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Practical PBL: The Ongoing Challenges of Assessment

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. Both types of students benefit from the option of choosing their role in project cycles to increase motivation. Fair Assessment of Teamwork To increase buy-in for both types of students, the most important thing a teacher needs to do is help build individual accountability -- and, by extension, trust -- in student teams. 1) Individual Skill Areas I have developed an individual semester portfolio as the most important measure of a student's skills assessment. Oral communicationWritten communicationAssuming a roleUse of primary textsLeadershipBeing a team player 2) Role-Based Assessment 3) "Weighted" Scoring Related:  Project Based LearningEdutopia PBL Gatewaybest practices

Making Games: The Ultimate Project-Based Learning Gamestar Mechanic Part 6 of MindShift’s Guide to Games and Learning. As game-based learning increases in popularity, it’s easy to get pigeon-holed into one particular way of thinking about it or one way of employing it. This is true regardless of how teachers feel about gaming in the classroom, whether they’re for or against it. One common objection to game-based learning is that students will sit in front of screens being taught at. In previous posts in this series, I’ve argued that because games involve systems thinking, they contextualize learning. “Games are just simulators with an internal incentive structure (often dopamine based). However, virtual simulations of hands-on experience are not the same as tangibly engaging with the world. Fortunately, few people are calling for games to replace school as we know it. Just as there are many apps and platforms designed to teach kids coding, there are also many apps and platforms that make it easy for kids to design their own games.

Studies in Success: A Survey of Assessment Research | Edutopia 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. 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 A three-year study of teaching and learning in more than 400 third-, sixth-, and eighth-grade classrooms in Chicago found that when students were given writing and mathematics assignments calling for more authentic work, they performed better on tests used to judge basic skills. According to the report, "Authentic Intellectual Work and Standardized Tests: Conflict or Coexistence? Adapting Tests to Students' Abilities The Medium Matters

Bulletin Boards Are you out of bulletin board ideas? Below are some ideas that will work for almost any classroom, any subject, and any grade level. Most of the ideas I borrowed from other teachers. Backgrounds Are you tired of the same background for your bulletin board? What Are the Six Traits of Writing? Create a bulletin board to show what teachers look for in good writing. Groundhog Day Create a bulletin board to get your students excited about Groundhog Day. Breaking Down the Walls/Barriers Use a background that looks like bricks. At a Glance For this bulletin board, you need giant plastic sunglasses. In the News If your local newspaper covers your school pretty regularly, cut out the articles about your students and place them on a bulletin board. The Rules to the Game Bulletin Board This idea works well for P.E. games and sports. Computer Information Bulletin Board If you have a computer or two in your room, consider this idea. Schedules and Calendars Bulletin Board Baby Pictures Bulletin Board For St.

What is PBL? To help teachers do PBL well, we created a comprehensive, research-based model for PBL — a "gold standard" to help teachers, schools, and organizations to measure, calibrate, and improve their practice. In Gold Standard PBL, projects are focused on student learning goals and include Essential Project Design Elements: Dealing With Students Who Bully: Part II Once I've reminded myself of my role and goal, I'm ready to deal with Jon, the student introduced in my last post, "Dealing With Students Who Bully: Part I (The Essential First Step)." The next few sentences are a challenge. I'd like to write something that my audience will like. Sorry to disappoint, but there is no magic bullet. If you have conquered your disappointment and continued reading, I can share two things that I always do when dealing with kids like Jon. Creating and maintaining a positive relationship with Jon is not a one-shot deal. The other thing I do with a student like Jon in this situation is to try to create (or explore if we have) a shared quality world picture. I don't begin by asking Jon, "What do you want?" This may sound strange, but it doesn't especially matter to me what Jon says. I have had countless interactions like this, and I have never had a student tell me that my goal is unreasonable. "OK, so we agree that it's reasonable to want a safe environment.

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens The rise of the Maker has been one of the most exciting educational trends of the past few years. A Maker is an individual who communicates, collaborates, tinkers, fixes, breaks, rebuilds, and constructs projects for the world around him or her. A Maker, re-cast into a classroom, has a name that we all love: a learner. A Maker, just like a true learner, values the process of making as much as the product. Making holds a number of opportunities and challenges for a teacher. What Do You Want to Do? The first step in designing a PBL unit for a Maker educator is connecting specific content standards to the project. Choosing, thinking, reflecting, and sorting possible projects should be a career-long process. Essential Questions With an appropriate project chosen, an educator can begin framing the learner's journey. Making requires partners. Finally, an educator can start thinking about individual lessons. Failure Is a Preferable Option Good projects require failure.

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. 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. In 5 minutes, you can determine what students are thinking and achieve any one, perhaps two, of the following: Make sure that the teaching objective for the day is assessable. In 5 days, you can determine what students know and prove it: In 5 weeks, you can assess if students are making progress toward mastery of the subject matter. In 5 months, you can reflect and refine your curriculum with guidance from an administrator or curriculum coach.

Getting Organized Organization Tips from Mrs. McDavid I have had many teachers stop by my room to ask how I keep things so well organized. I have had other teachers to ask if I would consider teaching a staff development course at our school to help teachers become better organized. Truly it's the small details that make the biggest impact. Organizing the classroom takes time, dedication, and determination but once things are put together the classroom will run smoothly. Materials You Will Need ~ Back to the Top ~ Purge Unused Materials and Non Essential ItemsAs teachers we tend to hoard materials and supplies that we think might come in handy one day. Organizing the Teacher's DeskThe teacher's desk can become a dumping ground for paperwork, papers that need to be filed, correspondence from the main office, items that need to be read or evaluated, and papers that need to be held for future reference. The next step is designating an area to file your paperwork. I use two different To Do Lists.

5 Things Every Teacher Should be Doing to Meet the Common Core State Standards The following blog post was written by Eye On Education's Senior Editor, Lauren Davis. To read more newsworthy blog posts from Eye On Education, subscribe to our Insights eNewsletters . At the NCTE convention in November, everyone was buzzing about the Common Core State Standards . Teachers wanted to know how the new standards will alter what they teach and how they teach it. To gather answers to those questions, I attended a variety of NCTE sessions, and I spoke to educators across the country. 1. ...to read the other four things every teacher should be doing to meet the CCSS, as well as more details and examples, download Eye On Education's free whitepaper: 5 Things Every Teacher Should be Doing to Meet the Common Core State Standards . Check out Eye On Education's other free whitepapers!

Renaming Fruits And Vegetables With Catchy Names Convinces Kids To Eat Them, Study Says Renaming fruits and vegetables with catchy, attractive monikers could more easily convince children to eat them, according to a new study. Researchers at Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab tested the likelihood that students at five ethnically and economically diverse schools schools would eat items dubbed "X-Ray Vision Carrots," "Power Punch Broccoli," "Tiny Tasty Tree Tops" and "Silly Dilly Green Beans" over the same foods labeled "Food of the Day." The results were overwhelming -- for instance, in one school 66 percent of the carrots labeled "X-Ray Vision Carrots" were eaten up versus the 32 percent when they were labeled "Food of the Day." In a release, the study's lead author Brian Wansink explained that the finding could provide a cheap solution to improving kids' diets: Of the 1,552 students involved 47.8% attended the treatment school. The Cornell findings aren't the first to suggest simple tweaks could add up to big changes in kids' diets. Also on HuffPost:

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