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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

Resources and Tools for PBL Start to Finish Tips for downloading: PDF files can be viewed on a wide variety of platforms -- both as a browser plug-in or a stand-alone application -- with Adobe's free Acrobat Reader program. Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Reader. Documents to Help You Get Started The Hunger Games Project Documents Below are sample project-based learning documents from teachers Mary Mobley (English) and Michael Chambers (world history) of Manor New Technology High School in Manor, Texas. They team-teach a sophomore world studies class. 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'.

Teach21 Project Based Learning This PBL should be considered as having two different parts. First, the students must gather the information needed to complete the problem. Second, the students must compile their data to create an original script based on a set of criteria. Breaking down this long-term project seems to make it more manageable for the teacher. Like scientists, the students must gather information, analyze it, and produce a product. Part I of the PBL involves the race.

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. 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.

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:

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.

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 Advent of Google means we must rethink our approach to education Would a person with good handwriting, spelling and grammar and instant recall of multiplication tables be considered a better candidate for a job than, say, one who knows how to configure a peer-to-peer network of devices, set up an organisation-wide Google calendar and find out where the most reliable sources of venture capital are, I wonder? The former set of skills are taught in schools, the latter are not. We have a romantic attachment to skills from the past. Longhand multiplication of numbers using paper and pencil is considered a worthy intellectual achievement.

On genuine vs. bogus inquiry – using EQs properly We had a delightful visit to The School of the Future in New York City the other day. Lots of engaged kids, a great blend of instruction and constructivist work, and an obvious intellectual culture. And as the picture illustrates, everywhere we went we also saw helpful visual reminders of the big ideas and essential questions framing the work we were watching: School of the Future staff have long been users of UbD tools and ideas. But far too often over the years I have seen plenty of good stuff posted like this – but no deep embedding of the EQ into the unit design and lessons that make it up.

Genius Hour Part I This week it unfolded. Passion…geniuses…or a combination of both? We kicked off our IBPYP Exhibition these last few weeks in grade 5 at Yokohama International School. Our idea is to have the kids explore their passions and interests under the theme of “How We Express Ourselves.” Passions and beliefs lead to further inquiry and stimulate learning is our guiding or central idea. Busting some myths about ‘the inquiry cycle’…. « Justwondering I once read an interview with a hero of my early teaching days – Donald Graves. He was asked about the way people had misinterpreted his ‘process writing’ model and replied that sometimes he wished he’d never written it down! Years later I understand the frustration behind that sentiment. It’s hard to do justice to the complexities and nuances of inquiry in writing.

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