also helps students think about what's working well and what's not during PBL. When students take time to reflect on their progress, they can make revisions or course corrections so that they can achieve better results. (For a look at student reflection strategies, read High Tech Reflection Strategies Make Learning Stick.) The same holds true for teachers. Integrated PBL Projects: A Full-Course Meal! How a TEDx Mission Makes Learning Relevant To Students’ Lives. Sparking Civic Engagement by Building in Public Spaces. Alexa: I’ve always been interested in the idea of making things from nothing.

When I was a kid I’d always grab my Lego box and try to make something totally imaginary, like a whole city or something awesome out of it. Learning Beyond Classroom Walls.