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Getting Started with Project-Based Learning (Hint: Don't Go Crazy)

Getting Started with Project-Based Learning (Hint: Don't Go Crazy)
Before the start of the school year, many of us want to use the remaining weeks of summer to learn some new skills -- such as project-based learning (PBL). One of the things we stress for new PBL practitioners is, as I say, "don't go crazy." It's easy to go "too big" when you first start PBL. I have heard from many teachers new to PBL that a large, eight-week integrated project was a mistake. So how do you start PBL in ways that will ensure your success as a learner and teacher? Here are a few tips to consider. Start Small As I said, "Don't go crazy!" Plan Now One of the challenges of PBL, but also one of the joys, is the planning process. Limited Technology We love technology, but sometimes we get too "tech happy." Know the Difference Between PBL and Projects This is the big one! We are all learners, and when we start something new, we start small. Photo credit: wwworks via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/project-based-learning-getting-started-basics-andrew-miller

The Inquiry Process Explained Visually for Teachers Learning is all about being curious and inquisitive. It is a process in which learners explore the unknown through their senses using both sensory and motor skills. Being involved and engaged in the learning task is the key to a successful learning journey and to elicit this kind of engagement from learners, teachers need to nurture a learning environment where students take responsibility for their learning and 'where they are only shown where to look but not told what to see'. Integration Strategies for PBL This series is about taking your PBL projects "up a notch." I wrote a blog about how to get started, but after you get started and are familiar with the benefits of keeping it small and focused, what are some of your next steps? One area where I see teachers taking their PBL projects up a notch is through integration. However, integration is actually quite complicated and includes many levels of implementation. Here are some tips to consider for integrating content areas into your next PBL project.

Using Digital Tools for Differentiation Direct Address to this Page: Anyone who has worked in education for any length of time knows just how important it is for teachers to create differentiated classrooms. If schools are truly working to ensure success for every student, learning experiences need to be customized and aligned to student interests, needs, and unique learning styles. Integrated Projects = Deeper Learning Here's how one school designs rigorous projects that blend STEM with other core subjects. See how this strategy might work for you. MC2 STEM High School has fabrication laboratories ("fab labs") where students learn to use advanced equipment such as the "shop-bot" (left) that they can use for their interdisciplinary project-based-learning assignments. Credit: Zachary Fink MC2 (Metropolitan Cleveland Consortium) STEM High School is a year-round public school in Cleveland, Ohio. The school was created through a public-private partnership among a number of organizations (PDF), with the intention of providing students with an integrated curriculum that is informed by real-world experiences.

SAMR Model Explained for Teachers Below is a great video explaining the SAMR model in 120 seconds. SAMR is a framework through which you can assess and evaluate the technology you use in your class. Here is how the video below shared by Candace M explains the SAMR's four levels: Substitution In a substitution level, teachers or students are only using new technology tools to replace old ones, for instance, using Google Docs to replace Microsoft Word. the task ( writing) is the same but the tools are different. Augmentation Though it is a different level, but we are still in the substitution mentality but this time with added functionalities. Re-Imagining the Comprehensive High School Students at Sammamish High School. Photo credit: Gabriel Miller Sammamish High School is a comprehensive high school that is on the cutting edge of public education.

Do you know me well enough to teach me?* « Justwondering A friend of mine called me recently, having returned, rather despondent, from grueling evening of secondary parent-teacher interviews for her eldest son in year 9 (you know the type – 5 minutes with each teacher, frantically rushing from room to room…) This boy is what most teachers would describe as a ‘good student’, generally conscientious, well behaved -but inclined to be on the quiet side. When the time came for the interview with the science teacher, the first comment the teacher made about him was that he didn’t seem to be very interested in the subject and this was clearly a criticism rather than a question. My friend asked the science teacher to explain what he meant and was told:

Defining Authenticity in Historical Problem Solving Representing historical actors, students vote on what should happen to the land under Germany's control in China after World War I. Photo credit: Adrienne Curtis Dickinson At Sammamish High School, we've identified seven key elements of problem-based learning, an approach that drives our comprehensive curriculum. I teach tenth grade history, which puts me in a unique position to describe the key element of authentic problems. The Research Behind 20% Time Since experimenting with “20% Time” in my class a few years ago, I’ve been fascinated by the research and history of this practice in education and the business world. This has led me down a long road to finally writing a book (to be published by Routledge) on inquiry-driven education and 20% time. During that time I’ve had hundreds of conversations with fellow teachers practicing 20% time in some way shape or form (Genius Hour, Passion Projects, Choose2Matter etc). Lately, through the book-writing process I’ve had some more in-depth interviews about inquiry-based education, and I’ve spent a great deal of time researching the beginnings and reasons behind 20% time’s effectiveness.

Authentic Assessment in Action At Sammamish High School, our staff has dedicated our professional development to building expertise in the key elements of problem-based learning. Previous blog entries by my colleagues have given an overview of this process, as well as exploring how we include student voice and work with authentic problems. Another crucial element of successful problem-based learning is using authentic assessment throughout all stages of a unit to constantly evaluate and improve student learning. What is Authentic Assessment? So what then makes an assessment "authentic" (or not)?

Exit Slips Our lesson plans are written and reviewed by educators using current research and the best instructional practices and are aligned to state and national standards. Choose from hundreds of topics and strategies. More Project-Based Learning as a Context for Arts Integration Project-based learning can provide an intentional and effective opportunity to integrate the arts across disciplines and curriculum. While valuable as a stand-alone discipline, arts education can be given further power and value when used in a PBL project as part of the core curriculum. When teachers begin designing PBL projects, they often start small, maybe with a recommended idea to internalize the design process and a reflection on how to improve.

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