How the Common Core Standards Tackle Problem Solving When the word creativity is used, the left side of my head begins to hurt. Now why would that happen? Let's see, could be the years of exposure to right and left brain mumbo jumbo? If you want to see some interesting things about the brain, there is a course on iTunes U from the University of Arizona, called Visualizing Human Thought. It shows that even though a man had nearly his entire left hemisphere destroyed by a stroke, including the comprehension (Wernike's area) and speech center (Broca's area), he can still communicate. How did this happen? The thread of literacy found in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) suggests a way to get to the heart of problem solving. A problem solved must be compelling enough to need a solution. An Example My lawnmower quit working. How did I solve it? The problem needed to be solved, the grass was too high, the fix was dubious but doable, and the results were irrefutable. How do you get your students to solve problems?
Over 25 Links Uncovering Project Based Learning Resources On The Web Welcome to this first in a series of PBL Mania Posts. For the next few weeks I am celebrating Project Based Learning by hosting a webinar at Edtech Leaders Online, and by presenting a PBL session at the NICE Conference in Chicago. In this post I will introduce you to some awesome places on the web containing some of the very best PBL resources. Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe to this 21centuryedtech Blog by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans. You will not want to miss this series or future posts involving STEM, Flipping the Classroom, Technology Integration, Common Core, and 21st Century Skills, So Sign Up Now! As always… thanks and have a great week. – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech) Welcome to the land of PBL knowledge. BIE – BUCK Institute BIE – Also known as the BUCK Institute for Learning. BIE Videos – What Is PBL Video – A great collection of videos that demonstrate PBL and its best practices. West Virginia Teach 21 PBL Learning Reviews
Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide An overview of the Edutopia professional development guide for teaching how to use project-based learning in the classroom. Edutopia.org's Project-Based Learning professional development guide can be used for a two- to three-hour session, or expanded for a one- to two-day workshop, and is divided into two parts. Part one is a guided process, designed to give participants a brief introduction to project-based learning (PBL), and answers the questions "Why is PBL important?", "What is PBL about?", and "How does PBL work?" Part two assigns readings and activities for experiential PBL. Students Follow the Butterflies' Migration: Teacher Frances Koontz shows students a symbolic butterfly sent from children in Mexico. The Resources for PBL page includes a PowerPoint presentation (including presenter notes), which can be shown directly from the website or downloaded for use as a stand-alone slide show, and sample session schedules. Continue to the next section of the guide, Why Is PBL Important?
Hangout Recap: Managing Projects in Elementary Schools For this week’s Hangout, we were joined by BIE Curriculum Development Manager Gina Olabuenaga, and elementary school teachers Kelly Reseigh, who has mainly used PBL with 2nd graders, and 4th-grade teacher Kevin Armstrong to discuss how they manage the implementation of projects in their elementary school classrooms. We focused on the following Driving Question: How do we manage projects effectively in an elementary classroom? Here were some of the highlights: Question 1: What is the role of classroom culture in managing a project? Our guests agreed that classroom culture is very important in PBL, and offered these tips for building it: Allow students to help facilitate Morning Meetings to practice skills they can use in a project. Question 2: How do you handle the lack of independence in primary? Question 3: How do you collaborate with others outside of your classroom to support project work? Question 4: What does Project Based Learning look like in an elementary classroom? Key Takeaways
Why Is Project-Based Learning Important? The many merits of using project-based learning in the classroom. PBL Helps Students Develop Skills for Living in a Knowledge-Based, Highly Technological Society The old-school model of passively learning facts and reciting them out of context is no longer sufficient to prepare students to survive in today's world. Solving highly complex problems requires that students have both fundamental skills (reading, writing, and math) and 21st century skills (teamwork, problem solving, research gathering, time management, information synthesizing, utilizing high tech tools). With this combination of skills, students become directors and managers of their learning process, guided and mentored by a skilled teacher. These 21st century skills include A number of excellent works published in the last few decades promote 21st century skills. PDF download) about the changing skills young people need to succeed in the workplace. PBL and Technology Use Bring a New Relevance to the Learning at Hand
What Is Project-Based Learning About? A description of what teachers can accomplish in the classroom using project-based learning. PBL Is Curriculum Fueled and Standards Based Project-based learning addresses the required content standards. In PBL, the inquiry process starts with a guiding question and lends itself to collaborative projects that integrate various subjects within the curriculum. Questions are asked that direct students to encounter the major elements and principles of a discipline. PBL Asks a Question or Poses a Problem That Each Student Can Answer In PBL, the teacher or the students pose a guiding, or essential, question: "What is cystic fibrosis, and how is it caused?" "The classroom is a place where people can live a fulfilling life together as a community of learners if needs and concerns are appropriately expressed. There is more information about crafting essential questions in the How Does PBL Work? PBL Allows Students to Delve into Content in a More Direct and Meaningful Way
How Does Project-Based Learning Work? Tools for understanding the process of planning and building projects. Project-based learning, as with all lessons, requires much preparation and planning. It begins with an idea and an essential question. When you are designing the project and the essential question that will launch the activities, it is important to remember that many content standards will be addressed. With these standards in mind, devise a plan that will integrate as many subjects as possible into the project. Have in mind what materials and resources will be accessible to the students. Teacher Eeva Reeder developed and implemented an architecture project for her geometry students. Here are steps for implementing PBL, which are detailed below: Start with the Essential Question The question that will launch a PBL lesson must be one that will engage your students. "Questions may be the most powerful technology we have ever created. Take a real-world topic and begin an in-depth investigation. Design a Plan for the Project
Secret to Better PBL? Focus on Problem-Finding On April 22, a billion people around the world are expected to take part in Earth Day 2012 celebrations. Among the anticipated "billion acts of green" will be scores of events for students and schools, from gardening lessons to eco-fairs to solar cooking demonstrations. It could be an ideal set-up for young people to dive deeply into problem solving and creative thinking -- but only if we trust students to figure out which problems they want to tackle. That's advice from educator and entrepreneur Ewan McIntosh, who knows a thing or two about engaging students in project-based learning. Last fall, he facilitated an event that drew 10,000 students from five continents to tackle some of the world's biggest problems. Students came together online for the ITU Telecom World Meta Conference. Students were challenged to design solutions to tough issues, such as improving access to clean drinking water or extending education to reach all the world's children. What did students dream up?
Resources for Project-Based Learning Free materials and downloads for building rigorous projects for all grade levels. In this section, you will find materials and resources for teaching about project-based learning, whether you are conducting a two-hour session or class or can spend a day or two on the topic. We believe you will find much here from which you can build a set of experiences tailored to class participants for the purpose of exploring PBL: More Edutopia.org Resources on Project-Based Learning: Top Edutopia.org Case Study Videos on Project-Based Learning: Lower ElementaryUpper ElementaryMiddle SchoolHigh School Back to Top Additional Resources Elsewhere on the Web: The sample schedule provides ideas for one- and two-day sessions. This PowerPoint presentation introduces PBL, based on research and case studies, and discusses why the method should be used, what it is, and how to begin, touching on the process of questioning, planning, scheduling, monitoring, assessing, and evaluating.