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A Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Projects

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Projects
Manor New Technology High School in Manor, Texas, is a 100 percent project-based learning school. They are part of the New Tech Network of schools and their approach has yielded remarkable results, including a 98 percent graduation rate, with all of their graduates accepted to college. The success of their PBL approach is largely attributable to the fact that their process is designed to stimulate student inquiry. Additionally, their process can be applied to any project in any subject, which means there is a consistent approach across grades and subjects at Manor. We followed a sophomore world studies class through a three-week project called Controlling Factors, created by teaching partners Mary Mobley (English) and Michael Chambers (world history). They designed a project that capitalized on the wild popularity among their students of the best-selling novel The Hunger Games. Here is a breakdown of key steps, with some examples from Mobley and Chambers's project:

http://www.edutopia.org/stw-project-based-learning-best-practices-guide

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What Is PBL Really? Do you want to engage your students in Project Based Learning (PBL)? Maybe you are asking yourself what is PBL really? Am I doing it right? Well, first of all, the most important thing to understand is that PBL is a construct made up by human beings and so there are lots of variations! And you are entitled to construct your own version, too, within some parameters. My suggestion is to study many of the great resources that are available to you and then create your own working definition and effective PBL practice. Six Scaffolding Strategies to Use with Your Students What’s the opposite of scaffolding a lesson? Saying to students, “Read this nine-page science article, write a detailed essay on the topic it explores, and turn it in by Wednesday.” Yikes—no safety net, no parachute, no scaffolding—they’re just left blowing in the wind. Let’s start by agreeing that scaffolding a lesson and differentiating instruction are two different things. Scaffolding is breaking up the learning into chunks and then providing a tool, or structure, with each chunk.

Free Project Based Learning Resources from Edutopia Edutopia, the George Lucas Educational Foundation, is an excellent resource for educators. Their site has a huge variety of resources, tips, and research on education and is accessible for free. They are a big proponent of Project Based Learning (PBL) and also have a lot of resources on best practices in education. Resources include lists of reading materials on PBL, links to schools that are using PBL, Resources from Edutopia on PBL, Resources from Maine on PBL including examples of PBL, lesson plans, assessments for PBL, planning guides for teachers and schools, professional development resources, resources for parents, and links to organizations and other resources on PBL.

Classic Dip Recipe: Chile Con Queso Classic Dip Recipe: Chile Con Queso What good is a party without chips and dip? Of course, you could go to the food store and pick up jarred dip, but who knows what's in that? I'm pretty sure there isn't any real cheese in your average jar of queso. Today we're sharing a recipe for chile con queso with none of that processed garbage. The Differentiator Try Respondo! → ← Back to Byrdseed.com The Differentiator The Differentiator is based on Bloom's Taxonomy, Kaplan and Gould's Depth and Complexity, and David Chung's product menu. An Updated Digital Differentiation Model Ten months ago I published a Digital Differentiation model on this blog. I've been using the model to guide the work I do each day and I've been sharing it via webinars and hands-on training sessions.Of course, ten months is a long time in the world of edtech, and I've added some new tools and resources to my personal teaching toolkit, so I decided it was time to update the model and tweak it just a bit. The original article and interactive graphic can still be found on this blog. Here is the new post: Technology is a tool that can be used to help teachers facilitate learning experiences that address the diverse learning needs of all students and help them develop 21st Century Skills, an idea supported by the Common Core. At it's most basic level, digital tools can be used to help students find, understand and use information.

PBL and Standardized Tests? It Can Work! It's never too late to address this subject. 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. Here are some tips and responses to pushback related to PBL and standardized tests. Project Based Learning (image from education-world.com) Project Based Learning (PBL) is a great way to teach students content, 21st century skills, and engage them in something fun and educational. I spoke more about PBL in an earlier blog ( and we had some great reader comments (Tech&Learning, May 2009, page 14). Today I'd like to give some tips and ideas on how to get started with PBL in your classroom. First of all, PBL can be used in any classroom, in any subject, at any grade level.

Using Film to Teach Analysis Skills Growing up, my family's Sunday night ritual was always the single word, dinner-and-a-movie. We were passionate about cinema, and a post-movie debate was always included in the evening's entertainment. In fact, one of the most memorable fights with my dad was over his inability to delay his analysis of Hoosiers before the end credits had even rolled. PBL Gallery Home | Getting Started | Modules | Resources | About Us View the work of teachers who developed and implemented PBL units/mini-units. Feel free to download and use the PBL as a template for your work with students. We appreciate your feedback. View additional middle school projects on the STEM-MI Champions Gallery page.

Heard It All Before? A New Age of Lectures Posted on Tuesday April 23, 2013 by Staff Writers “A lecture is much more of a dialogue than many of you probably realize.” — Harvard University professor George Wald “Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused. But on a higher level.” — University of Chicago professor Enrico Fermi If there’s one thing you can say about universities, it’s that they love tradition.

10 Free E-Book Sites for iPad Want to get the most out of your iPad - Are you using it as an e-reader? There are multiple sites that offer free downloads of both classic and contemporary publications and the reading experience on the iPad is actually quite good. The font size, the instant access to chapters and pages and the .......all make for a positive reading experience. Coupled with this is the fact that this is about the only way to get anybody under the age of 20 to read for any length of time at all. For younger readers and kids learning to the read the interactive experience will engender a love of interaction with the written word.

Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices When presented with new material, standards, and complicated topics, we need to be focused and calm as we approach our assignments. We can use brain breaks and focused-attention practices to positively impact our emotional states and learning. They refocus our neural circuitry with either stimulating or quieting practices that generate increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, where problem solving and emotional regulation occur.

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